The main purpose of this Newsletter is to give formal notice of the 44th Annual General Meeting of the Radlett Players to be held on Monday 14th July at in Christ Church Hall, the Agenda for which is attached.
However I must first congratulate Willum Scott and all his cast and crew of “Wife Begins at Forty” on their splendid production. It has given enormous laughing pleasure to large audiences and I have indeed heard some regulars saying that ‘it’s the best thing I’ve seen the Players do’! Not only has the production been successful in entertaining our patrons but it has made a handsome profit. Further to this it is Willum’s first venture as a producer and I can’t recall a calmer and more enjoyable rehearsal period. Incidentally we owe a deep debt to Barry Sawyer for once again allowing his premises at West Herts Training Limited for our rehearsals. So well done everyone involved in the late Spring Production
We have one more social event before the end of the Player’s Year and that is the annual social cricket match against Radlett Cricket Club at Cobden Hill on Friday 18th of July. We will confirm the details at the AGM..
Back to the AGM. Apart from the Committee accounting for its actions over the year and seeking the members agreement to the accounts (this year not closed until 30th June as a result of the lateness of the Spring Production, as approved at the last AGM) , quite the most important item for the AGM to achieve is the continuing proper management of the Society by ensuring the election of a new Committee. You will see from the agenda that on this occasion we need to secure a new Secretary and at least two new general members. Willum Scott has agreed to continue as Treasurer (for which much relief) and Rosemary Edwards as Membership secretary (again much relief). Chantelle de Carvalho remains on the Committee and I’m delighted to say has agreed to take on the job of Publicity Manager. I have decided to stand again for election for my final year as Chairman – if you’ll have me. Please think seriously about standing for the committee this time around – the society cannot function without a proper Committee.
You’ll note in the AGM agenda an item for the award of the Radlett Player of the Year prize.Worthy winners so far have been Helen Lappert, Jan Keeley and Shiela Bird. Nomination forms are enclosed. Please bring them with you or send them to the Secretary if you cannot be at the AGM. For this fourth year there will be a change to the award. Chris Dexter’s family have very generously donated a large sum of money to the Society 2in recognition of the love and support the Radlett Players gave to their father over the years”. The committee, with mike and Carol’s agreement, have decided to use this money to endow the Player of the Year Award so that together with the commemorative shield the recipient will receive a £25 theatre token. The award will in future be known as the Dexter Award and we feel is a fitting memorial to such a devoted and longstanding stalwart of the Players.
As I have mentioned in earlier Newsletters we would like the AGM to endorse – or throw out – my proposal for a revised pattern of activity for the Society, which takes account of what we have done over the the last year or so. Just to refresh your memory I proposed the following starting at the the opening of our year in September:-
November - Autumn Production in the Radlett Centre
Jan/Feb - Music Hall in the Shenley Chapel
May - Spring Production (to fit in with Barnet Festival
November - Autumn Production
March - Spring Production
June - Midsummer Show in the Shenley Walled Garden
We need to take decisions on this now so that we can start planning for the summer show and get dates booked that’s if you agree with the idea.
As I mentioned in the last newsletter the Autumn Production is to be that splendid Northern Comedy, “Hobson’s Choice” and Sylvia Cohen has agreed to produce it.. for those of you who don’t know it it is a wonderful play, full of humour, pathos and a good period piece. Being set at the end of the 19th Century it is full of class differences as it tells of the clash between an overbearing farther and a determined daughter. It has a large cast – 5 female and 7 male – is in 4 acts and requires three different sets.
Of the cast of 12 only three are major roles; that of Henry Hobson (55, Successful bootmaker, opiniated, difficult and prone to drink), his eldest daughter, Maggie (30, practical, bossy and singled-minded) and William Mossop (30, Hobson’s employee, timid and target of Maggie’s plan to best her father). The remaining 9 are really cameo roles: Maggie’s two sisters, Alice and Vickey (23 and 21, selfish, silly snobbish and out for rich husbands). Albert Prosser and Fred Beenstock( 26 and 25 ish, sons of local worthies, courting Alice and Vicky respectively in secret), Mrs. Hepworth (elderly wealthy local lady, sharp tongued, doesn’t suffer fools – Act I only), Tubby Wardlow (elderly bootmaker, worked with Hobson for years, knows his place, Willie’s colleague), Jim Heller (50’s, Hobsons drinking partner and confidant), Ada Figgins (20’s, Willie’s landlady’s daughter, unofficial fiancée,common, blowsy – Act I only), Dr. McFarlane (middle-aged, Hobson’s Doctor, calls a spade a spade – Act IV only)
Auditions will be held on Wednesday 16th July at in Christ Church Hall; and clearly there will be opportunities for all. Copies of the play are available from Sylvia now (01923 856500).
Finally three items of personal news, one happy, two sad. The happy news is that Philip Eastburn played with the Good Companions Company in their production of “The Woman in White” in the recent Barnet Festival and was given honourable mention in the best supporting actor category. It was a very good production too. Well done Philip.
Sadly since my last letter we have lost two members of the Radlett Players family. Hilary Driscoll died at the end of May after a long illness very bravely borne. Hilary had been a staunch supporter of the Players behind the scenes and on occasions was our Music Hall rehearsal accompanist. Then Jenny Bratt’s husband Richard died after a long illness earlier this month. Our deepest sympathy goes out to Tom and Amanda Driscoll and Jenny in their loss. A goodly number of Players were there to support both Jenny and Tom at the funerals.