The season has now drawn to a close and proved to be another very successful one for FDS.
To kick us off, in October 2018 Nick Abbott directed the poignant and very funny comedy by Neil Simon, ‘I Ought To Be in Pictures’. A performance made all the more poignant by the death of the playwright some two months before at the age of 91. Neil Simon was a great favourite with theatregoers and drama groups across the country and FDS have performed several of his plays over the years. This one, with a cast of only three, tested the actors to the full and it was lovely to see Tania Todd back on stage after a three year absence. Chris Franks and Holly Seijo as father and estranged daughter received great praise in the two leading roles. We also welcomed a new addition to our backstage team, Jo Baird became a constant throughout the season, involved in costumes for all three productions. (attempts to get her on stage have thus far proved fruitless, but there’s plenty of time!)
In February FDS welcomed a guest director for the first time in the society’s history. Long-time friend of FDS and member of our neighbours The Hayes Players, Brian McEwan stepped in when the society was down a director and put on a fabulous production of ‘Fiddlers Three’ by Eric Chappell. A hilarious comedy by one of Britain’s best known comedy writers. FDS certainly benefitted from Brian’s vast experience as an actor and director and the audiences loved it. We also welcomed another new member to the stage, Naida Allen, as the much lusted after office secretary, who gave a very confident debut performance and we hope this will be the first of many.
In May, Sue Williams revived ‘The Glass Menagerie’ by Tennessee Williams, a play we first put on in 1975 and for which Edna Walker won the award for best actress in a leading role, in the Bromley Theatre Guild full length drama festival. This too was the FDS entry into the 2019 festival, so no pressure on Hilary Cordery making her FDS debut in the same role of Amanda! We also welcomed on debut Mike Azzopardi as Jim and we welcomed back, after a six year absence, Laura Adams, playing daughter Laura with the cast being completed by the ever present Mark Hollidge as son Tom. This charming memory play which moved seamlessly between comedy and pathos received a fantastic reaction from our audience. It also did very well in the festival receiving runner up awards for Best Props (Barbara Jones and Naida Allen), Best Sound (Nicola Hollow and Mark Hollidge), Best Set (Tony Jenner) and Best Lighting (Nick Abbott) and yes, Hilary Cordery rose to the challenge, giving a fabulous performance as Amanda and indeed won the award for best actress in a leading role! On stage and backstage as with all FDS plays it’s a team effort, and lead by Sue Williams, who totally loved and believed in the play it reaped it’s own rewards, especially the feedback from our audiences.
So on to next season, and such is the enthusiasm and commitment of our members, we are able to announce the forthcoming programme of plays, so you can note in your calendars now!
October 24th, 25th, 26th 2019: ‘Deathtrap’ by Ira Levin.
A well known thriller but with a few laughs along the way.
February 20th, 21st, 22nd 2020: ‘The Haunted Through Lounge and Recessed Dining Nook at Farndale Castle’ by McGillvray & Zerlin Jnr
A hilarious comedy as we revisit the ladies of the Townswomen’s Guild dramatic society and their futile attempts to put on a play.
May 14th, 15th ,16th 2020: ‘A Bad Year for Tomatoes’ by John Patrick.
Another, madcap comedy, this time set in backwoods America.
Thank you so much for your support, we look forward to seeing you again.