simplebooklet thumbnail

stage write winter 2016
winter 2016
the Guildburys magazine
issue no. 239
stage write winter 2016
From the Editor
The more percipient amongst you will already
have noted that the official publication date
for this issue of
Stage Write
has somewhat
been and gone by now but we at Stage Write
Towers make no apology for this apparent
dereliction of duty. The final days of
November and early ones of December have
been extraordinarily busy Guildbury-wise.
putative publication day
coincided with the second performance of
the Razzle
and then, with the play out of the
way, it seemed nonsensical to publish in
advance of the culminating social event of the
year, to wit the Guildbury Christmas Party.
This has enabled retrospective reports of both
these events to appear in the following pages.
In any case, you will have plenty of time to
peruse, read, study, assimilate and inwardly
digest the contents as GTC dramatic activities
do not resume until some time into 2017…
although I daresay there will be other stuff to
keep us moderately occupied.
It only remains, therefore, to wish you a Very
Merry Festive Season from all the editorial
team here at Stage Write Towers. If you are
likely to have any contributions for the next
issue, you know where to send them.
You never know, publication might actually
materialise on the official date of 01 March
Rob Sheppard
In this Issue
The Chairman penneth ...................................... 2
Retrospective words & pictures ................... 3-4
Stuff you need to know ...................................... 5
Stop holding your breath now ........................ 5
Thinking caps on .............................................. 6-7
Book your slot(s) now ......................................... 8
Were you there? ................................................... 9
New heads sought ........................................... 10
Rogues’ Gallery & Events ............................... 11
Do you recognise the Guildbury under the
whiskers on the cover of this edition?
If you think you can put a name to the face
(or what you can see of it) send your
entry to the Editor.
A fabulous prize awaits
the lucky winner!
[Entry is barred to Santa
himself, obviously!]
stage write winter 2016
They say that time flies
when you are having
fun and that has
certainly been the
case for a very large
number of Guildburys
who have been ‘On
the Razzle’ for the past
12 or so weeks. I can
personally attest that
the cast, crew and
production team had a huge amount of fun, as
did the audiences, who flocked in their droves to
see it. The Treasurer grudgingly conceded that it
had done ‘ok’ (he does so love playing the
pantomime villain!); with attendance figures
across the week breaking through the 80% mark,
and with Friday night a sell out, it turned out to
be something of a record breaking show. The
reviewers were in total agreement and were full
of praise -
‘If you want a really hilarious evening at the
theatre, “On the Razzle” at the Electric Theatre is
the place to be this week!’
Essential Surrey
‘A triumph for the company and for The Electric
Theatre and I highly recommend a visit.’
Guildford Dragon
‘A play the cast and production team so
obviously delighted in… Excellent in all
respects…..A gem of a play
You can read full versions of the reviews on the
Guildbury web site
On The Razzle
page. As
director, Ian Nichols is to be congratulated on an
inspired choice of play and on a first class show.
The Guildbury production machine that always
so magnificently supports all our shows was, as
ever, indispensably brilliant and it was really
gratifying to see the significance of their
contributions recognised in the reviews.
The GATA festival finale night meant that the
party continued and Guildburys were much in
evidence, along with those who were singing,
dancing and acting their hearts out, representing
a whole gamut of GATA groups. I think it is safe
to say that everyone will definitely
Our Name
. The party went on .... and on…. and
on, culminating with the Guildbury Christmas
party where more than 40 Guildburys partied
on….and on. Thanks to my kitchen elves, Jane,
Diana, Pam and Barbara too many cooks did
NOT spoil the broth they were brilliant and
also thanks to Simon for his unbelievable post
party hoovering skills. PHEW!
So as 2016 draws to a close we look towards the
AGM and onwards to 2017. The AGM notice and
company news are featured later in this edition
and following the success of the open forum we
plan to replicate the format for the AGM,
completing the necessary business of the
meeting (with speed but not haste!) and then
making it a lot less ‘formal’, with an accent on
batting around some ideas and socialising, so
please come along, have a glass of wine, enjoy a
light lunch and join in. Much will need to be
done in the early part of next year in terms of
streamlining and moving the costume sheds - we
will be asking for support from members as
several work parties will be needed over a period
of time to complete this task. Look out for the call
to action - please sign up and do your bit!
2016 has been a fantastic year, and it’s certainly
had its challenges for the committee to address.
2017 is going to be another challenging year, in
that we STILL don’t know the fate of the Electric
Theatre. Neither of our shows at The Electric next
year is ‘contracted’, nor do we have any idea
about a heck of a lot of things. BUT we remain
positive and we have a really exciting and varied
programme of shows to produce and enjoy next
year. Whilst we can look back on 2016 with
pride, we look forward to 2017 with excitement.
If you want to refresh your memory, all three
2017 shows are featured in detail on the web
site. Our spring show,
The Lady in the Van,
be auditioning in January and Eddie will be very
pleased to hear from you! This will be swiftly
followed in February by auditions for
our summer show performing in
Farnham and Haslemere.
It only remains for me to wish you all a very
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I’m off
for an antipodean lie down and I look forward
to seeing you at the AGM.
Gilly Fick
Guildbury Chairman
07 990 976 302 / 01 483 476 405
stage write winter 2016
On the Razzle
I will have to
confess to having had three
clamouring concerns:
Firstly, that I approached
directing 'Razzle' with some
trepidation, even regretting
accepting Diane's notion that it
would make a good Guildburys
play. After all, you always hear
that directing/rehearsing farce is very
hard work and very unfunny. This wasn't
helped by reading through it carefully
during the preparation period and
realising for the first time that,
when analysed, it doesn't
completely 'add up';
Secondly, tussling over how to
design a play with so many
different venues and upper
windows and cash 'zingers' and
carriages etc., etc.
And finally, after starting work on
it, having the nagging
fear that, even if we
found it funny at close
range, would an audience find
it so in the auditorium?
I need not have feared. If you
keep farce running speedily
and with confidence the
audience won't see the joins in
the plot. The experience of
directing proved that yes,
indeed, farce is hard work on
occasions, but my experience was that we
still found it funny right through the
weeks of rehearsal and to the very end of
its (far too short) four night run. Mind
you, as ever, the pleasure for me was
partly that of watching an endlessly
inventive cast working on it.
A lengthy session with Michael, our
Production Manager and, on this
show, chief carpenter, plus the
ingenious input of Mr Sprout laid to
rest my struggle with the set design.
connued on page 4
stage write winter 2016
And finally, the audiences clearly
demonstrated that I need never
have feared that they wouldn't
find it as funny as we had. They
loved it. Even on the first night,
when Guildford had been totally
gridlocked and both cast and
audience arrived late and
panicking, leading to a twenty
minute delayed start, the cast
relaxed the audience into
enjoying the show after only five
or six minutes. We had good
audiences (in both senses), a full
house on the Friday and,
joy of joys, a wildly
enthusiastic Saturday
night one.
So, no need to have
I was most blessed in that
magnificent combination
of a first rate, inventive
and witty cast including
some excellent
newcomers, and our
habitually superb
Guildburys team who
always surround a show
with a shield of industrious talent. It's
a knockout combo which is
recognised in the excellent reviews
which we received.
After directing thirty one, designing
seventy and an uncounted number of
varied roles in Guildburys shows, it
really is time for me to step down for a
sabbatical year or so. However, every
time I'm tempted to say 'no more,'
working on a Guildburys show clearly
demonstrates to me that I shall never,
willingly, want to stop.
Thank you Guildburys. Here's to
the continued successful future of the
Ian Nichols
Director of
On the Razzle
Dress Rehearsal photographs by Phill Grith
stage write winter 2016
TIME 11.30 am
A light lunch, for which there will be no charge, will be served following the meeting.
In the last edition of Stage Write you were invited to suggest a suitable caption for this
picture from The Merry Wives of Windsor
Following a series of intense sessions
behind closed doors, during which
veritable sack loads of entries were
considered, the Editorial Team has
pleasure in announcing the result.
Winner: Diana Dean
Graham: Sirrah, pray what do you carry
in the box?
Ben: Shit, knew I was missing something!
Runner-Up: Harper Bedsport
Graham: So youve lost your concertina
Ben: Yeah. I think Ill try the bagpipes
Diana wins a years free issues of Stage Write!
Your Company Needs You!
One of the purposes of the AGM is to elect the committee for the forthcoming year. The
committee meets at The Pepperpot in Godalming on the second Wednesday of each month, with
a break in August. Members wishing to join the committee should submit their names to the
company secretary, Debby Dean (, by Thursday January 26
Only members attending the AGM can vote and ballot papers will be prepared and circulated at
the meeting. The secretary will inform all candidates of the results on Monday 30 January.
The new committee will meet for the first time on Wednesday 8 February.
stage write winter 2016
The Committee would like to invite submissions for plays to be performed during 2018. Spring
and autumn shows will be at The Electric Theatre, and the summer show will be open air at
Waverley Abbey House and Haslemere Museum gardens. Directors should submit no more than
2 plays and are advised to note the following guidelines and criteria.
The committee will view plays in the light of the need to provide a balanced programme
with a varied range of opportunities for the company over any given season, and will take
into account, at the very least, the nature of the current (2017) season.
In suggesting plays thought must be given to the implication for budgeting in those areas
where we can exercise control for instance, set and costumes. Plays that do not require
the payment of royalties, especially in the summer, are always welcome suggestions, other
factors notwithstanding.
Submissions should be made to the Secretary ( no later than
Friday 27 January 2017 in advance of the AGM, which will be held on Sunday 29 January. If
possible, electronic copies of scripts should be provided with your submission. Links via
Dropbox or Google docs are circulated to committee for ease of distribution. If electronic
scripts are not available a hard copy script must be provided.
The committee will review the list of plays proposed and if necessary will decide if any are
Once finalised, the company secretary will circulate the list of plays proposed to the
membership. The committee will review any comments received.
Selection will take place at the end of April 2017 when directors will be invited to attend the
selection meeting to present their plays.
Electric Theatre Indoor Performance
Almost any genre can be considered, although it should be borne in mind that period
costume comedies are generally more appropriate for open-air summer shows.
Plays with fewer roles can be suggested, although the committee will seek to provide a
good choice of acting opportunities for both male and female roles during the course of a
Plays should be deemed to have a reasonable box office appeal, although experience has
shown that predicting this is far from easy; the committee hope, however, that main house
plays in any one year would achieve average ticket sales of at least 50%.
connued on page 7
stage write winter 2016
Waverley Abbey House/Haslemere Museum open-air performances
Summer shows are performed to a family ‘Picnic Theatre’ audience.
Experience indicates that, broadly speaking, period costume comedies generally have
appeal for open-air audiences; although the 2014 production of
showed that
other genres can sometimes be considered.
Shakespeare has always proved popular but the committee will always be open to
considering alternatives.
There should be a good range of acting opportunities in terms of speaking roles for men
and women, plus the possibility of chorus or ensemble work.
The play must not be too long given an 8.00 pm start we should aim to come down by
10.20 pm at the latest.
Directors submitting plays for the summer show must have previously directed a GTC
production in another venue.
‘Ad hoc’ proposals
If directors (or prospective directors) have ideas or proposals for productions that are outside the
criteria and guidelines described above, and are for performance at venues other than The
Electric, Waverley and Haslemere, the committee will be pleased to hear them at any time. If you
have an idea that is outside the box please suggest it to the committee.
stage write winter 2016
Audition Dates: Sunday 8, Tuesday 10 & Thursday 12 January
Summary of Roles
To book an audition, contact the Director, Eddie Woolrich / 07815 615272
Miss Shepherd female 55+
Alan Bennett 1 male 30-50
Alan Bennett 2 male 30-50
Mam female 60+
Rufus male 30-60
Pauline female 30-60
Social Worker female 20-60
Underwood male 55+
Mam’s Doctor male or female 30-60
Leo Fairchild male 55+
Lout male 18-30
Ambulance Driver male or female 20-60
Interviewer male or female 30-60
Non-Speaking male or female, any age
Pre-audition song learning: Monday 13 February
Audition Dates: Thursday 16, Sunday 19 & Tuesday 21 February
Summary of Roles
To book an audition, contact the Director, Laura Sheppard / 07931 750909
Fuller character descriptions of the roles for both plays, including an indication of their
size, can be found in the September edition of Stage Write.
The Ladies
Nell Gwynn, our heroine
Rose Gwynn, Nell's sister
Nancy, Nell's dresser and confidante
Lady Castlemaine, Charles's ambitious mistress
Louise de Keroualle, Charles's French mistress
Queen Catherine, Charles's Portuguese wife
Old Ma Gwynn, Nell's mother
The Gents
King Charles II, the King
Charles Hart, leading actor
Thomas Killigrew, actor-manager
Edward Kynaston, actor, plays women's parts
John Dryden, playwright
Lord Arlington, Charles II's adviser
Ned Spiggett, actor in training
stage write winter 2016
By kind permission of Baroness Fick of Pirbright, Guildburys gathered in droves at Manor Farm
Barn to celebrate the Festive Season in style and, as you can see, a wonderful time was had by all!
Photos by Baroness Fick
and Peter Brodsharp
stage write winter 2016
For a good few years now the programmes for
Guildbury shows have been designed, written and
produced by Rob Sheppard and Ian Nichols. The time
has now come, they feel, to step back and let someone
else have a go!
If there’s anyone out there in Guildburyland who
might be interested in taking over, this is what you’ll
A decent desktop publishing programme
A willingness to write and/or commission
appropriate articles and features
The ability to work to deadlines
An understanding of the process of preparing
and submitting artwork for printing
Image manipulation software is useful but not
absolutely essential
We can provide advice on any of the abovejust
contact Rob at
or on 07930 186830.
stage write winter 2016
Wednesday 14 Decembercommittee
meeting at the Pepperpot, Godalming
Friday 6 Januarypub night (venue tba)
Sunday 8, Tuesday 10 & Thursday 12
Januaryauditions for
The Lady in the
at Compton Club
Wednesday 11 Januarycommittee
meeting at the Pepperpot, Godalming
Sunday 29 JanuaryAnnual General
Meeting at Compton Club
Friday 3 Februarypub night (venue
Wednesday 8 Februarycommittee
meeting at the Pepperpot, Godalming
Monday 13 Februaryaudition song
learning for
Nell Gwynn
(venue tba)
Thursday 16, Sunday 19 and Tuesday 21
Februaryauditions for
Nell Gwynn
Compton Club
Friday 3 Marchpub night (venue tba)
Ginburys trip to the
Silent Pool Distillery
Watch your (g)inbox