SEPTEMBER 2022 EDITION
NEWSLETTER EDITOR INTRO
So, welcome to the September edition of The GreenRoom – we are trying something a little different in this edition. Following feedback from some members who found the PDF version a little difficult to read, we are trying a new version using a plain webpage. You’ll still be able to read all about the latest news from The Bancroft Players and QMT, but everyone should find it a little more accessible on their mobile phones and ipads etc…
Obviously, we are always happy to get your feedback, so if there is anything you’d like us to try or things you’d like to hear more about, please just get in touch and we’ll see what we can do!
Please do note that some of the articles were written before the sudden death of HM The Queen.
Elliott Bunker – Membership Secretary & Newsletter Editor
ARTISTIC DIRECTORS BLOG
So that’s the summer done – well mostly. We survived a stifling heatwave, a few strikes, and yet most of us still managed to get away one way or another. A good old-fashioned summer! And now here we are in September, ready for normal life once again. Well at the QMT ‘normal life’ means numerous plays going forward, of course. I joined the cast of The Ferryman for a couple of rehearsals recently – thanks David for letting me stay, by the way. Wow it all looks so impressive! This is a great epic story and to watch children, our youth theatre and the adults all working together to bring it to life is a magnificent sight. You must come along and see it – tickets via our online box office.
The panto is auditioning this week and the next Fringe show has auditions soon after. You will find all the audition notices in this newsletter so don’t be shy, come on down. You will have such fun and of course there are the secret benefits of Dr Theatre to be had, a physician who cures many of life’s woes.
Dunno what you did this summer. Something artistic – something exciting, something romantic? How about the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – it takes place over August each year? I take up the youth theatre each year and we all had such a good time I think you ought to have the same experience. If you want to be part of the world’s largest arts festival then Edinburgh is just your bag! If the adults in the Society want to go up to put on a show in 2023, I can book you a venue and find a large party flat without too much faff. Have a think and let me know. I normally start planning in January to take the Youth Theatre up for the week so it’ll be simple enough to book for you lot as well.
So now you can read every dot and cipher of The Green Room and start planning for the rest of the year!
Happy New Season everyone!
Rory Reynolds – Artistic Director
Harry Harding has done a great job casting the first studio production of the season – DOUBLE ACTS. A lovely mix of new members and old.
Adele – Emma O’Connell
Kerry – Bea Wood
Henry – Ian Colpitts
Joel – Vince Matthews
Barnaby – Andy Bowden
Sarah – Laura Mead
This show is now on sale – so get booking your tickets and remember if you’re a member you’ll get £2 off your tickets when you book!
NEWS FROM THE EC
The new Executive Committee met at the beginning of September for the first time since the AGM and as we will be continuing to do, here is a summary of the key discussion points. Remember there will be a chance in November for you to come a talk to members of the EC.
The first item on the agenda was to co-opt onto the committee Emma Northcott and Zoe Bednarz (representing Big Spirit).
Elliott, the new Chair, outlined the key priorities over the next season, other than the obvious priority of producing great shows, which include:
- Establishing the CIO – this work is being lead by Mark with support from Shonali and other EC members as needed.
- Membership recruitment and filling the key roles across the society and theatre that are still outstanding. These include Publicity Manager, Main House Production Manager, Front of House Manager, Costume Department Manager, plus growing our technical crew.
- Celebration of the 40th year of the QMT – this is being lead by Claudia O’Connell – we want to mark our 40th anniversary by showcasing the amazing space we have
The committee welcomed Emma O’Connell and Andrew Piggott who have agreed to co-manage the bar, following Christine’s resignation over the summer. Thanks were minuted for Christine Neal for all her very hard work in running the bar over recent years.
Operational issues – Chris Lane reported that 3 new show monitors were being worked on – the cabling is in place. The issues with the displays are also currently being worked on. The LED display is causing problems and needs a complete refresh – Chris will put together a proposal and costing for the next meeting. Also on the operational agenda is the sound proofing of the John Coxall room.
The committee are also working on updating our Code of Conduct for the society to include a process for any member to make a grievance to the welfare officer. Once this is updated this will be shared with the membership.
Vivien Kerr – Secretary
MORE CASTING NEWS
Richard and Dee Lovelock have successfully cast this years Panto; Dick Whittington – the cast is as follows:
Alice – Allie Marie Hunter
Dick – Leanne Campbell-Phillips
Sarah – Brian Seal
Fairy – Gita Lingam
King Rat – Elliott Bunker
Capt – Craig Hiepner
Master Bob – Paul Boichat
Fitzwarren – Russ Hurn
Jack – Kelly Jones
The Cat – Matt Gray
Queen – Jayne Thompson
Princess – Zoe Bednarz
Chorus, Londoners and Islanders
Tash Hiepner, Amy Walker, Esther Lusty, Charlotte McDermott, Emma Gormley, Hazel Jacobs, Stella Barnes, Vivien Kerr, Jaysica Marvell, Jayne Thompson, Zoe Bednarz, Charlotte Lovelock, Emily Albert, Jess Albert and Evie Gormley
The first rehearsal has already taken place for this and the show is on sale! Please book your tickets as this will no doubt sell fast!! Remember you get £2 off your tickets if you’re a current member!
200 CLUB WINNERS
Just a reminder that it is now very easy to join the 200 Club, via the QMT website – do give it a try. £12 a year which gives you the chance to win up to £25 in our monthly draw or £50 in our June and December draws. All for a wonderful clause.
Congratulations to our August winners.
£25 – Fay Worboys-May
£20 – Ann O’Dell
£15 – Keith Crook
£10 – Hilary Dade
Paula Downes – 200 Club
THE FERRYMAN by Jez Butterworth
Our season opener is only a little over a week away – so please do make sure you book your tickets!
An interview with David Lester, Director of Bancroft Players forthcoming production of The Ferryman.
Q: What first drew you to The Ferryman as your next play to direct at the Queen Mother Theatre?
A: I was eventually drawn to directing The Ferryman at the QMT, having seen it on opening week at The Royal Court in 2017. Unusually for me, I went to see it again when it transferred to the West End and was blown away both times by the sheer power of the writing and the production. I did have to think long and hard before suggesting it for the QMT as, apart from a very large cast, it presents many challenges. Perhaps this is why I’ve not noticed other amateur groups attempting to put on this play! However, I’ve always been up for a challenge and I believe this is an opportunity to present this amazing play to a local audience, many of whom have not yet seen it.
Q: What is it about Jez Butterworth’s writing (author of Jerusalem and The River, also performed by Bancroft Players) that particularly appeals to you?
A: Jez Butterworth’s story-telling is dense. So much is going on in The Ferryman along with its themes of national identity and betrayal, not to say the nature of self-denial. As when I directed The Weir by Conor McPherson a few years ago in the Studio, I love the way the play brings hints of Irish mysticism and the supernatural, though the play is set in Northern Ireland.
Q: At this point in rehearsals which are your favourite parts of the show and what have been the greatest challenges?
A: Difficult to pick out a favourite part of the show. I suppose it’s the family moments where much is revealed in almost every piece of dialogue by the children interacting with the adults. It feels authentic while being very funny in places. Yet those are also the most challenging with sometimes up to 20 actors on stage at the same time with junior, teens and adults in the cast.
Q: For those who have not been lucky enough to see this fantastic show in the West End what can the QMT audience expect when they come to see your production?
A: In our production I’m not seeking to simply copy the west end production. For example, it’s injected with the characterizations that have been individually developed by our cast. What I’m aiming to achieve is the best presentation of the play, a high quality production and an atmosphere that really engages the audience. It’s the first time we have presented a play with a cast made up of our Juniors, Big Spirit and Adults. I think that alone will have an impact.
Q: This is a real rollercoaster of a story, taking the audience through pretty much the full range of emotions. For a bit of fun and without giving away any spoilers how would you sum up The Ferryman in a haiku?
A: Well here’s my attempt at haiku:
Reaps shadows of betrayal
Interview by Emma Northcott
EQUUS and ACCIDENTAL DEATH OF AN ANARCHIST
There has been so much production and casting news in this edition, but there are still more great productions ahead of us in this season. Audition notices for EQUUS and ACCIDENTAL DEATH OF AN ANARCHIST are both live on the website now, where you can always find the latest audition news!
Rory Reynolds – Artistic Director
Matt Gray – Studio Production Manager
NEW QMT WEBSITE
Keep your eyes peeled as the new QMT website will be going live in a week or so. The team at SugarZoo are busy putting the finishing touches to the site now and some of us are looking through the pages, but once it goes live if you notice anything that could be improved, please make sure you get in touch!
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
26th to 1st Oct – 7.30pm
The Ferryman Production
1st – 7.30pm
The Ferryman Final Night
12th – 15th – 7.45pm
The Yeoman of the Guard
21st – 7.30pm
MEMBER’S SOCIAL EVENING
25th – 29th – 7.45pm
Double Acts Production
16th – 19th – 7.45pm
Big Spirit Production
25th – 7.30pm
MEMBER’S SOCIAL EVENING & EC SURG’Y
Dick Whittington Production Weekend
15th – 17th
Dick Whittington Production Weekend
21st – 7.30pm
QMT CHRISTMAS QUIZ