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NEWSLETTER - The Garden Suburb Theatre

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									                                         GST                                             JANUARY
                                                                                          ISSUE 108

                                                                   SPRING 2010 DATES
                                                                       26th February - 6th March
                                                                           THE THREE
                                                                          HBS Theatre, NW11
                                                                                14th March
                                                                    Audition - The Recruiting Officer
                                                                         St. Margaret’s Church Hall
                                                                                31st March
                                                                               Twelfth Night
“But that's all one, our play is done,                                   St. Margaret’s Church Hall
And we'll strive to please you every day.”                                            -
                                                                               3rd - 9th April
We saw in Christmas and the party season with true festive         Isle of Man Easter Festival of Plays
flair this year. The Festive Frolic party at The Elephant left          Gaiety Theatre, Isle of Man
everyone who attended with a warm glow and was blessed                                -
by the musical stylings of Christian Radnedge. This also                    22nd - 24th April
gave us a sneak preview of what was in store for us with
Mary Musker’s production of Twelfth Night.                              EDUCATING RITA
                                                                          HBS Theatre, NW11
The inventive and engaging production was extremely well                            -
attended and recently was accepted into the Manx Easter                         12th June
Festival of Plays at the Gaiety Theatre, Douglas                        Thanks for the Memories -
                                                                           A Concert for Jill
Following Christmas and battling through the snow storms
of January, we’ve just had our first rehearsed reading of the
new year, which was Vanessa Williams' full directorial
debut with a production of Blackadder. It was as enjoyable       to be an excellent show. Book now to
as a very enjoyable thing with a special reason to be            avoid disappointment!
enjoyable.                                                       Also one to watch for is Mick Orme’s
Next up is Terry Rogers’ production of The Three                 production of Educating Rita. Auditions
Musketeers at the end of February/beginning of March.            have been and gone and soon his two star
Rehearsals are well underway with much buckling of               actors will be heavily into rehearsals.
swashes and hearty cheers and laughter all round. It promises                        - Mary Groom and Ed

IN THIS ISSUE... Reviews of Twelfth Night, an update on The Three Musketeers
and Educating Rita, and much more...
Barnet & District Drama Festival Entries 2010
                     February 17,18,19,20      East Lane Theatre Club (Sudbury, Middx)
                 Box office: 07762 622215      OUT OF ORDER, Ray Cooney

             February 23,24,25,26,27 + Mat     Potters Bar Theatre Company
                  Box office: 07985 542204     NOISES OFF, Michael Frayn

                        March 17,18,19,20      Katalyst Productions (The Bull, Barnet)
                 Box office: 07809 504446      THE COMPLETE WORKS OF W. SH’SPEARE (ABR)
       Adam Long, Daniel Singer, Jess Winfield

                           March 18,19,20      Berkhamsted Theatre Company
                 Box office: 01442 823180      NOISES OFF, Michael Frayn

                      April 20,21,22,23,24     Compton Players (Winchmore Hill)
                 Box office: 0208 360 1104     UNDER THE STARS, Richard Crane

                             April 22,23,24    Good Companions (Edgware)
                 Box office: 0845 241 0364     LETTICE AND LOVAGE, Peter Shaffer

                              April 22,23,24   Garden Suburb Theatre
                  Box office: 0207 723 6609    EDUCATING RITA, Willy Russell

                    April 29,30 and 1 May      Radlett Players
                 Box office: 01923 85 9291     THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST,
            Oscar Wilde

                        May 13,14,15 + mat     Chameleons Amateur Dramatic Society
                  Box office: 0208 123 6443    (Wembley)
              ALLO, ALLO, Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft

               May 23 – 28 (7 performances)    Incognito Theatre Group (Friern Barnet)
                 Box office: 0791 287 5700     BAREFOOT IN THE PARK, Neil Simon
   The Next Production : The Three Musketeers
                                                          One for all and two for one!
                                                          BOGOF on the opening night of The Three
                                                          To get our family show
                                                          off to a sabre-rattling
                                                          start there is a one off
                                                          deal for one performance
                                                          only. For every ticket
                                                          you buy for
                                                          the performance on Friday 26 February at 7.30, you
                                                          can get one free. So why not take advantage of this
                                                          offer? And please tell all your friends and relations to
                                                          get in quick.
                                                          This offer applies only to tickets bought in advance.
                                                          Where tickets are of different value, the free ticket will
                                                          apply to the lower priced one.

It is time to forget the bleak midwinter of 21st century his energetic, over-sexed daughter Clothilde [Jemima
England and travel back to a summer in 17th century Lane]. Meanwhile while d’Artagnan falls in love with
France to re-live the adventures of The Three the beautiful Constance [Jessica Warshaw],
Musketeers.                                              wardrobe mistress to the Queen, whose elderly
                                                         husband [John Colmans] becomes the Cardinal’s
This is a swash-buckling, tongue-in-cheek romp of
                                                         informer and betrays his wife. Trying to protect the
love and heroics. D’Artagnan [Tim Solomons] is
                                                         queen is her Spanish lady-in-waiting Donna Estefana
determined to become a musketeer like his father. He
                                                         [Jo Eggleton-Rance].
sets off for the court of Louis XIII [Simon Ramsey]
and is befriended by three musketeers, Athos, [Mark As well as faces which will be familiar to you, I am
Overall], Porthos [Jon Musker], Aramis [Owain delighted to welcome many newcomers including
Rose] and his manservant Planchet [Geoff Prutton]. Owain, Carl, Jessica, Mary and Gerry Zierler and a
His quest is to foil the plan of Cardinal Richelieu group of our junior members.
[Rusty Ashman], his sidekick Rochefort [Omer
                                                         There are sword fights galore with musketeers who
Warman] and Milady de Winter [Debbie Lane] to
                                                         double as the Cardinal’s guards fighting our heroes
discredit the Queen [Mary Groom] and expose her
                                                         and dying several times each performance! With a
love for the Duke of Buckingham [Carl Underhill].
                                                         cast of 30 adults and children, dances, adventure,
                                          In    addition romance and a lot of laughs what better way to chase
                                          the            away the blues of the coldest winter for 60 years?
                                                         Performances are on Friday 26, Saturday 27 and
                                          have to fight
                                                         Sunday 28 February and then on Thursday 4, Friday 5
                                          off        the
                                                         and Saturday 6 March. Evening performances are at
                                                         7.30 with matinees on Saturdays and Sunday at 3pm.
                                                         The show is suitable for everyone over the age of 6 so
                                          [David Lane]
                                                         tell all your friends and book your tickets now.
                                          and        the
                                          advances of
                                                                                                    - Terry Rogers
                              t       “a bright
                Twelfth NiTony Newton shining gleam ...”
                   The minute you walked in the joint
     you could tell he was a man of distinction, a real
     big spender, good looking, so refined…
     Andrew Farrer’s set, lolled in (as the audience
     strolled past), by Stiofan Lanigan O'Keeffe as
     Orsino, spoke volumes about power and
     influence and money. The advance publicity
     had given some of the game away - that this was
     a swanky loft apartment in Illyria, aka the
     regenerated docklands of a capital city, and this
     guy had the leisure to indulge his passion. His
     clear obsesssion, without a word being spoken,
     in 25-frames of a massive photographic light
     box, was one single woman (pictures by
     photographer to the wealthy, Peter Bachelor).
     The room was a whiter shade of pale, just like
     him, miserable because his love had failed to
     ignite her passion, and now he, sort of, wanted
     rid of it, angrily switching off his food-of-love
     music just as his mobile rang with news that
     Olivia continued to shut herself away grieving Toby Moore as Andrew Aguecheek, Tim Solomons as Fabian & Mark Overall as Sir Toby Belch
     over her brother's death.
                                                                            the pressing of his suit throughout the play.
     Miranda Solomons and Sarah Overall’s costume ideas were
     cogently expressive. Orsino wore a smart cream-coloured suit,          Olivia, when we saw her in the same unchanging set, gave a
     and looked and acted every inch a spoilt rich boy thanks to            different impression, and, in a beautiful sparkling white dress
     Stiofan's air of snappy grandeur. By contrast, the complaining         and jacket, conveyed haughty disdain for the usual niceties of
     drunks and their allies over at Olivia's house, the same class as      fraternal grief. As long as she was shut away with just her
     he but in a different league, were a grubby bunch in the same          household, what cared she about the black trappings of
     colours but with bulging, stained pockets holding their                mourning, one might think. Well, no-one wears much
     constant supplies of lager. (One tiny caveat: to point up              mourning these days, so no problem there, but there may have
     Orsino’s elegance, I would have appreciated more attention to          been some who would have preferred something darker at the
                                                                            start, for her to sparkle her way out of by the final act. By not
     Raheem Mir as Sebastian & Ashley Gayle as Antonio.                     doing this, the director pointed up how sham the grieving was.
                                                                            This was no “Patience seated on a monument”, just as well
                                                                            that speech wasn’t lingered over by Viola. The dress WAS
                                                                            wonderful. The apartment now became a shrine to her own
                                                                            beauty rather than to the dead sibling. But no matter, the show
                                                                            is about innovation and I don’t cavil too much with that. From
                                                                            the word go Natalie Rowland infused the role with poise,
                                                          Edward Smith as Malvolio & Natalie Rowland as Olivia.          hauteur        and
                                                                                                                         authority, with a
                                                                                                                         soft spot at the
                                                                                                                         outset for only her
                                                                                                                         maid and the fun-
                                                                                                                         time muso Feste.

                                                                                                                        Here then are a
                                                                                                                        moping       self-
                                                                                                                        indulgent man and
                                                                                                                        a    self-obsessed
                                                                                                                        woman,       both
                                                                                                                        almost instantly
                                                                                                                        thrown onto the
                                                                                                                        v e r g e      o f
                                                                                                                        confusion, as into
                                                                                                                        their life comes
                                                                                                                        Viola, played with
                                                                                                                        gamin charm by

Laura Allen as Viola                                     Stiofan Lanigan O'Keeffe as Orsino
Laura Allen. There was little more needed than just                 throughout, I felt).
disappearing her hair into a cap, to turn Laura into a passably     I know there will
luscious teenage boy, a toothsome treat for both of our             be those who think
meritocrats. She needed only to look at Orsino for him to melt      the      original
before hastily controlling his instincts. She made Viola            speeches      about
believable and attractive: there was no doubt about her being       handwriting were
smitten with Orsino, her bewilderment by all the events at          not well respected
Olivia's house, and her increasing affection for Olivia.            by the use of
Shakespeare may have had this born of sympathy, both women          mobiles         and
having lost brothers, but this seemed less important here as it     Blackberries, but
wasn’t pointed up by any textual emphasis.                          get over it - if it
                                                                    had been written
The gang of rogues at Olivia's house were loud, unpleasant          now the Bard
and noisy drunks. Mark Overall gave us a very belligerent,          would have said
aggressively playful Toby Belch, with some lovely business          something slightly
(pockets full of already opened cans of Kronenbourg), Tim           different, and we
Solomons's Fabian was a dozy tosspot, and Toby Moore's              could imagine that.
Andrew Aguecheek was a complete plonker, as they played             It seemed both
with their Wiis and leapt about on the set, horsing around with     appropriate      and
Ali Newell's superb knowing and sympathetic Maria. Braying          funny to me. The
City boys may well be like this – a bit like the college rugger     way       Edward
club I vaguely remember - and I liked the approach. I fear the      jumped      down Ali Newell as Maria & Mark Overall as Sir Toby Belch
bluster sometimes overtook the charm of some of the                 several steps at a
remaining writing. Accepting that a whole lot of Sir Toby’s         time when rushing in angrily was dangerous and emphatic. His
more dilettante bons mots may not have seemed quite so bon          excitement about what he perceived to be a come-on was
for this version, I would have liked a little more clear asperity   wonderful to behold.
at times. I felt we lost the sharp venom of the “cakes and ale”
insult about Malvolio’s being of a lower class. Computer            Christian Radnedge as Feste was a marvel. The songs were
games between themselves were fine but I wondered more              modern, moody and varied, sung with clarity and charm, the
when the light swords were the chosen weapons for the duel,         music devised by himself.           Christian’s role as the
and I also have to say that I thought the ostensible reason for     commentating clown, complicit in Malvolio’s ill treatment,
the challenge to Viola/Cesario completely unclear. Toby,            seemed just right. What else would a guy do if you allowed
Mark and Tim were having a great time as this trio and had          that he was a hanger-on in rich houses? Christian certainly
evidently fallen into a gang role they had played similarly         knows how to speak and emphasise the verse, and he made the
before. At times I think the alliance they all need to have with    lyrics sexier than I had ever heard before.. I liked the piano
the groundlings was a bit forgotten. Their faces poking             key belt he used to almost hold up his jeans, too.
through the photographs in the box tree (nice pun) to watch
Malvolio receive his letter was very funny once. After that I       Viola’s twin Sebastian and his pal Antonio - a double act that
needed them to be appearing more at different points,               wandered through the first half before beginning to contribute
unexpectedly. Celebrity Squares came to mind!                       to the confusion about the twins’ identity - were played
                                                                    confidently and energetically by newcomers Raheem Mir and
Edward Smith’s Malvolio was properly pompous, and then              Ashley Gayle. There was no way that you could see Raheem
properly ridiculous, and at the end quite properly bathed in a      as Laura’s twin except by means of identical clothing, and this
blue light to show him pathetic in the darkness of wherever he      worked. They did not behave the same, in that Laura was the
had been shut in. (David Lane’s lighting was most effective         cute puppy dog with the beautiful eyes at the back of the cage
                                                                                                                   that the plot seemed
                                                                                                                   at times to be much
                                                                                                                   more about Olivia, as
                                                                                                                   aided and abetted by
                                                                                                                   Maria, than about
                                                                                                                   Viola, simply because
                                                                                                                   Natalie and Ali
                                                                                                                   projected       much
                                                                                                                   stronger personas
                                                                                                                   with the full weight of
                                                                                                                   the verse.

                                                                                                              Did I like the props
                                                                                                              team and the ASMs
                                                                                                              coming on stage to
                                                                                                              join in the last verse
                                                                                                              of the wind and rain
                                               Raheem Mir as Sebastian & Ashley Gayle as Antonio              song at the end? Well,
                                                                                                             the play was over, and
                                               while Raheem was I have seen a version where the whole audience sang the
                                               the one with his present laughter song, so get over that too.
                                               paws up to the wire
     Natalie Rowland as Olivia
                                               wagging his entire Director Mary Musker will hear all the gripes that doubtless
     body with excitement. …When asked if he would be ruled by Mel Gibson (Hamlet), Baz Luhrman (Romeo and Juliet) Ken
     Olivia, his “Madam I will” came in an excited surge of Hughes (Joe Macbeth) faced. “I hated every second of it”,
     adolescent hormones. Ashley, who was also the sea captain was one response I heard, but I also heard many other
     wrapped with Viola in heat-retaining blankets after their contrary views, about how fresh and alive it was, and what a
     wreck, had a relaxed but engaged way of getting into the good job Mary had done. Her and Mark Overall’s version of
     character: his captain was caring, and his Antonio was a The Tempest a couple of years ago attracted some such
     streetwise inner city boy. I was with him all the way when he remarks too, and I am sure she will stick to her guns. This
     was puzzled about why the wrong twin couldn’t give his was a very engrossing version, not just because of the
     money back. He upstaged the entire remainder of the cast in innovation and inventiveness, but because of the clarity of the
     Act Five, watching their dialogue that explained the slimmed-down story line (whether slightly changed or not
     confusion away, all agog and with tears and amazement on from the original!), the evident teamwork that got it all
     his face.                                                          energised, and the lovely bright gleam that the whole show
                                                                        demonstrated. This shone through regardless of any of the
     The young actors in particular brought to the show a great minor quibbles I have mentioned. I saw it twice, at dress
     deal of enthusiasm that contributed to its charm and rehearsal and on its last performance, and it had become a
     relevance. They all have some way to go in giving some of polished gem that I believe will entrance a festival audience
     their speeches the full poetic weight of the words they utter, later on.
     but there was never a single doubt about what they were
     meaning and what motivated them. It was perhaps an                                                              - Tony Newton
     inadvertent effect of the abridgement, combined with the
     Christian Radnedge as Feste              actors’ experience,
                                              Tim Solomons as Fabian , Toby Moore as Andrew Aguecheek,& Mark Overall as Sir Toby Belch

                                   News from Staging
                                                                  How does this happen? Nostalgia for the show just gone and
                                                                  not wanting to throw things out (because they might come in
                                                                  useful?), unwillingness to go the dump, keenness to get to
                                                                  the pub, but also indecision: to bin or not to bin? As a guide,
                                                                  the following, all found on the same day last summer, should
                                                                  definitely be binned.
                                                                       Solid paint brush & yucky sponge

                                                                                                        Paint encrusted tray


Staging Committee has said goodbye to Andy Farrer and                     Small,
Jane Sexton but happily has two new members on board,                  strangely
Shirley Ryder and Lucy Kessler, who join the happy band of         shaped pieces
Chris Pleass (chairman), David Lane, Debbie Lane, Frances                  of ply                         Empty cardboard box
Musker, Mary Musker, Tim Solomons and Adam Sutcliffe.
                                                                   From now on all clear-up Sundays will be attended by one
Due to the building works at Henrietta Barnett we have to          or more members of staging committee because they are
move all our costumes out of the school by this summer and         very hard-hearted and like throwing things away. The next
we are very grateful to Tim and Jean Neal who have offered         clear-out day is on 23rd January so hopefully by the time you
their garage to store them in. Activity over the next couple of    read this we’ll be able to get through the door again!
months includes fitting up the new garage, the transfer and
inventory of costumes from the school and, again, the              Michael Berg ran an interesting sound workshop in Novem-
clearing out of our old garage in North Square which is used       ber and we intend to follow up this and last January’s light-
to store staging equipment and props. Once more we are in          ing workshop with one for stage managers, run by someone
the position of not actually being able to see the props,          who’s in the profession. This won’t be going ahead at the
despite the lovely new shelving which was only installed in        beginning of February as mentioned in the latest diary – a
2008.                                                              new date will be advertised as soon as possible.

As evidence see the photo below, which was taken last              The Three Musketeers has a marvellous set which has been
summer while searching for furniture for The Admirable             designed by David Rance. Although David is constructing
Crichton. All the stuff on the ground had to come out before       some of it beforehand help will be needed on the set build-
what we could get anywhere near what we needed. Mary               ing weekend – Friday 19th February from 7pm and Saturday
Musker and Charlotte Lane are putting a brave face on it but       20th and Sunday 21st February from 10am to 5pm. Chris
Jessica Musker is obviously hoping that the mantle of              Pleass is the stage manager so contact him
staging is not inherited and that she will not one day be          ( if you would like to be involved.
responsible for this lot!                                                                                        - Debbie Lane

                                                         Roles on Committees
                                                         Not all readers may be aware that two of our Committees are
                                                         not elected at the AGM. Both Staging Committee and Public-
                                                         ity and Social Committee are open to volunteers who want to
                                                         help plan for shows. If you would like to volunteer, perhaps to
                                                         dip your toe in the water by going to a meeting, please email
                                                         GST via the website and it can be arranged. No one is sucked
                                                         into committee life without giving it a try-out first.

                                                          We realise this may not be your best offer this new year but
                                                         you might just have a bit of a laugh on an evening out. It’s by
                                                         no means all heads-down serious stuff that we talk about!

                                                                                                                - Tony Newton
     REVIEW of                 “a good, fun evening
             B lackadder ordon was had by all...”
                   Lynda G
                                               with his pauses and blank
       "The rehearsed play reading of          expressions.
      Blackadder Goes Forth , performed
      at Golders Green Church Hall on 23       Jon Musker was scarily funny in the
      January, was Vanessa Williams'           role usually performed by Stephen
      directorial debut, and what a fine job   Fry in the TV version
      she did of it! Let’s hope she will do    Edward Smith also made his mark       was not their fault)
      more. The costumes were well             in the role usually played by Hugh
      thought out with matching shirts for                                       My only criticism of the evening was
                                               Laurie on screen.                 the badly positioned table at floor
      all signifying uniforms and the
      staging was minimalist but sufficient.   Geoff Prutton and Owain Rose also level making it difficult to see the cast
                                               delivered some wonderfully funny  when they were seated.
      Toby Moore as Blackadder can             lines.
      always be relied upon to give an                                           A good, fun evening was had by all
      excellent performance and his timing David Lane, Cate Oates, Mary              and a big thank you must go to stage
      was a joy.                           Groom and Malcolm Stern were a            manager Cate Oates, and to David
                                           great backup as the firing squad,         Lane for lighting, sound and props .”
      Omer Warman playing Baldrick had although not much to say (but that
      wonderful comedic timing especially                                                                   - Lynda Gordon

      Twelfth Night – Illyria 2009 - is going to the Isle of Man!
      The GST are once again entering the Manx Easter Festival of Plays at the Gaiety
      Theatre, Douglas. This year our entry will be Twelfth Night, as seen late last year
      Upstairs at the Gatehouse. Prior to their (hopefully shipwreck-free) journey to the
      island, an unchanged cast will present a preview of this modern version of
      Shakespeare’s classic at St Margaret's Church Hall, Finchley, on Wednesday 31
      March. 8pm. Free entrance.

      Unrehearsed playreadings                             Unclaimed photographs and DVDs of shows.
      All right, get out that shiny new                    Some unsold cds of the photographs for Charlie and the
      2010 diary. Now, under 14                            Chocolate Factory have come to light. We tried to get people
      February, 16 May and 15 August                       to come and collect them but evidently some never did. If you
      (all Sundays) enter “7.30pm GST                      would like one, please let Tony Newton know.
                                                           We also have two unsold DVDs of Romeo and Juliet. Contact
      The February offering will be The                    Tony at 020 8888 1851.
      Philanthropist, Christopher
      Hampton’s witty 1970s campus comedy.                 Ten Times Table by Alan Ayckbourn
      Venue is 23 Rotherwick Road, NW11, and if you
      plan to be there, please telephone Kay Graham        Richard Kinder has spent the autumn rehearsing for a play
      beforehand on 020 8455 5080.                         with the Chichester Palyers which was staged in early
                                                           December. Six friends attended the show from GST . Richard
      Stop the press… the February reading will            played trhe Chairman of a committee staging a pageant – no
      now start at 8pm to avoid clashing with the          change there then! –he was a mild but sometimes irascible
      Musketeers rehearsal.                                man striving to keep the team of planners yoked together
                                                           against all odds, and the final scene showed the chaos that
      New Baby!                                            ensued. A funny play that rang bells with many who had known
                                                           committee life!!! Richard assures readers of the newsletter that
      Congratulations to Emma and Chris Pleass on          though this is his second foray into drama in West Sussex (he
      the birth of Jacob Henry. Jacob was born on 21       was also Zoltan Karpathy in My Fair Lady three years ago) isn’t
      October weighing 2.1 kilos and came to his first     the end of his life in the GST.                  - Tony Newton
      play (Our Country's Good) at the age of 10 days.
                        He has since been to see his       MARI I'ANSON'S FINCHLEY SKETCHBOOK
                        Uncle Tim (Solomons) in            £15 (64 pages of pictures A4
                        Twelfth Night and is a regular     format.)
                        at rehearsals for The Three        Mari L’Anson has just published
                        Musketeers for which Emma is       a book in colour of illustrations
                        choreographer. Rumour has it       from her sketchbooks.
                        that he is already booked in for
                        his first dance lesson!  

                    An update on Educating Rita by Mick Orme.
It seems almost unbelievable that, by the time of this
production, Rita will be celebrating her 30th birthday. We
first met her in 1980! Old folk like m'self remember it first
time round as one of the freshest and most delightful plays
of the year, with characters who seemed to spring straight
out of real life. Yet, the despair and disillusionment of the
times can be glimpsed through the bitter sweet humour.
The England of that time seemed to be awash with strikes,
three-day weeks and inflation. The sense many of us had
was that the Britain of the 1950s might have been a rather
better place. From the Beatles to the Sex Pistols was a long
journey into a kind of scruffy, feeble self-denial, marked
graphically by the suicide of one of punk's leading lights,
Sid Vicious. As this example showed, the 'permissive'
drug culture had brought in its train new sufferings to the
working class.

So it was greatly to the credit of its - then! - young writer
that Rita set out to challenge this rather dismal world. No-
one who saw the play when it first came out will ever
forget its fresh attack. For it dared to show characters
overcoming their imposed limitations in an enthusiastic and
eager way. They were unwilling to be dragged down by the
invitation to give up. This new writer, Willy Russell, could
build characters who really captured our imaginations,
making us laugh and cry at the same time. His people, solid
working class 'types', are bloodied but unbowed by their
lives. At the same time, they are able to get inside our
hearts and twist the strings. His success was immediate.

From now on, Susan White is to be known as 'Rita', for
only this name will do for someone who wants to study
                                                                poetry which he longs to write, and which will give his life
Eng Lit at the local university. She has purloined the name
                                                                meaning again. And with the blocking of his creativity,
from Rita Mae Brown, her favourite author, writer of
                                                                Rita's arrival is a breath of fresh air. In fact, his aims right
Rubyfruit Jungle. And she has had her fill of what romantic
                                                                now are just to enjoy a jar or seven in the boozer, after he's
sociology calls 'working class culture'. Her first-hand
                                                                quickly shown his 'appalling' students the door. Life has
experience of this 'culture' is all drugs and burnt out
                                                                lost its taste for him, but Rita's is just beginning. It is her
houses. Rita, we feel, is able to bounce back from any
                                                                irrepressible joy and creativity which Frank misses so
adversity. She never engages in the kind of soul-searching
                                                                much in his own life. She reminds him of his own
morbidity which just leaves you feeling depressed and
                                                                mortality. Forcefully, she shows him how much time he
irritated at the end of an evening. From the moment she
                                                                has lost, and how much there is to do in the short time he
appears, we are enchanted by her almost fairy-tale like
                                                                has left. And, although she thinks she needs him more than
naivety, her utter incomprehension of her own talents, and
                                                                he needs her, in truth it is the other way around...
her ability to charm.
                                                                Educating Rita is still terrifically enjoyable, a wonderful
Before the play has started, Rita is aware of the
                                                                entertainment. It is simply Rita's refusal to be cowed or
government's building programme for universities, colleges
                                                                intimidated by forces and people she does not – yet!-
and polytechnics, with more places for more students than
                                                                understand or control which adds to the hilarity of her
at any time in history. And she knows, too, this means she,
                                                                malapropisms, neologisms, faux pas and all the rest of her
and millions more like her, have at long last an open door
                                                                wonderful dialogue. Yet despite her hard won victory, at
to a better life. Those who, like her, all-too-often saw only
                                                                the end we cannot forget Frank, for whom rescue by Rita
the dole or drudgery stretching ahead forever would now
                                                                has come too late in life. It is obvious he is deeply in love
dare to dream... and Rita's dreams are more vivid and
                                                                with her. Yet he can do nothing about it for all the usual
powerful than those of many others.
                                                                reasons – age, position and sheer panic about the
Frank, her teacher, has lost his dreams. Perhaps once, a        consequences. In the end, the play tells us, and Frank, to
long way back, he was a working class/grammar school            sort it out ourselves.
boy filled with idealistic aims. But, since then, he has all
                                                                 Rita will be played by Fran Trewin and Frank by Adam
too readily digested the language of the academy, full of
'posh' words like 'metaphor' and 'objective' and 'dramatic
irony'. This has effectively sterilised his ability to write the                                            - Mick Orme

                  Jean Dyson 1914 – 2009 – a reflection by Terry Rogers
      It is with great sadness I have to report the passing ofelegant actress who made a strong impact”. I
      one of our most dedicated, hard-working and lovable     couldn’t have put it better myself. She was the
      members. Jean Dyson was born and bred in the            epitome of a good actress. She was assiduous in her
      Garden Suburb and was a real pillar of the              attendance. She knew her lines, and she knew how
      community. She was a pupil at Henrietta Barnett         to deliver them clearly and with feeling. She got under
      School and had a lifelong association with the school,  the skin of the characters she played and always
      becoming secretary to the headmistress and later,       asked intelligent questions of interpretation. Her
      chair of the Governors.                                 presence at rehearsals also had a stabilizing effect on
                                                              others for which I was grateful. I often picked her up
      She met her future husband Jimmy through the to take her to rehearsals and gained an interesting
      dramatic society of which her parents were founder insight into her performance development. I think I
      members. She became a Quaker and married Jimmy learned more from her than she did from me.
      in the Friends’ Meeting House in North Square – a
      venue well-known to us for auditions, rehearsals and In 2006 Jean could no longer live independently and
      AGMs. Both were involved in productions, Jean moved to Abbeyfield Care Home in Reading near to
      preferring the acting side to her husband’s backstage Gill. Her memory began to fade but she could recall
      interests. They served on many committees with events of times long past. She received a copy of the
      enthusiasm, commitment and determination. Their Centenary Calendar, for example, and flicking
      interest in local drama was inherited by their through the pictures, instantly recognised herself
      daughters Gill and Bridget and granddaughter Sarah playing
      Thorp who all became involved from an early age.        Sigrid the
      Jean played so many parts it is difficult to know which from the
      were her favourites. But in the outdoor production of 1936
      As You Like It [see picture] she played Celia to Nora production!
      Packer’s Rosalind in a production in which the
      weather played a familiar unhelpful role.           My She died
      memories of Jean stretch way back to 1962 when I peacefully
      joined the dramatic society as a youth. I had the on
      privilege of directing her on two occasions – Forty November
      Years On and Children’s Hour [see picture] for which 3rd at the
      she received a press review which said she was “an age of 95.

          Edited by Vanessa Williams - Tel 020 8455 4810                   email -
                           Next Newsletter: March 2010 – with a review of the winter show
                                            and further details of events.
                          Letters and contributions please. Family news welcome.

A letter from John Enderby...

                               GST HUNDRED CLUB
                  Join the 100 Club now. Pick a vacant number and pay £10 a number.

                             All proceeds go towards The Little Hut in the Wood.

                  All repairs and security for the Little Hut are covered by the Hundred Club.

                   Prizes are as follows: 11 Prizes £15 - 11 Prizes £10 - 10 Prizes £5

At the AGM, the following prizes will be drawn: 1 Prize of £100 - 1 Prize of £50 - 1 Prize of

When we have all the numbers sold, we will start to make the draw so hurry and send me your pre-
         ferred numbers. Should the number/s you choose have already been taken,
                              I shall select the nearest number.
1    Malcolm Stern             26                        51                      76   Tim Messom
2    Catherine Oates           27 Mavis Forney           52                      77
3    Richard Kinder            28                        53 Michael Berg         78   Sonia Woolf
4                              29 Mo Colmans             54 Mavis Forney         79
5    Jane Rogers               30 Richard Kinder         55 Robert Jayes         80   Kay Graham
6                              31                        56                      81   Ashok Gosh
7    John Woolf                32 Miriam Clark           57 Pam Walker           82   John Enderby
8    Vanessa Williams          33                        58                      83
9    Ros Berg                  34 Tim Messom             59 Terry Rogers         84   Tamar Witztum
10 Mrs M.O.Kinder              35                        60                      85
11 Debbie Lane                 36 Kay Graham             61                      86   Joyce Jayes
12                             37                        62 Mavis Forney         87
13 Pam Walker                  38 Mr & Mrs Oates         63 Julia Brook          88   Charlotte Lane
14 Mary Groom                  39                        64 Tony Newton          89
15 Miriam Clark                40 Fred Griessen          65 Diana Bromley        90   Angela Cox
16                             41 Daphna Witztum         66                      91
17 Fred Griessen               42                        67                      92   Miriam Clark
18 Tony Newton                 43 Amos Witztum           68 Jeanne Solomons      93
19 Omer Warman                 44                        69 Mo Colmans           94
20                             45 David Lane             70                      95   John Dansey
21 Miriam Clark                46                        71 Adam Sutcliffe       96   Catherine Oates
22 Irene Rose                  47 Angela Cox             72                      97   Helen Stern
23                             48                        73                      98
24 Joan Lawrence               49                        74                      99

25 Jemima Lane                 50                        75                      100 Roger Rose

                              Choose as many numbers as you wish
Send your cheque made payable to GST to:
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