Archive for January 2020

NODA Review – Jack And The Beanstalk

NODA South-East Representative, Jon Fox, reviews the recent production of Jack And The Beanstalk by The Nomads at The Nomad Theatre in Surrey (find us).

This well known and oft-performed pantomime has all the essential elements so loved and so familiar to British audiences.  The charismatic but hard-pressed Dame, the daft son, the essential baddie and incompetent baddie double act and the all-essential eventual triumph of good over evil.  And glory be, in this innovative production, a welcome but increasingly rare in amateur panto, two-person skin act.

Daisy the cow made a major contribution to this show and two young people, Andrea Almazán and Oli Newhall, succeeded in giving Daisy a distinct and engaging personality of her own. She squealed, rather than mooed, which I found amusing. This particular script had some very witty lines. I especially liked “longer than a Government decision”, very apt right now. I also much liked the fact that each person in the show was given an actual named character which, I suggest is especially important and beneficial to the young and very young players.

Visionary director Andrew Hamel-Cooke is well known for his fresh ideas and his keen and skilful encouragement of young players.  Some in this production had not acted in panto before, even some of the adults, but had their programme notes not said so, no one would have guessed.

Millie Jane Franks made a fine principal boy, Jack Pott – I dislike the growing trend for a male to play principal boy – and a jolly good job she made of it, thigh-slapping with the best of them, with stage presence to spare! 

John Want was a highly suitable Dame Pott, likeable, real vulnerability, but with an eye on the main chance.

Adam Coburn was a fine Grotweasel, scary, hideously made up (in other words “good” and hugely watchable.    

A lovely touch was the double fairy act Fairy Greatgodmother and Fairy Godmother on “work experience”.  Margaret Simmons and Alice Baron, respectively, played them for all they were worth.    

 

 

Sasha Plaché DeVilliers was an excellent Jill, elegant, talented and a top all-round performer. Ella Kay made Silly Sally into something really special.   She was superbly charismatic and a real hit!   Graham Botterill was an excellent squire.  Clearly a highly experienced performer and how it showed.

The twerp baddie duo were Dogbreath and Hairball, played by Sophie Johnstone and Matthew Weaver respectively, providing great comedy.

 

Musical Director James Marr, with his small combo, provided good musical support and the singing was generally good or adequate, with one or two quality singing voices. Sasha and Andrea jointly choreographed and were able to use the many young and spirited performers in particular to good effect. Costumes by Jenny Hasted and Ella Kay were generally good, though I would have preferred far more vivid panto colours on chorus members. There were a little too many pastel shades ideally. The dialogue at times lacked pace and cues were not always picked up quickly enough.  The set was well thought out and constructed by The Tuesday Crew – presumably in-house. Good sound effects and lighting, by Clive Vinall on sound and Tony and Dee Bowdery on lighting, added lustre to this engaging production.

I liked a number of the essential traditional panto requirements such as topical and local gags, well put over too I thought, and humorous stage set signs such as “Ample Bottom, 75 inches” with Fore Sale indicating the bailiffs on the Dame’s Cottage. The four candle seller was an inspired touch. I loved the giant and the voice, courtesy of Murray Stephen and the Act Two Ice setting was highly effective. Lots of visual plusses then!

 

A word for the excellent programme with welcome CVs for all members. For the younger members, in particular, it is an excellent idea to make each one a named character with a chance to tell us something individually. Overall, this was an enjoyable production and an undoubted success.  A few nitpicks here and there did not detract from what was a really well put-over production.

Jon Fox – NODA South-East Representative

The Nomads are members of NODA, which has a membership of 2500 amateur theatre groups and 3000 individual enthusiasts throughout the UK, staging musicals, operas, plays, concerts and pantomimes in a wide variety of performing venues, ranging from the country’s leading professional theatres to tiny village halls.

About our reviews

All our reviews are written independently and shared with The Nomads after the production. Please bear with us while we update this page… more coming soon!

Alice In Wonderland

Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Adapted and Directed by Graham Botterill

Tuesday 15th to Saturday 19th December at 7:30, matinee Saturday 19th at 2:30

Tickets: adults £16, children/students £10.

This is a new adaptation of this wonderful children’s tale by the NODA award-winning team.

Book online now – BOX OFFICE – or call 01483 284747.

History For Three and Blue Remembered Hills

Two one-act plays

Tuesday 20th to Saturday 24th October at 7:30

Tickets: adults £14, children/students £12.

History For Three by Leo Baker

Director to be announced

June 4th, 1940: Celie lives with her parents on the Kent coast. In the night they’ve heard the sound of guns. Celie’s father went out the previous night on a mysterious errand and hasn’t returned. Celie’s husband is with the army in France; she’s dreamt that the postman calls with a telegram from the War Office…

Blue Remembered Hills by Dennis Potter

Directed by Jackie Shearer

This deceptively simple tale relates the activities of seven English children played by adults on a summer afternoon during World War II.

Book online now – BOX OFFICE – or call 01483 284747.

The Taming Of The Shrew

The Taming Of The Shrew by William Shakespeare

Directed by Andrew Hamel-Cooke

Tuesday 22nd to Saturday 26th September at 7:30

Tickets: adults £14, children/students £10.

Lucentio loves Bianca but cannot court her until her shrewish older sister Katherina marries. The eccentric Petruccio marries the reluctant Katherina and uses a number of tactics to render her an obedient wife. Lucentio then marries Bianca. Who will be the most obedient wife? 

Book online now – BOX OFFICE – or call 01483 284747.

Show by The Nomes

Show by The Nomes

To be announced

Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th July at 7:00, Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th July at 2:00

Tickets: adults £10, children/students £7.

Book online now – BOX OFFICE – or call 01483 284747.

My Second Best Bed and Two Sisters

The Nomads in The Studio

Two one-act plays

Tuesday 16th to Saturday 20th June at 7:45

Tickets: adults £12, children/students £12.

My Second Best Bed by Barry Syder

Directed by Moyra Brookes

It’s generally believed Shakespeare cared little for his wife which was endorsed by his strange bequest to her, of his second-best bed. This delightful piece makes one reconsider. 

Two Sisters by Caroline Harding

Director to be announced

Sisters Anya and Sonia are goaded into remembering things they’d rather forget, upon discovering an empty coffin in Anya’s lodgings. Twenty-five years before, they both fell in love with the same man. The coffin prompts Anya to tell how, before he died, she tried to protect Sonia from discovering the truth about André…

Book online now – BOX OFFICE – or call 01483 284747.

Princess Ida – in association with BLOS

In association with Bookham Light Operatic Society

Princess Ida by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan

Directed by Jackie Shearer, Musical Director Roger Wilman, Choreographer Gill Eve

Wednesday 20th to Saturday 23rd May at 7:30, matinee on Saturday 23rd at 2:30

Tickets: adults £16, children/students £12.

Princess Ida founds a women’s university and teaches that women are superior to men and should rule in their stead. The discovery of a disguised prince at the university to whom she had been married in infancy results in a war between the sexes.

Book online now – BOX OFFICE – or call 01483 284747.

Honeymoon Suite

Honeymoon Suite by Tony Layton

Directed by Peter Cornish

Tuesday 21st to Saturday 25th April at 7:30

Tickets: adults £14, children/students £10.

Three couples occupy the honeymoon suite of a country hotel. Couple 1: A middle-aged rocker and his devoted PA. Couple 2: A northern lass and a barrow boy from Essex. Couple 3: A suave middle-aged \Romeo’ and an astute, attractive middle-aged woman. Francis, the porter, observes nothing surprises him. The same can’t be said of his guests as they each find out something surprising about their partner. 

Book online now – BOX OFFICE – or call 01483 284747.

Cheshire Cats

The Nomads in The Studio

Cheshire Cats by Gail Young

Directed by Marion Millinger

Tuesday 17th to Saturday 21st March at 7:45

Tickets: adults £12, children/students £10.

Grown women, aching feet and heaving bosoms! Follow the team as they speedwalk their way to fundraising success in the London Moonwalk. A cross between a girls night out and a real mission to support a cause close to many hearts, with plenty of laughs and a few tears along the way .

Book online now – BOX OFFICE – or call 01483 284747.

Our 2020 shows

THE HOLLOW

By Agatha Christie

Directed by Murray Stephen

Tuesday 18 to Saturday 22 February at 7.30pm

Tickets: adults £14, children/students £10

A game of romantic follow the leader explodes into murder one weekend at The Hollow. Dr Cristow, a Harley Street lothario, is at the centre of the trouble when assembled in one place, are his wife Gerda, his mistress Henrietta and his former lover, Veronica. Also visiting are Edward and Midge. When Cristow is shot dead, nearly everyone has a motive.

THE NOMADS IN THE STUDIO

CHESHIRE CATS

By Gail Young

Directed by Marion Millinger

Tuesday 17 to Saturday 21 March at 7.45pm

Tickets: adults £12, children/students £10, Grown women, aching feet and heaving bosoms! Follow the Cheshire Cats team as they speedwalk their way to fundraising success in the London Moonwalk. Cheshire Cats is a cross between a girls night out and a real mission to support a cause close to many hearts, with plenty of laughs and a few tears along the way

HONEYMOON SUITE

By Tony Layton

Directed by Peter Cornish

Tuesday 21 to Saturday 25 April at 7.30pm

Tickets: adults £14, children/students £10,

Three couples occupy the honeymoon suite of a country hotel. Couple 1: Jeff a middle-aged rocker and his devoted and quick-witted PA. Couple 2: Gaynor a northern lass and Sam a barrow boy from Essex. Couple 3: Enrico, a suave middle-aged romeo and Paula an astute, attractive middle-aged woman. Francis, the porter has seen it all before, nothing surprises him. The same can’t be said of his guests as they each find out something surprising about their partner.

IN ASSOCIATION WITH BOOKHAM LIGHT OPERATIC SOCIETY

PRINCESS IDA

By W.S Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan

Directed by Jackie Shearer, Musical Director Roger Wilman, Choreographer Gill Eve Wednesday 20 to Saturday 23 May at 7.30pm

Matinee on Saturday 23 at 2.30pm

Tickets: adults £16, children/students £12

Princess Ida founds a women’s university and teaches that women are superior to men and should rule in their stead. The discovery of a disguised prince at the university to whom she had been married in infancy results in a war between the sexes

THE NOMADS IN THE STUDIO: TWO ONE-ACT PLAYS

MY SECOND BEST BED

By Barry Syder

Directed by Moyra Brookes

Tuesday 16 to Saturday 20 June at 7.45pm, Tickets: adults £12, children/students £10

It’s generally believed Shakespeare cared little for his wife which was endorsed by his strange bequest to her, of his second-best bed. This delightful piece makes one reconsider.

TWO SISTERS

By Caroline Harding

Directed by TBC

Tuesday 16 to Saturday 20 June at 7.45pm

Tickets: adults £12, children/students £10

Set in a village in 1880’s Russia, Anya and Sonia are goaded into remembering things they’d rather forget from their early life, upon discovering an empty coffin in Anya’s lodgings. Twenty-five years before, they both fell in love with the same man. The coffin acts as a catalyst to Anya as she tells how, before he died, she tried to protect Sonia from discovering the truth about André……..

TBA: SHOW BY THE NOMES

Presented by The Nomes

Friday 3 and Saturday 4 July at 7pm

Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 July at 2pm

Tickets: adults £10, children/students £7

PLAY IN A WEEK

Directed by Brandon McGuire

Saturday 1 August and Sunday 2 August at 2.30pm and Saturday 1 August at 7.30 Tickets: £13

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Andrew Hamel-Cooke

Tuesday 22 to Saturday 26 September at 7.30pm

Tickets: adults £14, children/students £12

Lucentio loves Bianca but cannot court her until her shrewish older sister Katherina marries. The eccentric Petruccio marries the reluctant Katherina and uses a number of tactics to render her an obedient wife. Lucentio then marries Bianca and, in a contest at the end, Katherina proves to be the most obedient wife.

TWO ONE-ACT PLAYS

HISTORY FOR THREE

By Leo Baker

Directed by TBC

Tuesday 20 to Saturday 24 October at 7.30pm

Tickets: adults £14, children/students £12,

It is June 4th, 1940. Celie lives with her parents on the Kent coast. In the night they have heard the sound of guns.. Celie’s father went out the previous night on a mysterious errand and hasn’t returned. Celie’s husband Jim is with the army in France; she has dreamed that the postman calls with a telegram from the War Office……..

BLUE REMEMBERED HILLS

By Dennis Potter

Directed by Jackie Shearer

Tuesday 20 to Saturday 24 October at 7.30pm

Tickets: adults £14, children/students £12

This deceptively simple tale relates the activities of seven English children played by adults on a summer afternoon during World War II.

THE NOMADS IN THE STUDIO

SHOW TO BE CONFIRMED

Directed by Elaine Burns

Tuesday 10 to Saturday 14 November at 7.45pm

Tickets: adults £12, students/children £10

ALICE IN WONDERLAND

By Lewis Carroll

Adapted and Directed by Graham Botterill

Tuesday 15 to Saturday 19 December at 7.30pm, matinee Saturday 19 at 2.30pm

Tickets: adults £16, children/students £10

This is a new adaptation of this wonderful children’s tale by the Noda Award-winning team.

Club Night – 8th February

Our next Club Night will be on 8th February at 7pm. We will have all the usual fun including a raffle, Nomad Club Draw and a selection of nibbles, while you have a chance to catch up on what has happened throughout our Autumn period. (Remember there are also members prices at the bar)

We will have an excerpt from a forthcoming show and you will be able to buy your tickets. We will also be providing more information on our shows for 2020.

Looking forward to seeing you there

Please RSVP to [email protected] or Facebook letting us know if you are coming along so we can plan for food & drink.

The Hollow

The Hollow by Agatha Christie

Directed by Murray Stephen

Tuesday 18th to Saturday 22nd February at 7:30

Tickets: adults £14, children/students £10.

A game of romantic follow the leader explodes into murder one weekend at The Hollow. Dr Cristow, a Harley Street lothario, is at the centre of the trouble when assembled in one place, are his wife Gerda, his mistress Henrietta and his former lover, Veronica. Also visiting are Edward and Midge. When Cristow is shot dead, nearly everyone has a motive.

Book online now – BOX OFFICE – or call 01483 284747.

The Hollow was published in 1946 as a book featuring Hercule Poirot. When it was turned into a play in 1951 the part of Poirot was omitted as Agatha Christie felt that Poirot ruined the book! The detectives names were also changed for the play. It was turned into a TV movie in 2004 starring David Suchet as Poirot. This adaptation differed from the play in several ways including the denouement at the end.

It was originally premiered at the Arts Theatre Cambridge on 10/2/51. Following a tour, it transferred to The Fortune Theatre London on 7/6/51 and finally transferred to The Ambassadors Theatre London on 8/10/51 where it ran for 11 months (376 performances). The reviewer from The Times described it as “Ingenious entertainment”