Gym & Tonic
By John Godber
Directed by Andrew Hamel-Cooke and Moyra Brookes
5th, 6th, 8th, and 9th March at 7:30
Tickets: adults £14, students £10 (adults £12 on Tuesday 5th)
Don and Shirley Weston have come to the Scardale Hall Health Hydro to relax, pamper themselves and just possible rescue their ailing marriage. Don’s experiences with exercise and therapy are far from positive and the rifts in the marriage widen as his mid-life crisis becomes more and more evident, and moments of reconciliation do little to improve the situation!
BOOK NOW – call box office 01483 284747 or www.nomadtheatre.com/book-now
The Nomads will be presenting Funny Money in April 2019, directed by Jeff Wightwick.
- Performance dates: 9-13 April 2019
- Rehearsal days: TBC
Good friends Betty and Vic arrive for Henry’s birthday dinner and Jean is frantic because Henry is late. When he eventually arrives, he wants to emigrate immediately, and with good reason: the briefcase he accidentally picked up on the Underground is stuffed with £735,000 – not his sandwiches! Hilarious innuendo and cruelly funny turns of fate ensue as the two couples assume various identities in their battle to keep the money.
Auditions will be held on Monday 14th and Wednesday 16th January at 7:30pm, to get involved please contact: Jeff Wightwick, 01483 280085 / [email protected]
- Jean Perkins – a pretty but ordinary woman in her forties
- Henry Perkins – an insignificant man in his early fifties
- Bill – a middle-aged London taxi driver of spirit
- Davenport – (police officer) a sparse, middle-aged man with a knowing glint in his eye
- Slater – (police officer) a solicitous and kindly soul, until provoked
- Betty Johnson – a buxom and cheerful woman in her late forties
- Vic Johnson – a brash man with feet of clay
- Passer-by – a large man
Audition pieces can be viewed…
By John Godber & Jane Thornton.
Directed by Hayley Clines.
Wednesday 23rd to Saturday 26th January at 7.45pm in the Studio.
Bouncers is set in and around Flamingo Joe’s – a nightclub, with the action focusing on the exploits of the four doormen and their customers. The play creates a vivid picture of the relentless antics of nightlife with its raw energy, flashing disco lights and raucous lads and lasses out on the town. The quartet of actors switch with pin-sharp precision from charismatic doormen to giggling girls to lads on the lash and back again.
Four decades after John Godber’s Bouncers was first staged at the Fringe it remains one of the most popular and performed comedies.
Tickets: adults £12, students £10
Box office: 01483 284747 – or Book Online
By Frank Vickery
12-15 September 2018
Directed by Michael Ayres
“A summer evening’s barbecue with a few friends in a leafy part of Surrey. A pleasant few hours of small talk, laughter and friendly conversation. An idyllic scenario. Yet not in the world of Frank Vickery’s Trivial Pursuits where the underhand maneuvering, petty intrigue, and egos of a small Amateur Dramatic society are hilariously laid bare over two hours.
The director Michael Ayres (also on stage relishing the part of the society’s camp luvvie, Teddy), gathered a group of experienced and talented actors to produce this comedy on The Nomads’ small Studio stage. The restricted space meant the short conversational encounters between the characters could be better handled than in the larger auditorium.
Nick, played confidently by Stuart Tomkins, is the director of the fictional Ockham Operatic Society and the annual barbecue is where he announces the next season’s show. The fact that he cannot get the barbecue to light gives the audience a clue as to the way the evening is going to go – badly!
The first act skilfully established the characters and the fraught situation. What show would Nick announce? Could he be influenced by blackmail, bribery or other means into putting on a favourite of any one of four of the group?
Roz, Nick’s organised and down to earth wife holds the group together in an unflappable way until she realises Nick has been using his directorial influence too intimately with the company’s youngest female recruit. Played by Cheryl Chamberlain, recently seen in Love Me Slender, this was another strong performance. Her sister Joyce, once talented but now a bit of a lush, was played with clear enjoyment by a new Nomad, Fiona Whitehead.
The humourless Mona was wonderfully played as a bit of a diva by Juliana Anderiesz, appearing for the first time on the Nomad stage. The part of the society’s treasurer who knows the truth of the dire financial situation the company is in was ably realised by Elaine Burns whilst the part of the depressive Derek was played as an emotional weakling by Paul Asher. His (soon to be ex), wife Deidre was acted with evident delight in the part by the ever-reliable Moyra Brookes and in the exchanges between her and the pathetic Derek we saw all the impatience of an exasperated wife. Deidre’s escort for the evening, the television obsessed Eddie was played superbly by Iain Macfarlane obviously enjoying the potential for humour in the character.
In the role of the not-quite ingenue Jessica was Alannah Winn-Taylor, a young veteran of the Nomads. She played the part with spark and energy.
Due in no small part to Frank Vickery’s script there were gales of laughter from the audience throughout the show. It ought to be noted that laughs only come off the page when there is an experienced cast who know where the laughs are and how to maintain the pace to maximise impact.
Well done to all the actors.
Movement around the small set was fluid, and no-one bumped into the furniture or each other. The programme tells me the ‘Tuesday Crew’ was responsible for the set design and build. Whoever and how many they are, they did a first-rate job of constructing a small suburban garden. Plaudits are due also to the lighting crew who created the evening light ambiance and to the wardrobe mistress who dressed the cast in clothes reminiscent of that carefree decade of thirty-some years ago.”
By Frank Vickery
Directed by Michael Ayres
Wednesday 12 to Saturday 15 September at 7.45pm
Tickets: adults £12, children/students £10
At the summer meeting of the local am dram society, next season’s play is to be announced. The society’s business manager, Nick, runs into trouble, having promised a different show and the plum roles to four different people.
In this comedic look at the world of ‘am-dram’, the audience may find the scenarios of hidden agendas, scores to be settled and all the behind-the-scenes shenanigans which go into a production, a little familiar.
All in all, this play will make you chuckle and chortle, perhaps even raise the odd wry eyebrow or groan! Now, does anyone know how to light a barbecue properly?
A comedic look at the world of amateur dramatics!
- Derek – Paul Asher
The Nomads will be presenting Trivial Pursuits by Frank Vickery in September 2018, directed by Michael Ayres (Artistic Director, The Nomads).
- Performance dates: 12-15 September 2018 at 7:45pm
- Rehearsal days: Tuesday and Thursday
- Tuesday 31 July – 7:30
- Thursday 2 August – 7:30
- Sunday 5 August – 1:00
Auditions will be held in the Bob King room at The Nomad Theatre, Bishopsmead Parade, East Horsley, Leatherhead, Surrey KT24 6RT (click here)
If you are interested in auditioning and/or would like further information, please email us to let us know on [email protected]
Characters (playing ages are flexible):
Teddy – Often insensitive and selfish, he sees himself as a joker. Very friendly with Joyce.
Joyce – Roz’ sister. Once talented and well-meaning; a lush, she gets drunk during the play.
Mona – the choreographer. With no real sense of humour, she takes herself very seriously and has a hard edge. Maybe fancied Teddy in the past, but was ignored. Bitter?
Pearl – the Treasurer. Sensible and straightforward.
Roz – Nick’s wife and Joyce’s sister; the sensible, organised person behind Nick’s power.
Jessica – pretty and younger than the other members.
Derek – Boring and pathetic, but harmless. His divorce from Deirdre is about to be finalised, but he is missing her and is miserable without her. He has been involved with the Operatic Society through Deirdre.
- Nick – Roz’ husband. The society Business Manager. He feels pressured from all sides, and is in a no-win situation, but does find opportunities to get something positive out of it, however. Fancies Jessica.
- Deirdre – happy to be getting divorced from Derek, as she feels she can start living life now.
- Eddie – not part of the society, he has tagged along with Deirdre. His only interest is television.
Love Me Slender
By Vanessa Brooks
Directed by Andrew Hamel-Cooke
Tuesday 10th to Saturday 14th July at 7.30pm
Tickets: adults £14, students £10
Box office: 01483 284747 or book online
A perceptive and comedic look at a modern issue… Siobhan, the ‘Achiever of the Year’ inspires her hopeful new recruits in the Slim For Life dieting club. Siobhan has lost seven stone, found a new self, a fulfilling job and a wonderful husband. Now, she encourages others to achieve the same.
These are seven very contrasting women – Siobhan, the leader of the group and a total control freak, who struts around the stage in her ‘Achiever of the Year’ banner and her ever faithful Kelly, quiet and deep and heading for disaster from the moment the play opens. Claudette the Liverpudlian, with an obsession for food, attractive, confident and loud, who is the exact opposite of Rosie, the dowdy and lank-haired loser. There is Lucinda, who feels far more at home with a large gin and tonic, is sophisticated , smart and could organise any office in the city. Celia is a jolly hockey sticks lady and everybody’s friend with a perfect marriage, or so we are lead to believe, initially, and Jean who is being ripped off by Siobhan and cannot afford to be.
- Siobhan – Moyra Brookes
- Claudette – Cheryl Chamberlain
- Rosie – Laura Spalding
- Lucinda – Sarah Gage
- Celia – Susan Monteregge
- Jean – Nikky Kirkup
- Kelly – Emily Ingold
Theatre reviewer, Polly, reviews Move Over Mrs Markham
“The very mention of the name Ray Cooney brings a smile to the face of anyone who has any experience of theatre. It was with such expectation that we took our seats at the Nomad Theatre on Thursday evening. We were not disappointed.
The opening musical theme prepared us for what was to come. The curtain rose on a wonderful set which evoked the period to a T. The ubiquitous Tretchikoff’s “Green Lady” the “Picasso” etc, sealed the moment in British fashion. The attention to detail in all Nomad sets is something to be
very proud of. It gives all the shows a feeling of professionalism and this set was “out there” with the best, It was detailed and beautifully observed.
The story of the very average couple whose flat becomes the focus of an hilarious tangle of events is laid out in the first act. The opening moments were, almost of necessity, a little slow and in no way prepared us for the absolute mayhem of what was to come in Act 2!!
We first met Mrs Markham (Nikky Kirkup) who was wearing a very snug fitting dress. She gave us a well drawn character of a very reasonable, supportive wife who was leading a very quiet,”normal” and blameless life. Her husband (Matt Weaver) was the very essence of the hard working, committed, slightly boring “grey man” or was it perhaps John Major making a surprise visit? Together they presented the face of an ordered married life. Fortunately for us, their employees, in the shape of the Interior Designer, the maid and their friends, were less ordered.
Nathan Farrell as Alistair Spenlow was excellent His presentation of a slightly camp but “up for it any time with any lady” was hilarious and very nicely balanced. His entry in a tangle of curtain fabric seemed like a metaphor for what was to come. I think this is the very best performance I have ever seen from Nathan. His interaction with the lovely Sylvie (Emily Tietz) was delightful.
Together they created some very funny moments and some moments of the nearest thing to true romance that we got in the play. She was particularly effective in Act 2, appearing as she did, in a very pretty lemon ‘shortie’ nightie. Just the kind of lady for an Interior Designer, attractive in every way.
Vykky Mash as Linda Lodge was a delight. Her frothy and giggly, ‘teetering on high heels’ sort of character was beautifully sustained. (I once knew a young student just like that.) She kept me giggling with every appearance. Her interplay with Mrs Markham was always excellently fluent,
well projected and fluent. They played well against one another. Always believable and clear.
Linda’s husband, Henry Lodge (Simon Openshaw) cut a very urbane figure in his elegant blazer. He presented the very epitome of the ‘English chappie’; who likes a ‘bit of fun’ and fun he had galore. His delighting in ‘entertaining’ ladies served as a wonderful foil to his more sober partner, Philip Markham. Simon sustained this role with absolute conviction and confidence throughout. An excellent portrait of one of the key characters.
We had to wait until Act two to meet the other three characters. Olive Harriet Smythe was wonderfully well portrayed by Judy Abbott. This was a sensitively thought out character, played with absolute confidence and commitment. It was fortunate that she was such a very talented actor because her character was the pivot on which everything in Act 2 relied. I think we have all read about characters such as this, but it was wonderful to “meet” the real thing. It is a pity that the script did not allow us a moment with any of her canine friends. What fun that would have been!
We learn in Act one that Linda was trying to wreak revenge on her straying husband by having a little ‘dalliance’ with Walter Pangbourne, (Iain MacFarlane). This sober, well at least for his first entry, gentleman, complete with bowler hat, rolled umbrella and bunch of flowers contributed wonderfully to the whole chaos of the second act. He seemed unphased by anything that was thrown at him even having to adjourn to the office below the flat for his bit of “slap and tickle “ with Linda. This was a smallish role, but he created a real, comic character with every entrance and utterance.
That leaves us with Miss Wilkinson (Samantha Potten). Her first entry wearing rather forbidding glasses gave no hint of the lithe and foxy lady she became once the glasses were off. Again this was almost nothing much more that a cameo role but she made a most wonderful job of it. Her discreet but suggestive Helen Mirren-like strip was beautifully and bravely handled. She added considerably to the comic progress of the piece and her clear diction and projection ensured that
her performance was well noted.
This was a wonderfully funny piece of excellent ensemble playing. There were some very glorious moments of comic “business”. The bra strap being entangled in Philip Markham’s wrist, for example as he tried to thread the black bra through the louvered bedroom door, and the scene where “goosing’” was explained, were side-splittigly funny. As with the whole piece, the timing was first rate and the music and the lighting did their bit in creating the whole performance. Farce is a
hugely difficult format, but here is was, flowing along with consummate ease.
This is a slightly dated piece in the sense that it deals in a rather non-PC way with the issue of homosexuality. Although is was very well done, it did make me feel a little uncomfortable and was a sad echo of the kind of view that was common when the play was written. I can only hope that
any gay members of the audience felt we were laughing with them rather than at them. That said, this was a really excellent evening’s entertainment and it was gratifying to find the house almost full of appreciative and enthusiastic audience members.
One slight criticism. I felt a second curtain call was called for. This was a great performance and the level of enthusiastic and appreciative applause really demanded a second appearance of the cast so that we could say ‘thank you’ properly. As a company, you give huge amounts of your time
to such productions and we, your audience, would love to show our warm appreciation.”