Death at the Tenth – Murder Mystery Dinner

Just confirm that tickets are now in sale for our Murder Mystery Dinner “Death at the Tenth”.Tickets are in advance only and we sold out the two night’s last time we did one, so get your tickets ASAP to avoid disappointment! Here is the press release:

Dorchester Drama tee of the new year earlier than usual with the murder mystery dinner “Murder at the Tenth” . It is the annual dinner of the Primrose Hill Golf Club and the committee are looking forward to a pleasant evening with the club membership, with an opportunity to reflect on another successful year. However Herbert Gloom, once club professional but now green keeper, has harboured a grudge against the entire club committee ever since a new young golfing professional was hired to take his place. What follows is a series of revelations leading to a body discovered by the tenth fairway! It is up to DCI Sherbert-Holmes to solve the case.

“Dorchester Drama put on a murder mystery dinner a couple of year’s ago and is back after much public demand.” says spokeman David Reeve. “Murder Mystery evenings are great fun for the audience, who have a chance to work out who done it, how and why. As well as that they get to have a two course meal as well. Tickets are in advance only and I would recommend getting tickets as soon as possible since last time we sold out on both nights”.

The play stars regulars David and Anne Reeve, Jonny White, Sam Kelly, Emma Follis and Tom Horsington along with new comers Billy Moore and Hannah Ward. “The cast are having great fun working on the plot and characters and are looking forward to the performances. As well as a cast we also have a number of members working hard behind the scenes sorting out the food and waiting on the tables, it is a real drama club team effort”.

Performances are on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th February at Sunninghill Community Hall, Culliford Road Dorchester. Tickets are priced at £15 to include a two course meal (with a vegetarian option) or £12 for under 18s and students. They are available at Trinity Stores, Trinity Street or box office 01305 889202. Tickets are available strickly in advance only (available up to the day before the performances).

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DORCHESTER DRAMA Newsletter Christmas 2013

DORCHESTER DRAMA
Newsletter Christmas 2013

STOP PRESS

Over the next two Wednesdays (27th November and 4th December) DORCHESTER DRAMA are holding Creative Writing Murder Mystery Workshops and Impro which we will use as a basis for our February Murder Mystery and Meal production (nice and early so won’t interfere with the community play). They will take place at Sunninghill Community Hall 7:30pm

Life and Beth and beyond!!

The next couple of Wednesday nights we would like to start some fun work on our Spring adventure!!! The committee are keen to put on a two night murder mystery and meal (probably on the Friday and Saturday that will start the February half term). That will leave those involved in the Community Play a chance to be involved in both!!

So on Wednesday 27th November and Wednesday 4th December we are meeting in the hall for 7:30pm to do a couple of creative workshops, planning and writing a murder mystery (and probably so,e impro) that we can then rehearse and perform in the New year.  It should be a lot of fun and a lot less commitment than a full production run. Anne Reeve will lead the sessions but is keen for someone to else to do the actual directing!! Should be a good way to start doing some directing with a lot of support.

Can you give us an idea if you are keen to get involved please.

We are still taking bookings for our Weatherspoons Christmas meal 7pm for 7:30pm Sunday 15th December. We have to book this soon so please email me back ASAP.

The committee are also looking at a number of different acting experiences which would be a lot less commitment than a full production which would be a lot of fun and keep those not cast in a play still involved.  More details of these soon!

Life and Beth reviews

Dorchester Drama finds festive fun and gloom in Ayckbourn’s Life and Beth – Blackmore Vale Magazine

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AS if Christmas itself isn’t bad enough, Alan Ayckbourn adds a supernatural twist to this bitter-sweet comedy.

The appearance of Beth’s late husband Gordon, somehow summoned back by a Christmas Eve prayer, is too much even for his long-suffering and not very mournful widow, Beth.

Add visits by Beth’s boozy sister-in-law Connie, son Martin and his odd girlfriend Ella and the mix is ripe for a festive explosion.

Dorchester Drama has crowned its 50th anniversary year with this outstanding production.

Directors Paul Lawless, who pops up as a policeman, and Richelle Khan – stepping in at short notice because of illness as Ella – deserve so much of the credit for this highly enjoyable show. They successfully find the balance between laugh aloud comedy and the darkness that lies beneath the surface of these mostly ludicrous characters.

Stella Hollis is perfect as the patient, exasperated and sharply funny Beth.

Sarah Hayes turns in a terrific performance as Connie, revealing flickers of jealousy and weakness as the drinking proves to be a problem for all.

Ashley Newman portrays Martin as a loving and well-meaning son, but also a man who has major problems with relationships – a tricky mix that he does well.

The vicar is of the soppy and awkward type, nicely captured by Anthony Atkins, while Nick Heape generates humour from the hugely irritating Gordon.

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It is a strong cast, well supported technically – Jonathan Reeve does sterling service with light and sound – to do full justice to Ayckbourn’s jaundiced view of a family Christmas.

The Town House Killings

Some members of Dorchester Drama with Atmos Theatre Company, were involved in a Murder Mystery Tour on behalf of the Dorchester Arts centre.
This involved three grisly murders in three locations, ending in the final and probably bloodiest murder during a buffet for the guests in the Wessex Royale Hotel.

This involved about I hours rehearsal, a lot of impro and a very amused, intrigued and pleased audience!!

This very positive collaboration with the Arts centre has led us to open discussions with them as to the potential of other similar ventures. Watch this space.

Raiders of the Lost Past

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Last summer Dorchester Drama were contacted by UK TV who are producing ( and now showing on Yesterday channel) Raiders of the Lost Past, which is a thirteen part series on the intrepid treasure-hunting tales that artefact-hungry historians have set out on.
The episode concerned the search for the lost site of Knossos on the Island of Crete by Victorian Archaeologist, Arthur Evans. There was a short notice request for extras sent out by David Reeve, to which a number of us responded. Unfortunately. Those adult ladies who volunteered were rejected!!! No, not modern day sexism by the production company, but Victorian sexism by Arthur Evans, who by all accounts was renown for not letting women onto his Archaeological sites!! In the end Nick and Isabel Heape attended. The planned day in Tout quarry was cancelled due to fog ( it was supposed to be the Mediterranean), the next day was truly Mediterranean and the filming went ahead. Great (and Hot) fun!

Future Plans

As a result of Dorchester Drama’s developing collaboration with other Arts organisations in and around Dorchester, we are looking to further our current relationship with Sunninghill School and will be co using the rehearsal space with the Community Play. We have also agreed with the Community play organisers to pull together a ‘ Drama Fair’ during one of their latter Sunday rehearsals, with a view to inviting all interested Drama and stage related organisations to set up their stall as it were, and both encourage and invite Community play participants to get involved after the Completion of Drummer Hodge as a legacy to the Community play. Watch this space.

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REVIEW: Life and Beth, Sunninghill Community Centre, Dorchester – Dorset Echo

WELCOME to a family Christmas in which a drunken sister-in-law throws up on the carpet, a son wreaks havoc with the festive lights and his girlfriend creates chaos in the kitchen – in fact just a normal get together as told by playwright Alan Ayckbourn.

Dorchester Drama make the most of the comic possibilities in this riotous seasonal offering that takes place in the home of Beth, a recently bereaved widow who was dominated by her control freak of a husband Gordon and whose guests carry on the work of bossing her about.

Into the midst of this family from hell arrives a well-meaning but bumbling vicar whose prayers bring back the ghost of the ghastly Gordon, taking a break from re-organising heaven in order to run Beth’s life again.

Stella Hollis takes on the demanding role of Beth with immense skill, creating a suppressed personality who gradually comes to life as she confronts the past. She is the perfect foil for over-the-top family members like drunken Connie, a hilarious performance by Sarah Hayes, and Ashley Newman as her incompetent son.

Anthony Atkins is just right as the likeable but hopelessly inept vicar while Nick Heape comes back from the dead as Gordon, ready and willing to resume his place as head of the household.

Emma Follis is a suitably sulky girlfriend and Sam Kelly completes the cast as the local policeman in a production that is full of laughter and Ayckbourn observations.

The play continues for the rest of the week and is a great way to start the festive season.

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Dorchester Drama finds festive fun and gloom in Ayckbourn’s Life and Beth – Blackmore Vale Magazine

AS if Christmas itself isn’t bad enough, Alan Ayckbourn adds a supernatural twist to this bittersweet comedy.

The appearance of Beth’s late husband Gordon, somehow summoned back by a Christmas Eve prayer, is too much even for his long-suffering and not very mournful widow, Beth.

Add visits by Beth’s boozy sister-in-law Connie, son Martin and his odd girlfriend Ella and the mix is ripe for a festive explosion.

Dorchester Drama has crowned its 50th anniversary year with this outstanding production.

Directors Paul Lawless, who pops up as a policeman, and Richelle Khan – stepping in at short notice because of illness as Ella – deserve so much of the credit for this highly enjoyable show. They successfully find the balance between laugh aloud comedy and the darkness that lies beneath the surface of these mostly ludicrous characters.

Stella Hollis is perfect as the patient, exasperated and sharply funny Beth.

Sarah Hayes turns in a terrific performance as Connie, revealing flickers of jealousy and weakness as the drinking proves to be a problem for all.

Ashley Newman portrays Martin as a loving and well-meaning son, but also a man who has major problems with relationships – a tricky mix that he does well.

The vicar is of the soppy and awkward type, nicely captured by Anthony Atkins, while Nick Heape generates humour from the hugely irritating Gordon.

It is a strong cast, well supported technically – Jonathan Reeve does sterling service with light and sound – to do full justice to Ayckbourn’s jaundiced view of a family Christmas.

Life and Beth is at the Sunninghill Community Hall in Dorchester until tomorrow, Saturday. D.A.

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Life and Beth

scan0001Tickets are now on sale for our production of Life and Beth by Alan Aykbourn, a festive comedy, which is being performed at Sunninghill Community Hall 21 to 23 November. Tickets are £8 (or £5 for u18s and students) from Trinity Stores or box office 01305 889202.
It is Christmas, and Beth Timms is mourning the recent death of her health and safety officer husband, Gordon. Beth’s Sister-in-law Connie and son Martin have come to stay, determined to ensure that she should have a stress-free Christmas, but between Connie’s drinking problem and Martin’s unspeaking and emotionally volatile girlfriend Ella, their intentions prove to be short-lived. Only David, the local vicar, provides Beth with any comfort, but when he says a prayer for her bereavement he unwittingly summons an unwelcome visitor!

Chairman Anne Reeve says “we are very excited that local professional actors Paul Lawless and Richelle Khan are co directing the production. They have brought a lot of enthusiasm, commitment and fun! This will be a lovely way to start the festive period”.

Cast members include regulars Stella Hollis as Beth, Nick Heape as Gordon and Sarah Hayes as Connie. The group is always keen for new members and is delighted to welcome three newcomers to the group, Ashley Newman, Tony Atkins and Katherine Kennet. Emma Follis and Sam Kelly make up the remainder of the cast.”image

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Dorchester Drama present

Tickets on sale soon

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Take your turn in the limelight

Take your turn in the limelight

4:00pm Monday 9th September 2013 in Stage
By Ruth Meech

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Full of class: Dorchester Drama Club’s production of
Jeeves in Bloom

SUCCESSFUL theatre group Dorchester Drama, who this year celebrated their 50th anniversary with a brilliant adaptation of Jeeves in Bloom, are revving up for their autumn production.

All are invited along to take part in auditions on Wednesday, September 11 and there are also opportunities for those preferring to help out with vital backstage and production work.

The show, Alan Ayckbourn’s Life & Beth, will be staged in late November and is a wonderful comedy in similar vein to Blithe Spirit.

It is Christmas, and Beth Timms is mourning the recent death of her health and safety officer husband, Gordon. Beth’s sister-in-law Connie and son Martin have come to stay, determined to ensure that she should have a stress-free Christmas, but their good intentions prove to be short-lived.

Only David, the local vicar, provides Beth with comfort, but when he says a prayer for her he unwittingly summons Gordon’s ghost back to the family home.

Gordon has been busy implementing health and safety measures in the afterlife and is now determined to stick around to help Beth manage her affairs. It soon becomes apparent, however, that his return is not altogether welcome . . .

The characters for the casting on Wednesday are Beth Timms, recently widowed and in her 50s, the late Gordon in his 60s, son Martin and his girlfriend Ella in their 20s or 30s, Gordon’s sister Connie who is in her 50s and David the vicar, who is a widower in his 50s.

The production will be co-directed by Paul Lawless & Richelle Khan.

Dorchester Drama spokesman David Reeve said: “Paul and Richelle are local professional actors and workshop co-ordinators who are really looking forward to directing their first project with us.

“Both have had extensive training in all areas of the performing industry and intend to run rehearsals in a fun but rewarding workshop-fashion.”

Auditions are in the Sunninghill School Hall off Culliford Road, Dorchester on Wednesday, September 11 at 7.30pm.

Please arrive promptly at 7.15pm, as auditions will begin swiftly at 7.30pm and any lateness will be taken in to consideration when casting the play.

Rehearsals will run twice-weekly, on a Monday and Wednesday evening, from September 16. If you are interested in helping with production side contact Anne on Reevefamily4@talktalk.net

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Dorchester Drama call for Auditions for Autumn Production – Life & Beth. Performance 21st – 23rd November 2013

Hi all

The Dorchester Drama Committee are very excited to annouce our autumn production with local actors Paul Lawless and Richelle Khan as our co-directors in the festive comedy “Life and Beth” by Alan Ayckbourn. This a great opportunity for those interested in warming up before the community play so we hope to see you all at the auditions!! Please feel free to forward this to anyone you may think is interested.

Hello Thespians and Co!
Dorchester Drama are excited to announce that their Autumn production will be -
Alan Ayckbourn’s festive Comedy
‘Life & Beth’
Performance 21st – 23rd November 2013
……………. It is Christmas, and Beth Timms is mourning the recent death of her health and safety officer husband, Gordon. Beth’s Sister-in-law Connie and son Martin have come to stay, determined to ensure that she should have a stress-free Christmas, but between Connie’s drinking problem and Martin’s unspeaking and emotionally volatile girlfriend Ella, their intentions prove to be short-lived.

Only David, the local vicar, provides Beth with any comfort, but when he says a prayer for her bereavement he unwittingly summons Gordon’s ghost to return to the family home. Gordon has been busy implementing health and safety measures in the afterlife and is now determined to stick around to help Beth manage her affairs. It soon becomes apparent, however, that his return in not altogether welcome . . .

Characters (there is some flexibility with the ages):
Beth Timms, recently widowed, 50s
Gordon Timms, Beth’ late husband, 60s
Martin Timms, their son, 20s/30s
Ella Parker, Martin’s girlfriend, late 20s
Connie Bunting, Gordon’s sister, wodow, 50s
Revd David Grinseed, widower, 50s

Co-directed by Paul Lawless & Richelle Khan
Paul and Richelle are local professional Actors and Workshop co-ordinators who are really looking forward to directing their first project, with Dorchester Drama. Both have had extensive training in all areas of the performing industry and intend to run rehearsals in a fun but rewarding workshop-fashion. When the cast aren’t rehearsing or blocking scenes, they will be working more closely with the other director on breathing, voice work, movement technique and approaches to the text!
Acting Auditions are to be held in the Sunninghill School Hall on
Wednesday 11th September at 7.30pm.
Please arrive promptly at 7.15pm, as we are looking to begin swiftly at 7.30pm. Lateness to the audition will be taken in to consideration when casting the play. Rehearsals will run twice-weekly, on a Monday and Wednesday evening and commence the following Monday (16th September).
If you are interested in fulfilling roles on the production side of things, please get in contact with Anne Reeve on Reevefamily4@talktalk.net
We look forward to seeing you at the audition!

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Jeeves in Bloom and Dorchester Drama Anniversary Party photos July 2013

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Jeeves in Bloom – Bournemouth Echo Review – Friday 19th July – Marian Cox

WHAT ho Jeeves – it’s that Bertie Wooster with his mad friends and family causing havoc as usual with their latest hair-brained schemes in a farcical comedy set in the 1930s.

A number of PG Wodehouse’s best-loved stories have been condensed into a single production which, staged by Dorchester Drama, provides light-hearted fun and laughter for a perfect summer evening’s entertainment.

Celebrating their 50th anniversary, the drama group bring to life Margaret Raether’s neatly constructed adaptation in a lively action packed farce that takes place at the stately home of the scary Aunt Dahlia.

As usual the peerless Jeeves sorts out everyone’s problems ranging from the wooing of newt nerd Gussie Fink-Nottle, the financial woes of Aunt Dahlia and even the temperamental outbursts of the chef Anatole in a convoluted plot that goes at a cracking pace from start to finish.

Sam Kelly is well cast in the demanding role of the amiable idiot Wooster with the ever dignified Nick Heape as his butler Jeeves, the pair creating a double act that is a pleasure to watch.

Capturing the essential flavour of the play, Stella Hollis is in brilliant form as the formidable Aunt Dahlia who puts everyone in their place, including her husband Tom, nicely portrayed by Paul Wallis who is transformed from a bad tempered bully into a doting darling, thanks to one of Jeeves’s magic medicinal potions.

Jonny White and Emma Follis make an ideal couple as the hopeless romantics Gussie and Madeline as their courtship muddles along in the typical silly schoolboy style that Wodehouse made his own.

The cast is completed by a suitably over-the-top Dee Thorne as the chef Anatole, a woman whose outbursts make Gordon Ramsey look like a mild-mannered pussycat.

A particularly nice touch for this production is provided by a three piece musical group led by Alastair Simpson who add an elegant atmosphere to the evening with their welcome interludes playing popular tunes of the day.

Director David Reeve has kept his eye on the ball of this quintessentially English comic romp and in doing so has produced an old-fashioned and civilised piece of theatre that is satisfying at almost every level.

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