As the curtain closes on the final night of our performance of J.B. Priestley’s Dangerous Corner, we’d like to thank everyone involved for making it such a memorable and enjoyable experience. In his latest blog, Patrick Isherwood shines a light on the cast.
One of the attractions of going to see an amateur production, particularly one performed in a village to a mainly local audience, is the opportunity to see friends and colleagues on stage. Over the years the Little Gaddesden audience has been very loyal and supportive of our productions and the appearance of familiar faces in unfamiliar guises is appreciated by most of them. Over the years we have utilised the talents of a pool of actors who have turned up regularly for their stage ‘fix’.
The audiences for Dangerous Corner had the opportunity to welcome some old friends but alongside them were a number of newcomers, not to acting but to performing in Little Gaddesden. The cast for Dangerous Corner is relatively small, six characters who spend much if not quite all the play on the stage, a challenge for any actor, professional or amateur, and one who appears at the beginning and the end. No one character dominates what is essentially an ensemble piece in which the chemistry between the players and their timing are crucial ingredients.
Andy Faber (Gordon Whitehouse)
Andy has appeared in many productions, both locally and further afield, for the last 30 years or so. His favourite roles include Oscar in Oscar the Musical, Charlie in Stones in his Pockets and Higgins in My Fair Lady. He also regularly directs and co-ordinates fighting (on stage!). Andy would like to thank Little Gaddesden Drama Club for making him so welcome.
Alessia Procaccini (Betty Whitehouse)
Alessia is delighted to return to the Little Gaddesden stage. Alessia’s first role with the Club was as Vera Claythorn in And Then There Were None. She made her acting debut at the age of twelve as Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden. Drama school followed and a number of stage roles, her favourites include Malvolio in an all-female production of Twelfth Night, Hannah in If Only for the Company of Ten in St Albans and Sorel Bliss in Hayfever for the Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City.
Linda Williams (Miss Mockridge)
Linda has been acting since she was a teenager, when she played the lead in school productions of Shakespeare’s Henry V and Hamlet. She went to drama school in her early twenties, but decided against the professional stage. She acted with the Pump House Theatre Company in Watford for many years, and particularly enjoyed the parts of Stevie Smith in Stevie (Hugh Whitemore), Kate in Dancing at Lughnasa (Brian Friel), Bridget in There Came A Gypsy Riding (Frank McGuinness) and Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Dale Wasserman). Her other interests include singing, and she is a member of Berkhamsted Choral Society. This is her first appearance with Little Gaddesden Drama Club.
Andrew Sheard (Robert Caplan)
Andrew’s first appearance with Little Gaddesden Drama Club was in Margaret Sabatini’s Recipe for Disaster in 2000. Since then, he has appeared in a variety of different roles in many plays and other productions. Among them are Toad in Toad of Toad Hall (2002), Sir Fopling Flutter in Etherege’s restoration comedy The Man of Mode (2007), Alderman Joseph Helliwell in Priestley’s When We Are Married (2007), Canon Throbbing in Alan Bennett’s Habeas Corpus (2009), Harry in David Storey’s Home (2011), Sir David Metcalfe in Jeffrey Archer’s Beyond Reasonable Doubt (2014) and, most recently, Sir Lawrence Wargrave in Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None (2018).
Penny Coombs (Freda Caplan)
It’s fitting that Penny’s first role with LGDC should be in a Priestley play, as she first encountered the group when she saw them perform his later work, When We Are Married, in this very hall. She has appeared with several local groups in plays as diverse as Steel Magnolias, Cold Comfort Farm, King Lear and The Pompeii Panto! She is delighted to be on the other side of the curtain this time in Dangerous Corner, with its fantastic cast and crew, although she has yet to decide whether having a real-life husband called Robert is helpful to the part or just confusing!
Katy Miller (Olwen Peel)
This will be Katy’s second production with LGDC; she appeared in And Then There Were None earlier this year after an eighteen-year break from acting. She comes from a musical/theatrical family and attended drama school in London before embarking on a career as a professional actress. Most of her work was in regional Rep and UK tours. Among her favourite memories are: The Red Balloon, a children’s musical which opened at the Birmingham Rep before transferring to the National Theatre; The Canterbury Tales, playing assorted wenches and a fluffy yellow chick in a cast which included the late Brian Glover. She has enjoyed rehearsing and performing with LGDC and says that the atmosphere and camaraderie reminds her of why she went into the theatre in the first place.
Robert Peacock (Charles Stanton)
Robert is delighted to be joining the Little Gaddesden Drama Club for the first time, having appeared many times on stage with other local theatre groups. His acting and directing career extends further back than he cares to admit with university, fringe and amateur groups in the UK, the USA and Canada and covers a dazzling array of genres but with a definite leaning towards comedy. His very favourite roles have included the Creature in Frankenstein, Van Helsing in Dracula, John Smith in Run for Your Wife and George in Out of Order, and as director he has especially fond memories of defeating the staging challenges of Graham Linehan’s The Ladykillers (which he directed last year with the Bovingdon Players), the special effects challenges in Michael Frayn’s Alarms and Excursions and the nudity challenges in Ray Cooney’s Out of Order.
A huge thanks to all of you for making such a valuable contribution to the LGDC. We look forward to welcoming you back on to our stage in the future.