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WELCOME TO

www.southenddrama.co.uk

The official web site of Southend Drama Society
Patron: Rt. Hon. David Amess MP......................................... President: Frank McGrath OBE
*Last updated: 23rd January 2014
OUR NEXT PRODUCTION:
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Female Transport

by Steve Gooch

Southend Drama Society's next production is "Female Transport", due to be performed in the Dixon Studio of the Palace Theatre between the 19th and 22nd of November, with a Saturday matinee.

Female Transport is a hard-hitting account of six women's journey to the penal colony of Australia in the early 19th century, all having been convicted of petty crimes. During the 6 months they spend in a crowded cell below decks, they learn hard truths about society and gain insight into how the male class system has condemned them to a life of hard labour, represented by the crew of the prison ship. A vigorous, hard-hitting but occasionally humorous play.

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LATEST UPDATES:
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Trailer for Blackadder Goes Forth available on YouTube! (Posted: Wednesday 9th July 2014)

Southend Drama Society are proud to present the trailer for Blackadder Goes Forth, which will be performed live in the Main Auditorium of the Palace Theatre from Wednesday the 23rd to Saturday the 26th of July! You can watch it on YouTube simply by clicking the image to the right. The show's shaping up to be something truly special, with three episodes of the classic series ready to hit the stage - "Captain Cook", "Major Star" and "Goodbye-ee". Be sure to book your tickets now to avoid later disappointment by calling the Box Office at 01702 351135, or visiting http://southendtheatres.org.uk.

 

Blackadder: The Fifth Dimension - Now available on YouTube! (Posted: Thursday 20th March 2014)

After a stellar gala premiere at St. Peter's Church in Westcliff earlier this month, Blackadder: The Fifth Dimension is now available to watch in full on YouTube!

Join Captain Edmund Blackadder on board the RMS Titanic along with his first officer George, a stowaway called Baldrick, a mad White Star Line chairman (Melchett), Lord Flashheart and many other favourites from the show in this amateur production by Southend Drama Society - a homage to the great work of Richard Curtis and Ben Elton.

All four parts are linked to right here. Sit back and enjoy the show!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

 

Blackadder Goes Forth - ANOTHER UPDATE
Posted: Tuesday 14th January 2014

We have now had it confirmed that performance times for Blackadder Goes Forth are 8pm every evening from Wednesday 23rd through to Saturday 26th July 2014, with a 3pm matinee on Saturday 26th July.

We also now have a new poster, reflecting the new details.

Ticket prices TBC.

 

Blackadder Goes Forth - UPDATE
Posted: Tuesday 14th January 2014

Following Sunday's announcement that our next production will be three episodes of ‘Blackadder Goes Forth’ in the main auditorium of the Palace Theatre, Westcliff on Sea, we can now confirm that the performance dates are Wednesday 23rd to Saturday 26th July 2014.

Details of performance times and ticket prices to follow.

 

Announcing Our Next Production: Blackadder Goes Forth
Posted: Sunday 12th January 2014

In July 2014, Southend Drama Society will commemorate the centennial anniversary of the start of the Great War by presenting three episodes of ‘Blackadder Goes Forth’ in the main auditorium of the Palace Theatre, Southend.

‘Blackadder Goes Forth’ is set in 1917 on the Western Front, in the trenches of the first World War. This iteration of Edmund Blackadder is a Captain in the British Army, finding himself trapped in the trenches - with another ‘big push’ planned.  His concern is to avoid being sent over the top to certain death.

The series of tales chronicles his attempts to escape, through various schemes. Most of which fail due to bad fortune, misunderstandings, and the general incompetence of his comrades.

‘Blackadder Goes Forth' is more satirical in tone than the previous series, mixing lighter jokes with gallows humour in the face of a harrowing and tragic story.  The dialogue is marked by satirical musings about the nature of war, its origins and the effects on soldiers who suffered over its course.

Further details will follow soon.

 

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Friends & Family Evening - 23rd November 2013
Posted: Friday 15th November 2013

Southend Drama Society are proud to announce that we shall be holding one of our famous 'Friends & Family' nights on Saturday 23rd November.

This time, the title of the show is 'A Christ is Born'. Our Friends & Family nights are always good fun, giving our group a chance to perform material that is a bit different to our larger productions. Plus, there's a raffle and mince pies!

So, if you're a friend, a family member or if you just fancy a good night out, please do come along. The show is taking place at the United Reform Church Hall, King's Road, Westcliff at 7.30pm. Children are welcome too! Please do bring along your own refreshments.

Tickets will be available on the door, priced at £5.00 for adults and £2.00 for children.

We hope to see you there!



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Announcing Our Next Production: Come on Jeeves
Posted: Sunday 27th October 2013

Southend Drama Society proudly present our next production, Come On Jeeves by P.G. Woodhouse and Guy Bolton, directed by Kay Banning.

Nobody as national as the character of Jeeves, the most superb of "gentlemen's gentlemen", could fail to make a hit the first time he appeared in dramatized form. As butler and bookie's clerk to an impoverished nobleman who practises turf accountancy the imperturbable Jeeves is able, in his own resourceful way, to rescue his lord from one scrape after another and finally, with brilliant ease, to retrieve the family fortune

Ticket prices - £13.00 and £12.00 for the Saturday matinee.

Catch our latest production at the Dixon Studio, Palace Theatre, Westcliff-on-Sea from 13th November to 16th November 2013 at 7.30pm (Saturday matinee at 3.00pm).

 

Announcing Our Next Production: Salt of the Earth
Posted: Sunday 14th April 2013

Following last July’s successful production of Shakers Re-Stirred, Southend Drama Society proudly present our next production, Salt of the Earth by John Godber, directed by Peter Nawrat.

This play focus on the dreams, joys and disappointments of the Parker sisters; Annie and May, whose hopes centre on May's son Paul and his academic success.

Set in West Yorkshire from 1947 to 1988; it contains a great deal of humour, pathos and warmth. The family share their dreams, tensions and ambitions.  At the heart is the community which shapes the family, but which is inexorably disappearing and changing.

This is a roller-coaster ride of emotions as you are transported into the lives of these fictional but very real people.

A talented adult cast perform the characters as they age throughout the years - ranging from a 10 year old Paul to his 30s and May from her teens up to her 60th Birthday.

Ticket prices - £12.00 full & £11.00 concessions and £11.00 for the Saturday matinee.

Catch our latest production at the Dixon Studio, Palace Theatre, Westcliff-on-Sea from Wednesday 17th July to Saturday 20th July 2013 at 8.00pm (Saturday matinee at 3.00pm).

 

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Southend Drama Festival - 2013
Posted: Sunday 17th February 2013

The 2013 Southend Drama Festival takes place from Monday 18th to Saturday 23rd March 2013, returning to its old home of Eastwood Studio Theatre, Rayleigh Road, Leigh. Tickets are £9.00, £7.00 concessions. Curtain up at 7.30pm each evening.

Various local drama groups and schools will be competing for a range of awards as part of the All England Theatre Festival.

Each entry will receive a profession adjudication by GODA adjudicator Charles Evans.

The successful winning team will then go to the Easterm Quarter Final to be held on 5th may at Haverhill Art's Centre in Haverhill.

Southend Drama Society will be performing the BBC comedy classic 'The Hotel Inspectors' from Fawlty Towers, by John Cleese and Connie Booth on Tuesday 19th March.

 

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Announcing Our Next Production: The Farndale Ave. Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery
Posted: Monday 17th September 2012

Southend Drama Society proudly present The Farndale Ave. Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery by David McGillivray & Walter Zerlin Jnr.

It has been ten years since Southend Drama Society last visited Mrs Reece and the good people of Farndale Avenue and a return visit is long overdue.

Every drama group has experienced the horrors of what can go wrong on the night and the ladies of the Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society are no different, with the possible exception that almost everything that could happen does.

The scenery collapses, cues are missed, lines forgotten, and the sound effects take on a strange note at times, as the ladies present their ambitious evening's entertainment with the cunning whodunit, "Murder At Checkmate Manor". And just in case the audience should get bored there's a Film and Fashion Show and Murder Mystery Quiz complete with Prize. The crunch comes in the denouement when the "murderer", about to be revealed, has to rush home to bandage up an injured daughter. But Mrs. Reece, doyenne of the group, rises above the slings and arrows of outrageous dramatics to save the situation and provide the final inventive twist.

The Farndale Ave. Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery will be performed between 7th to 10th November 2012 at the Dixon Studio, Palace Theatre, Westcliff. Curtain up at 8.00pm each evening and 3pm for the Saturday matinee. Tickets are £12.00 except Wednesday evening and Saturday matinee where tickets cost £11.00.

 

Announcing Our Next Production: Shakers Re-Stirred
Posted: Wednesday 23rd May 2012

Southend Drama Society proudly present Shakers Re-Stirred John Godber and Jane Thornton.

Every town has its ‘Shakers’, the oh-so trendy cocktail bar where everyone wants to be seen: from the check-out girls to the chinless wonders, from the yuppies to the local lads.

We are given a wickedly funny glimpse of this world by the four long-suffering waitresses, offering a fascinating view of the reality that lurks behind the plastic palms and Pina Coladas in this revised version of the ever-popular play.

Shakers Re-Stirred will be performed between 11th to 14th July 2012 at the Dixon Studio, Palace Theatre, Westcliff. Curtain up at 8.00pm each evening. Tickets are £12.00 except Wednesday where tickets cost £11.00.

 

2012 Annual General Meeting
Posted: Friday 18th November 2011

Southend Drama Society will be holding their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday 28th February 2011 at the Wesley Church and will start promptly at 8pm, with drinks to follow in the Carlton.

 

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Southend Drama Festival - 2012 Dates Announced!
Posted: Friday 18th November 2011

Next year's Southend Drama Festival will take place at the Mike Fry Theatre in Belfairs School between Monday 26th and Saturday 31st March 2012.

Southend Drama Society will be performing at least one short play at the Festival, having won the prizes for Best Original Play, Best Comedy, Best Stage Presentation and Best Supporting Performer at this year's event.

Stay tuned for further details.

 

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Announcing Our Next Production: When We Are Married
Posted: Sunday 18th September 2011

Southend Drama Society proudly present When We Are Married by J.B. Priestly.

Set in North Yorkshire in 1908, this period comedy revolves around the silver wedding celebrations of three couples, all married on the same day.

You will be entertained by the writing of a classic author, who tells an absorbing story that stands the test of time, employing beatufilly drawn characters and dialogue that sparkles with wit.

If you have seen it before, come and remind yourself what a truly entertaining play it is.

When We Are Married will be performed between Wednesday 7th and Saturday 10th December 2011 at the Dixon Studio, Westcliff on Sea. Curtain up at 7.30pm each evening, 3pm on the Saturday matinee. Tickets are £12.00 for evening performances. Saturday matinee and Wednesday evening tickets cost £11.00.

An amateur production in association with Samuel French Ltd.

 

Announcing Our Next Production: Bouncers
Posted: Wedneday 6th April 2011

Southend Drama Society are pleased to announce that our Summer production for 2011 will be Bouncers by John Godber and directed by Peter Nawrat.

Bursting with imagination and wit and presented by just four actors, Bouncers is an outrageous and hilarious parody of the disco scene.

The four brutish bouncers of the title portray over twenty different characters as we are invited for a night out on the town. We see them as giggly girls and lads on the make preparing for the big night out as we follow their progress to the disco floor. There, we also meet an entire cross-section of disco-goers, including Hooray Henrys, pogoing punks and drunken slobs! The evening's events arc set against the tatty glitzy glamour, flashing lights and pulsating beat of the night-club scene.

Auditions for Bouncers will take place on Tuesday 12th April 2011. A small plea from the Management Committee: Please give serious consideration to the demands of these roles before auditioning. Each of these parts are particularly demanding and will require a lot of dedication and commitment to make successful.

Southend Drama Society will be performing Bouncers at the Dixon Studio, Palace Theatre, Westcliff-on-Sea between 6th and 9th July 2011. Box Office: 01702 351 135

 

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Southend Drama Festival - The Results!
Posted: Sunday 3rd April 2011

Last night saw the conclusion of this year's Southend Drama Festival, which, as always, also means the handing out of prizes by the adjudicator. This year, the adjudicator was Charles Evans GODA.

Southend Drama Society won a handful of trophies at this year's Southend Drama Festival, picking up the runners-up prize for Kids directed by Kay Banning.

In all, the society's two productions won five trophies, but was pipped to the post by a production of The Lover by Harold Pinter.

Our trophies included:

  • Best Original Play for One, Two, Three, Four, Five by the Society's own Paula Pearce
  • Best Stage Presentation for One, Two, Three, Four, Five designed by John Greenfield
  • Best Comedy for Kids directed by Kay Banning
  • Best Supporting Performance for Nina Basil in Kids
  • Festival runners-up for Kids

In addition to these trophies, other notable nominations included:

  • Gemma Fiore and Nina Basil for Best Female Performance in One, Two, Three, Four, Five and Kids respectively;
  • Linda Finch for Best Supporting Female Performance in One, Two, Three, Four, Five;
  • Kay Banning for Best Director for Kids;
  • Kids for the Adjudicator's award for risk taking

During his adjudication, Charles Evans also made several glowing remarks about Southend Drama Society's performances.

On Linda Finch, who played Rachel, a student nurse in One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Mr Evans said: "She was a young, earnest student, who was eager to learn. She spoke with a nice natural voice and showed a great empathy with the patients."

On announcing the runners-up award for Kids, Mr Evans said: "I'm giving it to a piece which on the face of it is a comedy, but enshrines a whole lot more and it was only two marks from the winner."

On Paula's play , Mr Evans said: "This was a very interesting piece of writing full ideas with clear and credible characters that deal with small things in life. It faces one big challenge to convey tedium without being tedious and it did that."

On Samantha Lowe, who played Ellie in Kids, Mr Evans said: "A very nice portrait of a not altogether pleasant child. She succeeded in looking older than the others – a juvenile Clint Eastwood with a deadly stalk across the stage. In her closing speech, the closing speech of the play. the smugness of the way it was delivered was a delight to see with a lovely sense of superiority."

On Anne Odeke, who played Wendy, Mr Evans said: "The key to Wendy is she smiles and this characterisation of Wendy managed to smile with her whole body. Lots of very good movement. In her speech about school and dinners, she delivered it very movingly."

On Peter Nawrat, who played three-year-old John, Mr Evans said: "This was one of the successes of this production. This Johnny knew that when you say something as a three-year-old you say it with you’re whole body. There were wonderful little squeals of crying and lovely big gestures."

And finally on Baby, played by Nina Basil, Mr Evans said: "I loved that performance, a real star in this cast. All movements were instantly recognisable as a baby. Very realistically played with lovely movements trying to eat everything and pointing aimlessly. Going into the meditation, baby was totally different and I think that worked very well. It was a joy to see someone so fully in the role and it was a delightful to see a group working so well together."

Full coverage of this year's Festival can be found here.

 

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Southend Mayor's Easter Parade
Posted: Wednesday 23rd February 2011

Southend Drama Society have been invited to join the Southend Mayor's sponsored walk from Uncle Tom's Cabin to the Sea Life Centre and back to raise funds for the Major's Charity - a distance of about four and a half miles.

This fun event will be held on Sunday 17th April 2011 - just a week before Easter - so take the opportunity to dress up as an Easter Bunny, or wear an Easter bonnet. There will be prizes for the best bonnet and the best fancy dress.

Participating Southend on Sea Arts Council groups (of which Southend Drama Society is one) are permitted to distribue promotional material for forthcoming events during the walk.

Registration from 10.00am on the day, judging of fancy dress competition from 10.45am and the walk will start at 11.00am.

Entrance fee will be £5.00 per person.

For more details and to collect your sponsorship form, please contact Stacy on 01702 215 141 or Janice on 01702 339 169.

This event is being organised by the Rotary Club of Southend on Sea.

 

Southend Drama Festival 2011
Posted: Sunday 13th February 2011

We now have the complete running order for this year's Festival.

Southend Drama Society will be performing two one-act plays this year. First up, we have One, Two, Three, Four, Five written and directed by Southend Drama Society's own Paula Pearce. This is taking place on Wednesday 30th March and is the first of two plays being performed on that night.

The play is set on a night shift on a female medical ward with three rather jaded nurses based at the nurses’ station. The piece reflects yet another long night shift, staffed by three very different characters who would really rather not be there at all. Added to the mix is a rather ‘too keen’ student nurse and the voice of one of the elderly and somewhat confused patients on the ward.

Next up, Southend Drama Society will be performing Kids, directed by Kay Banning and written by John Morgan, on Friday 1st April. Again, this is the first of two one-act plays being performed on the night.

It's a play about childhood. The characters are all played by adults, playing children. It is funny, at times poignant and hopefully thought provoking.

Last year, the Society won:

  • The Winning Team (Best Play)
  • Best Comedy
  • Best Stage Presentation
  • Best Supporting Performer (Anne Odeke)

... so let's see if we can beat this achievement in 2011!

Break a leg!

 

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Red Nose Day 2011, M'Lord!
Posted: Wednesday 10th February 2011

It's been 5 years since Southend Drama Society last performed their award winning adaptation of Blackadder. How time flies!

You may recall that we were given formal permission from Richard Curtis and Ben Elton to produce the show - on the proviso that we made a contribution to Comic Relief, which we did on no less than 3 occassions!

Well, it looks like Blackadder continues to help raise money for worthy causes through Comic Relief. To mark this year's Red Nose Day, Comic Relief and Vivienne Westwood have produced a number of charity t-shirts, two of which feature characters from Blackadder II - Edmund himself and Queenie - both sporting a rather fetching red nose!

The T-Shirts can be ordered online here and they are available in store at Sainsbury's, TK Maxx and Oxfam.

Details of Southend Drama Society's exploits in the world of Blackadder and Baldrick can be found here, here and here.

 

Southend Drama Festival
Posted: Wednesday 2nd February 2011

Southend Drama Society are pleased to announce that they will be participating in this year's Southend Drama Festival.

It's that time of year again, and Southend Drama Society will be submitting no less than two short plays for consideration at this year's Southend Drama Festival, which also serves as the first local round of the national All England Drama Festival.

Southend Drama Society have enjoyed considerable recognition and success at the Festival over the years, including winning Overall Winner, Best Comedy, Best Stage Presentation and Best Supporting Performer at the 2010 Festival.

Keep checking back for details. In the meantime, check out our past Festival history after the jump.

 

Annual General Meeting
Posted: Wednesday 2nd February 2011

Southend Drama Society will be holding their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday 22nd February 2011 at the Wesley Church and will start promptly at 8pm, with drinks to follow in the Carlton.

If you're a member and haven't seen the paperwork yet, then please speak to Kay.

The AGM is an opportunity for all members to consider the Society's activities over the last year and what challenges lie ahead, so we would encourage all members to attend if at all possible.

 

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