The Vicar of Dibley a HUGE sucess!

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Review by Steve Sowden, Chard Press

Joke time for Rev Geraldine Grainger (Caroline Markham, right) and Alice Tinker (Judith Izzard).

Joke time for Rev Geraldine Grainger (Caroline Markham, right) and Alice Tinker (Judith Izzard).

Chard Entertainment Society took to the stage this evening (Wednesday, October 5, 2016) for the opening performance of their hilarious Vicar of Dibley production. The show is based on sketches from the much-loved TV sitcom starring Dawn French as the larger-than-life woman vicar Rev Geraldine Grainger.

chard-press-2The Chard Press went along to see some of the dress rehearsalon Monday (October 3, 2016) evening and it really does have some proper Laugh-out-Loud moments of pure comedy. The best compliment we can pay to the cast was that at times it felt as if the actual stars of the TV show were on stage.

The relationships are effervescent including that of Rev Grainger (played by Caroline Markham) and the hapless Alice Tinker (Judith Izzard), while Adam Chudley looks as if he was born to play bowel-problem-ridden Owen Newitt, played so memorably in the TV show by Roger Lloyd-Pack.

chard-press-3 The parish council scenes are so well portrayed and you almost feel the pain, suffering and frustration of chairman David Horton (played by Leigh Conley) as he struggles to put up with the likes of Mrs Cropley (Amy Stoodley), Frank Pickle (Dick Arnold) and no-no-no-no-no-yes Jim Trott (David Penticost).

Unfortunately Andy Treble was unavailable for Monday’s dress rehearsal, but we are sure that the ever-dependable local actor will be excellent in his role as Hugo and his romantic relationship with Alice will be something to behold.

Chard Entertainment is pleased to report that the show played to packed houses and received considerable acclaim from delighted audiences.

Annual General Meeting

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Please note that the Society’s AGM will be held on Monday 25th July at 7.30pm in the ballroom of The Phoenix Hotel, Chard.

The meeting will include the election of Officers and Committee members for the coming year. To access the official notification and nomination form please click here.

Members are reminded that subscriptions for 2016/17 are now due.

One Man, Two Guvnors on stage

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Leigh Conley proved to be a genuine match for James Corden’s omtg 1OMTG performance and the rest of the cast rose to his lead. Many thanks to Philip Wells for directing and to the unsung support team – Simon Cobbledick behind the scenes as stage manager, Brian Eastell for superb sound and Richard Cook for great lighting, with their aide Dom Wilsher.Picture1 (800x536)

The funniest show comes to Chard!

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In the seaside town of Brighton in 1963, Francis Henshall has just been fired from his skiffle band. Despondent and desperate for fish and chips, Henshall ends up in the employ of Roscoe Crabbe, a small-time hood from the East End of London. But it turns out that “Roscoe” is really his twin sister Rachel in disguise, because Roscoe was murdered by Rachel’s boyfriend Stanley Stubbers.

As fate would have it, Stanley is also hiding out in Brighton and waiting to be reunited with Rachel, and employs Henshall, as well. In order to keep both his jobs Henshall, who is also working on a romance of his own, must keep his two guvnors from discovering each other… will he succeed??
OMTG pic (800x321)
Find out by booking tickets NOW! £8 from Barron’s, Holyrood Street, Chard.

Cast List for One Man, Two Guvnors

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Frances Henshall – Leigh Conley
Charlie Clench – Neil Wells
Pauline Clench – Katie Glenn
Llolyd Boateng – Andy Treble
Stanley Stubbers – Mike Spellar
Dolly – Amy Stoodley
Harry Dangle – Dick Arnold
Alan Dangle – TBC
Rachel Crabbe – Judith Izzard
Gareth – Clive Smith
Christine Patterson – Marjie Dorling
Alfie – Tim Glenn

Other minor parts will be cast without audition

Rehearsals start on Monday 11th January, 7.30pm at the Methodist Rooms, Combe St. Nicholas.

Auditions for ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’

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One Man, Two Guvnors by Richard Bean
Based on a servant of two masters by Carlo Goldoni
Audition Pieces
6th January 2015 7:30pm The Phoenix Hotel, Chard.

This play is in principle a farce. This means the comedy is in the pace and ability for the actors to play their parts straight. I would compare the delivery of the script similar to “Mrs Browns boys” where often things are made to look like they happen by accident but are really scripted.
The audition pieces are taken from the copy of the script read at the re-through in December. Samuel French informs me that they would like us to use a newer version of the script, which will be available in January.

Cast: The ages are only a guide; the play will be cast on fitting the right actors into the parts to make the relationships plausible. All of the accents are South East mainly London.

Francis Henshall – A large part – Essex boy – Not the brightest tool in the box but seems to keep falling on his feet. Lots of physical humour and audience interaction, this is both scripted and unscripted so should be confident to ad-lib within the boundaries of this character.Pg 24, 29, 65

Charlie Clench – in his 50’s – Medium part – An archetypal Cockney Gangster. Pg 11-12, 38-42

Pauline Clench – his daughter. Pretty and stupid not really understanding most of what is being said. Pg 12. 38-42

Lloyd Boateng – in his 50’s ex-con, now runs a pub. Quite a sharp character. Pg 11-15, 21-24

Stanley Stubbers – age 20-30 -Public school nitwit who is one of Francis Henshalls guvnors. Pg 29-31, 34. 74-75

Dolly – in her 30’s – Feminist bookkeeper, the brains of the outfit. A strong character who has a soft spot for Francis. Pg 64. 65-67

Harry Dangle – in his 60’s – Small part – Crooked Latin-speaking solicitor to the Clenches. Tries to be posh but this slips on occasions. Pg 60-61

Alan Dangle – son of Harry -A wannabe actor and completely over the top physically and verbally in the delivery of his lines. Pg 29-31

Rachel Crabbe – age 20 – 30 Dresses as dead twin brother, Roscoe. Played like a young male gangster. Pg 39-42, 76-78

Gareth – Head waiter Pg 44-45

Christine Patterson – An audience plant who has a small amount of lines and a bit of business.

Alfie – Deaf old waiter – A physical part being knocked over by doors, cricket bats etc.

Policemen, porters, taxi drivers will be cast without the need for audition.

One Man, Two Guvnors

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One Man, Two Guvnors is a play by Richard Bean, an English adaptation of Servant of Two Masters, a 1743 Commedia dell’arte style comedy play by the Venetian playwright Carlo Goldoni. It replaces the Italian period setting of the original with Brighton in 1963. With James Corden in the lead role, the play opened at the National Theatre in 2011, toured in the UK and then opened in the West End in November 2011, with a subsequent Broadway opening in April 2012. The second tour was launched six months later, playing the UK, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. The London production closed in March 2014, before a third tour of the UK began in May 2014.

This critically-acclaimed play, which has songs by Grant Olding, has recently been released for amateur companies and producer Philip Wells hopes that it will appeal to local audiences. Production dates at The Guildhall, Chard are likely to be Thursday & Friday 17th & 18th March.

An initial read through will be held at 7.30pm on Wednesday 16th December at the Methodist Rooms in Combe St. Nicholas. Auditions/casting will take place after Christmas with rehearsals on Mondays and Wednesdays. A synopsis and the cast list can be found here

Let us entertain you!

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After staging high quality musicals for over 50 years Chard Light Operatic Society is changing. At a recent Special General Meeting the members voted to become Chard Entertainment Society and expect that the new name and a broader range of productions will encourage more people to join the group and widen its appeal to local audiences.

The Society tested the idea of moving away from exclusively musical productions in 2014 when it staged Dad’s Army and the Walmington-on-Sea Wartime Concert in association with the Royal British Legion and followed this in 2015 with a highly successful production of ‘Allo,’Allo!

Now, in its new guise, the Society is to team up with Chard Carnival Committee to present ‘All the Fun of the Fair’ during Carnival week – on 7th, 8th and 9th October at Chard Guildhall. This is a modern jukebox musical love story, based on the songs of David Essex with a book by Jon Conway. It has successfully toured the UK twice in recent years as well as running for a limited season at the Garrick Theatre in the West End. What’s more, it’s set in a fairground, making the show a most appropriate production for Carnival time.

Chard Entertainment Chair, Neil Wells, is delighted to be associated with Chard Carnival this year. “As a young child, I remember taking part in the very first Carnival over 47 years ago. In those days, there was always a show on at The Guildhall during Carnival week and my older brothers used to take part.”

“As a community activity Chard Carnival is an important local event which not only gives a great deal of pleasure to both participants and onlookers, but also raises a valuable funds for good causes”, Neil commented. “We are very pleased to join forces with Chard Carnival Committee to promote this year’s event and hope that the town will come along and see Chard Entertainment Society’s production of ‘All The Fun Of The Fair’.”

Tickets cost £8 in advance and will be on sale from September 14th from Barron’s, Holyrood Street, Chard or £10 on the door each night.


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Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of Chard Light Operatic Society will be held on Monday 3rd August at 7.45pm in the ballroom of The Phoenix Hotel, Chard. This will be preceded by a Special General Meeting of the Society which will take place at 7.30pm to discuss and approve changes to the Constitution. Officers and committee will be elected at the AGM and nominations are welcome. To print a nomination form please click AGM letter & nomination form 2015.