Newbury Dramatic Society
The Interview, 7th to 12th August 2017 at
the Edinburgh Fringe.
See the reviews in the archive.
See our web site for ticket details.
Review of Maskerade
17th to 20th May 2017.
Review from the Newbury Weekly News.
A touch of Pratchett
Newbury Dramatic Society turn to Phantom spoof for latest production
Newbury Dramatic Society: Maskerade, at The Watermill, Bagnor, from Wednesday, May 17, to Saturday, May 20
Maskerade, a play adapted by Stephen Briggs from Terry Pratchett's book of the same name, is full of colourful characters, packed with Pratchett humour and Newbury Dramatic Society deserve a pat on the back for thinking out of the box and choosing it for their return to The Watermill.
The story, a spoof on Phantom of the Opera, is concerned with a masked ghost in a theatre where a production is about to take place. Since the ghost has taken to killing people and laying down the law as to which singer should take the lead part, there is much for those in charge to worry about. Nevertheless, the show must go on.
It begins superbly with a crash of Phantom music and assorted characters on the (intentionally) gloomy stage, including one Agnes Nitt, a would-be opera star (Rhiannon Bland) and Christine (Jess Spath) as the singer in residence. Both gave excellent and often very funny performances.
The two witches, who do their best to discover the ghost's identity, had large and important parts to cope with. Phyllis Bennet was a lively Nanny Ogg and Isabel Oettinger as Granny Weatherwax looked magnificently witchlike, but on Thursday night the dialogue between them, particularly in the earlier scenes, frequently lacked the required expressiveness and pace and this considerably slowed down the thrust of the play.
Being Pratchett, the words were so clever – references to "maids of honour ending up as tarts" and "the corps de ballet and the corpse of Mr Pounder" after a killing were a dime a dozen and you needed to be quick to enjoy them all.
There were good performances among the large cast, including Andrew Smith as MD, finally unmasked as the murderer who gave the audience the best and most protracted death since Peter Sellers in The Party. Sarah Enticknap successfully put more than a touch of the Mrs Overall's into down-trodden Mrs Plinge and John Hicks (Dr Undershaft), Mike Huxtable (Seldom Bucket/Bouquet) and Ceri Lawrence (Walter Plinge) were among the strong supporting roles.
With its mix of costumes, dramatic story and Terry Pratchett's words, Maskerade produced and directed by John Hicks, should have been a winner. As I have said, there was much that was enjoyable, but Newbury Dramatic Society can do better.
NDS is the oldest established amateur theatre group in the Newbury area. Current membership is around 45, and we stage a variety of shows each year in local venues, and also enter regional drama festivals. Between rehearsals we have an active social calendar - events planned include bowling, a car treasure hunt and group outings to other theatres.
The Interview, 7th to 12th August 2017 at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Stanley, 5th to 9th July 2017, on tour
Maskerade, 17th to 20th May 2017
Just So Kipling, 13th to 15th July 2016. See the review in the archive.
The Interview, 21st to 23rd April 2016 and 7th to 12th August. See the reviews in the archive.
A Tale of Two Cities, 27th to 30th May 2015
Revolution and Revelations, 20th to 22nd November 2014. See the review in the archive.
The Local Heroes of 1914-18, 13th July 2014. See the review in the archive.
Tess of The D’Urbervilles, 3rd to 6th April 2013
Entertaining Angels, 8th to 10th November 2012 at ACE Space
The Taming of the Shrew, 2011 at New Greenham Arts
The Dog It Was That Died, 2011 at the Watermill
Curtain Up, 2010 at New Greenham Arts
Confusions, 2010 at the Watermill
Outside Edge, 2009 at New Greenham Arts
Ladies' Day, 2009 at New Greenham Arts
The Recruiting Officer, 2008 at the Watermill
Ladies Who Lunch, 2008 at New Greenham Arts
Far From the Madding Crowd, 2007 at the Watermill
A Fishy Business, 2007, Festivals
Abigail's Party, 2006 at the Watermill
What's for Pudding, 2006, Festivals
Racing Demon, 2005 at the Watermill
Babysitting Calvin and A Radio Reminiscence, 2005 at Waterside, Newbury
Whose Life is it Anyway?, 2004 at the Watermill
2004 Review, 2004, on tour
An Ideal Husband, 2003 at the Watermill
Arms and the Man, 2003 at New Greenham Arts
Taking Steps, 2002 at the Watermill
Sganarelle and People ARE Odd! A joint revue and radio play with Kingsclere Players, 2002 at the Mencap Centre
Sganarelle, 2002, Festivals
The Crucible, 2001, Thatcham and The Watermill
World Première, 2001, Festivals
Love Begins At Fifty, 2000 at New Greenham Arts
Is It Something I Said?, 2000, Festivals
It Could be Any One of Us, 2000 at the Watermill
A Midsummer Night's Dream, 1999 at Kintbury
Habeas Corpus, 1998, at the Watermill
Parentcraft, 1997, Wallingford Festival
Move Over Mrs Markham, 1997 at the Watermill
Caught On The Hop, (Festival Winner) 1996, Wallingford Festival
Flying Feathers, 1996 at the Watermill
If you are interested in joining us in any capacity - whether as an actor, director, stage manager, backstage helper or programme seller - get in touch for details! Contact Ann Davidson at .