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     Current Season - 2021/22

"A Fine Bright Day Today"
by Philip Goulding
28th, 29th and 30th October

LADS return to Lopping Hall with this warm, funny and moving play about finding love in later life.
 
Since the death of her trawler-man husband 30 years ago, Margaret Harvey has lived with her daughter Rebecca in a small coastal town.  Rebecca is moving out to live with her boyfriend, so when she meets Milton Farnsworth, an American visiting the area to paint the landscape, she invites him to lodge with Margaret during his stay.
 
Margaret has become set in her ways, dependent on ritual and superstition, but with patience, humour and cheap wine, Milton gradually encourages her to relinquish her hold on control
 
"Gaslight" by Patrick Hamilton
20th, 21st, 22nd January 2022

This classic Victorian thriller was first produced in 1935 and is a dark tale of a marriage based on deception and trickery.  On the surface it’s a Victorian melodrama, a real potboiler, but it is uncannily insightful and accurate in its depiction of an abusive relationship.
 
Why do the lights in the Manningham’s house inexplicably dim?  Why do things mysteriously disappear?  Perhaps Mrs Manning ham is losing her grasp of reality or are there more sinister forces at work? The unannounced arrival of retired detective Rough, leads to the revelation of the shocking truth. Set in fogbound, Victorian London this compelling drama promises to grip its audience from the start.

 

 
"Frost/Nixon" by Peter Morgan 31st Mar, 1st and 2nd April 2022
 
In one of the biggest bouts of the 1970s, heavyweight and disgraced US President US, Richard Nixon, faced a battering from David Frost, playboy and presenter, who many thought was punching above his weight. It was a battle of words in which both fought for their reputation. Could Frost secure an apology from Nixon for the Watergate scandal? Or would the former “leader of the free world” uphold his belief in the legality of his actions?

Morgan’s described his play as “a sort of intellectual Rocky.” He drew on the actual interviews to tell the story of how the British talk show host persuaded Nixon to face trial by TV and so produce one of the most dramatic and compelling pieces of news television ever.

 
"The Actress" by Peter Quilter 16th, 17th, 18th June 2022

Lydia Martin, colourful grande dame of theatre, is preparing to give her farewell performance before her “make up can’t disguise” her. Into her dressing room bursts a procession of welcome, and not so welcome, characters from her career and family to wish her well and to relive the past.
 
This bitter-sweet comedy explores Lydia’s relationships with key people in her life, including her daughter, ex-husband, agent and dresser, as she prepares to leave everything behind for a new life once the final curtain falls.
 

     LADS' Youtube productions

“I’ll be Seeing You” by Peter Harrison
 

Our production of the radio play "I’ll be Seeing You” is now available on YouTube.  It starts at the beginning of World War II and is a story told through letters between a Mother and her young son as he joins up.  His choices drive a wedge between them, but we see that when life falls apart, it often mends in a stronger, happier way than you can ever imagine.
https://youtu.be/eKf8AlBgxPg

“Last Cage Down” by Peter Harrison
 
“Last Cage Down” is a short radio play dealing with the final closings of the mines in the 1980s and what the future held for pitmen.  It is a play of hope and new beginnings, and shows how friendship and laughter can get you through the darkest of times.
https://youtu.be/ngRrLFb-i6o

 

Babs Oakley and Roger Barker clock up 135 years collectively with LADS.

Watch the interviews with them on YouTube carried out by Val Jones and Jenny Skinner and expertly edited and created by James Harrington.  Babs and Roger are so skilled in their craft and extremely generous in their time and support for everyone who comes along to 'tread the boards'.
 
Act I:  Babs and Roger reflect on why and how they joined LADS, and on the thrill of performing and being part of a team.
https://youtu.be/1GjwCoyeW7o
 
Act II:  Coronavirus and LADS.  Babs and Roger talk about how the pandemic has affected them and how they have missed the theatre, but how they have conquered their fears of Zoom and have performed again in the LADS' YouTube presentations.
https://youtu.be/KofYNreAeYs 

 
“A Walk on the Wild Side” in association with EFDC’s Festival of Culture

Come and join us on our Walk on the Wild Side as we present stories, poems and dramatic extracts celebrating the animal kingdom and the natural world. 
 
This compendium of entertainment features writers such as Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling, D H Lawrence, Edward Lear and Kenneth Grahame, all performed by LADS’ members.
https://youtu.be/2hAgq_btXfM

 

 
“The Memory of Snow” a radio play by Sian Rowland.  Directed by Cathy Naylor.

“It is now 102 years since the execution of the Russian Royal Family.  In this funny, moving and compassionate play we experience the hopes and fears of the four young Romanov sisters during their 18 month incarceration before their deaths in July 1918.  It is a portrayal of how love can win through in the most hopeless of situations.”
https://youtu.be/BLhbiD-U0ng

“Alone/Together” – Directed by Howard Platt

LADS brings you a collection of stories about how the pandemic has both kept us apart and brought us together – stories of  frustration, laughter, tears and the indomitable spirit of ordinary people living through extraordinary times”
https://youtu.be/7qbAxEETpIs