For theatre... online, non-professional, amateur


The New Normal?

Now that 19 July (or ‘Freedom Day’) has come and gone – albeit delayed by four weeks – and all social restrictions in England (with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland following suit asap) we can begin to start the arduous journey of getting our theatres back to some kind of recognisable format, of how they used to be… (whatever guise the ‘new normal’ decides to take).

The need for social distancing and the use of facemasks has been eradicated – despite the infection rates going through a third wave – thanks to the NHS’s efficient rollout of the vaccine programme across the UK. If your invited to and able then please, please, please take the vaccine.

For us, this of course means that our auditoriums can, once again, enjoy 100% capacity audiences. Well, that’s the theory anyway. In reality, we’ll need to make sure our audiences are confident to come through our doors again and, in addition, convince our casts and crews that, not only are our rehearsal rooms but also our close-knit dressing rooms and performance spaces, safe places to be.

All of this won’t be easy and arguably won’t come overnight, especially as the mixed messaging from the UK Government tells us that while legal restrictions have now been lifted, we are also encouraged to keep wearing masks and socially distancing when convening in crowded spaces or whenever we feel the situation might require it.

Nevertheless, we can be encouraged by the fact that many of our members, from both sides of the curtain, have already expressed a deep desire to return as quickly as possible. With some societies already well into rehearsals. This can be seen on page six where we have listed a snapshot of productions around the British Isles that have already been announced.

Likewise, the professional theatre industry has already announced its intention to reopen with dates being listed everywhere it would seem. You only need to look at our regular Strike Up the Band! pages to see what we mean. Mind you, with the professional sector involving big money, with many shows reopening as soon as legally permitted, some big productions had to quickly close again due to a member of the company testing positive in a daily Covid test.

Such victims included Cinderella – with Andrew Lloyd Webber being particularily vocal in his dismay, Hairspray at the London Coliseum, Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare’s Globe and Wonderville at the Palace Theatre.

In an attempt to avoid similar situations arising we are all, almost certainly, going to need to show some kind of NHS ‘Vaccine Passport’ or proof of immunity to enter any kind of auditorium to see a show in the future – by law.
That means no passport, no entry. Which is likely to be part of the new normal for some considerable time to come. (Another is waiting for the banks to revert back to their previous closing times… or stick with their new 2pm deadline forever!)

Meanwhile, welcome to only our second back-to-print edition of Sardines and what has fast-become a bit of a Heathers The Musical special. Not only is our latest cover star the returning Jodie Steele as Heather Chandler, but we also feature a chat with Paul Taylor-Mills, half of the Heathers production team.

Paul speaks very fondly of his strong amateur theatre roots.

Paul & Fariba x



Paul and Fariba suggest that public confidence is the final step in getting back to normal.




Reopening Our Theatres
Eddie Redfern, the LTG’s National Liaison Officer asks how ready we really are to welcoming back audiences.




Getting Back
We asked for your reopening production details and you didn’t let us down. So here is a snapshot of what you told us.




Tamara von Werthern
The Performing Rights Manager at Nick Hern Books features her regular advice column and looks at ‘Devising’ a show.




Why Stay So Tight-Lipped?
Paul Johnson looks at why the amateur theatre sector hasn’t commented on various UK Government Covid announcememnts.




One Step Beyond! No.1
We talk to Paula Clifford about keeping busy and the reason for changing the name of RWB Productions to LnjMonroe Drama.




Your News
News stories relevant to amateur theatre-makers around the UK. Some amateur theatre, some professional, some youth/student.




Understanding Changing Consumer Behaviour
Founder and MD of Razzamataz Theatre Schools shares some advice and breaks down the world of franchising for us.




Supplier Directory
Our newest section of Sardines concentrates on bring you some examples of industry suppliers.




Jodie Steele (cover story)
Paul Johnson interviews Jodie Steele (a.k.a. Heather Chandler) and finds out she is the opposite of her onstage persona.




Giles Terera – The Pics
Our previous coverstar, Giles Terera’s book is now published, so here are some backstage pics from his time in Hamilton.




I’ll Be in My Trailer! – Paul Taylor-Mills
Our regular series of coffee-break interviews sees us speak with The Turbine Theatre’s Artictic Director about all sorts of things.




An Understudy at the Opera
Chris Abbott talks to Harriet Burns about landing a job covering a principal at Garsington opera.




Audition Advice
Matthew Malthouse shares some expert tips and advice on how to make the most of the dreaded audition process.




One Step Beyond! No.2
We focus on Amy Clayton of Early Doors Productions and how trained ex-professionals are now working in amateur theatre.




See You Next Year, Coventry
National Drama Festivals Association’s Rod Chaytor reviews a tough All Winners Finals week, but falls in love with Coventry.




Strike Up the Band!
Our attempt at bringing you up to date with what the professional musical theatre industry has in store for us.




Plays, Books & Musicals
New and re-released titles, many of which are now available for amateur performance. From big companies to small.




Index of Advertisers







YOUR NEWS – Get Those Licenses In!

YOUR NEWS – Get Those Licenses In!

By Paul Johnson

As we previously announced, MTI has offered this simple-yet-ingenius worldwide event to celebrate the return of live theatre.
Now available for groups to license, All Together Now! will allow organisations to produce and perform locally an exclusive musical revue featuring songs from MTI’s shows from Fri, 12 – Mon, 15 Nov 2021.
The initiative is entirely free-of-charge to license with no royalty or rental fees whatsoever. Participating organisations may license MTI’s All Together Now! as a fundraiser for their theatre and perform it live, live-streamed, or a combination of both over the four-day period.
Licensees will also receive a number of MTI’s theatrical resources to help with rehearsals, marketing and performances – also completely free.
“The excitement for All Together Now! among our customers is growing by the day,” said Drew Cohen President and CEO of MTI Worldwide. “Our theatre industry colleagues have also been incredibly supportive and we are thrilled to have a growing roster of partners (incl. Sardines) contributing from so many disciplines within the theatre community. This is truly a collaborative effort, and we are all extremely excited that any and every type of theatre from schools to the pros has the opportunity to produce MTI’s All Together Now! in their communities.”
John Prignano, MTI’s C.O.O. and Director of Education & Development, remarked that: “We’ve streamlined our licensing process for this special event and there are no restrictions or limits on how many theatres in a particular geographical area can license the revue. Instead, we hope that as many theatres as possible produce the revue on their own, or come together with other organisations in their communities to mount a joint production. We also wanted to give theatres as much creative input as possible.
“The revue can be presented as a concert-like performance or groups can fully stage, choreograph and costume each song as it is presented in the full version of the show. Theatres are encouraged to feature as diverse a cast as possible, in order to reflect the composition of the entire community.
“All Together Now! is about bringing people back to the theatre, whether as audience members or cast, crew and musicians. Productions will benefit from a variety of races, genders, abilities, body types, and sizes, so we encourage groups to spread diversity as best they can across all the roles in the production.”
MTI’s growing list of partners in the endeavor include: the American Association of Community Theatre (AACT), the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE), Broadway Media, BroadwayWorld, Disney Theatrical Group, Drama & Theatre, Educational Theatre Assoc. (EdTA), Funk Studios, Hal Leonard, iHeartRadio Broadway, Music Teacher, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT), Playbill, Sardines, ShowShare, Subplot Studio, TYA/ USA, WhatsOnStage.

Go to: for more info and to get started licensing.

The full list of songs included in the revue:

  • Astonishing (Little Women)
  • Back to Before (Ragtime)
  • Be Our Guest (Disney’s Beauty and the Beast)
  • Beautiful City (Godspell)
  • Children Will Listen (Into the Woods)
  • Consider Yourself (Lionel Bart’s Oliver!)
  • Empty Chairs at Empty Tables (Les Misérables)
  • Gimme, Gimme (Thoroughly Modern Millie)
  • Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) (Green Day’s American Idiot)
  • I Dreamed a Dream (Les Misérables)
  • Let It Go (Disney’s Frozen)
  • Life Is So Peculiar (Five Guys Named Moe)
  • Matchmaker (Fiddler on the Roof)
  • Meadowlark (The Baker’s Wife)
  • Middle of a Moment (Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach)
  • Pure Imagination (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
  • Seasons of Love (Rent)
  • Seize the Day (Disney’s Newsies)
  • She Used To Be Mine (Waitress)
  • Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat (Guys and Dolls)
  • Somewhere That’s Green (Little Shop of Horrors)
  • Spread the Love Around (Sister Act)
  • Stop the World (Come From Away)
  • Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (Disney & Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins)
  • Take a Chance on Me (Mamma Mia!)
  • The Human Heart (Once on This Island)
  • The New World (Songs for a New World)
  • This Is the Moment (Jekyll & Hyde)
  • Tomorrow (Annie)
  • We’re All in This Together (Disney’s High School Musical)
  • When I Grow Up (Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical)
  • Why We Tell the Story (Once on This Island)
  • Wouldn’t It Be Loverly? (My Fair Lady)
  • Writing Down the Story of My Life (Junie B. Jones, The Musical)
  • You Can’t Stop the Beat (Hairspray)
  • You Could Drive a Person Crazy (Company)
YOUR NEWS – Heart of Hammersmith Rehearsals Underway

YOUR NEWS – Heart of Hammersmith Rehearsals Underway

Heart of Hammersmith company members in rehearsals.  Photo: Nahwand Jaff

By Su-Ann Chow-Seegoolam

Heart of Hammersmith is the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre’s first large-scale community play celebrating true stories of West London with a cast of over forty local people, aged from 11–88 years.
Full casting has now been announced with participants from the adult Community Chorus, Young Lyric Partner Chorus and Amici Dance Theatre Company joining the previously announced Lyric Community Company.
The production will be running in the Lyric Theatre’s Main House from Thursday, 12 to Saturday, 14 August.
Heart of Hammersmith is written and created by Nicholai La Barrie with The Lyric Community Company, directed by Eva Sampson with Alex Hurst with set and design by Charlotte Espiner, lighting design by Shaun Parry, sound design by Lorna Munden and choreography by Diane Alison-Mitchell.
The new show celebrates West London stories past and present. The production started rehearsals in January during Lockdown via Zoom with the Lyric Community Company’s 17 young members, aged 18-25. The production has been developed throughout the year and now brings together a cast of over 40 West Londoners, including an Adult Community Chorus, aged 30-88 years; the Amici Dance Theatre Company of disabled and non- disabled performers aged from 20-70 years; and a Young Lyric Partner’s Chorus, aged 11-18 years.
From lives lived to lives lost, lives forced out and lives brought together, Heart of Hammersmith celebrates West London through all of its hardships and triumphs and the vibrant individuals who make it what it is. Inspired by true stories from West London, the play tracks immigrant arrivals, million-pound homes and social housing sitting side by side, the rise of gentrification and the shadows left by the Grenfell tragedy, the changing of attitudes, facing of tragedies and the rallying of a resilient community. Heart of Hammersmith tells the story of Dieppe Street, a street from West London’s past, and a place that today unites us.
The performances will be socially distanced in line with See It Safely industry-approved guidelines and all tickets are £10 available at .
The adult Community Chorus includes Colm Gallagher, Patricia Mantuano, Denise Clarke-Williams and Nutun Ahmed in speaking roles and Alessio Bagiardi, Francis Cherry, Margaret Cramp, Isobel Leaviss, James Mcauley, Binita Patel, Lizzie Popoff, Priya Narayan, Pauline Singh, Anne-Marie Wedderburn, Jamie Woodard, Donna Wright and Faisal Yusuf.
Amici Dance Theatre Company is a unique dance theatre company integrating non-disabled & disabled artists and performers. The Amici Company includes: John Athnasious, Stuart Cowie, Ekeama Henry-Ferrazzi , Nicolas Serial, Wilma Serial and Delson Weeks.
The children’s Partner Chorus includes: Amaiya Coleman, Luka Jankovick, Nikolas Obradovic, Agnes Suckling, Imiya Summers and Alyssia Tachie-Menson in collaboration with the Young Lyric Partner Organisations Action on Disability, Amici Dance Theatre Company, New English Ballet Theatre, Tri-Borough Music Hub, Turtle Key Arts and Zoo Nation Academy of Dance.
Working together with Nicholai La Barrie (Tina – The Tina Turner Musical Resident Director), the script has been created with The Lyric Community Company, aged 18-25, from West London. They are Gehna Badhwar, Eva Bate, Wes Bozonga, Ömer Cem Çoltu, Tom Claxton, Kitty Cockram, James Douglas-Quarcoopome, Harry Drane, Harri-Rose Hudson, Lex MacQuire, Ella McCallum, Ele McKenzie, Alfie Neill, Priyanka Patel, Danielle Tama, Wilf Walsworth, Aliyah Yanguba.

Twitter: @LyricHammer
Instagram: /LyricHammersmith
Facebook: /LyricHammersmith

YOUR NEWS – Beckenham at the End of the Line

YOUR NEWS – Beckenham at the End of the Line

Founded in 1948, asbestos signals the end of 73-year-old amateur theatre venue

By Paul Johnson

One of the saddest stories I have come across in recent times concerns the demise of Beckenham’s intimate 47-seat theatre situated on the crossroad junction of Bromley Road, Manor Road and Wickham Road.
Around fifteen years ago I personally appeared in three plays over a twelve-month period at BTC, and I loved every minute of it. Cut to 2021 and Covid is not the big problem; the enemy within is asbestos.
However, there maybe some light at the end of the tunnel. Members of BTC are determined to continue despite the harrowing diagnosis, at a new premises.
Earlier this year, Malcolm Jones, Chairman of Beckenham Theatre Trustees issued the following message via the theatre’s website:
“As many of you who attended last December’s AGM and the EGM in 2019 will know, the theatre has been struggling recently in many ways. COVID has, of course, had a huge impact on BTC. We have been closed for a year and it is still unclear on a date when we could re-open without social distancing.
“But for a longer time than COVID has been around, we have had to cope with the problems of declining membership and a failing building. We need a substantial injection of money to deal with the needs of the building survey originally undertaken in 2018. We exist in an environment in which many local amateur theatres are struggling with issues of membership and audiences.
“As was explained at the AGM, before attempting to fundraise for the money needed to repair and update the building, we needed to know the basic structure of the theatre was sound. Unfortunately, an asbestos survey found that we had asbestos in several places. The worst affected area is the cellar which has brown asbestos which, alongside blue asbestos, is considered the most dangerous type. As our Gas and Electricity supplies are in the cellar, this caused further problems as utility companies will not go into the cellar to disconnect our supplies for work to begin. This meant a substantially more expensive cost of working from the street to disconnect.
“As a consequence, the cost of removing the asbestos was moving towards £20,000, and this was before any reinstatement costs were taken into account, which meant the Trustees have had to make the difficult decision about whether this was a responsible way to use the theatre’s capital, especially considering in the last two or three years we have suffered from falling membership and audiences and falling numbers volunteering to act, direct and work backstage. That said, the children’s and youth theatres are still thriving.
“We also spoke at the AGM about the various options open to us, which include selling the land to a developer who will incorporate a community space in the new build (this would give us less money but a possible space to perform in in two years’ time, although not a like-for-like theatre) or simply selling the land to achieve the most money we can from the site.
“We are still awaiting full costs in order to make a final decision but, so as not to stand still and to try to be positive in the situation we find ourselves in, we are having presentations from three estate agents later this month who will explain how we will go about selling the land on which the theatre stands.
“In the meantime, in accordance with the membership’s wishes at the 2019 EGM, we are also investigating the best method of setting up a Trust Fund to use any monies from the sale of the land responsibly and to form a lasting and positive legacy for Beckenham Theatre.
“If the theatre is to sell the land, it does not necessarily mean the end of Beckenham Theatre. There is still money to allow the children’s and youth theatres to hire premises so they can continue and for adult productions to take place elsewhere if there is enthusiasm for this.
“In the end, we need to remember that BTC is not just a social club but a legally registered Charity and we, as Trustees, must be able to report to Companies House and the Charities Commission about our decisions and demonstrate due diligence as Trustees on how we manage the Charities assets, both financial and physical.
“We will keep our membership updated as we continue to explore the options available.”
Despite the grim news, BTC members have been carrying on regardless, conducting online social evenings, play readings and even entering regional online drama festivals.
The bottom line is still that the physical theatre is being sold for redevelopment of the land and, to that end, will not open again as a theatre.
We will bring you more news when it becomes available.

YOUR NEWS – Don’t invite fears into the room

YOUR NEWS – Don’t invite fears into the room


Many auditions, rehearsals, training courses and conferences begin by asking participants to consider their hopes and fears.
These typically get listed in two columns and sometimes are briefly discussed.
But inviting people to articulate their fears can derail and potentially ruin your ‘event’.

What’s the difference and why does it matter?
It’s both useful and constructive to hear what people want.
As well as tapping into aspirations, people are receiving a clear signal that they are being heard, and you are now in a position to adapt what happens, in light of what’s stated. The hopes are alive and active in the room!
Equally in my view – which runs counter to current conventional thinking – it’s a poor idea to hear what people fear. Or, to be more accurate, to invite them to think about or express fears when they’ve not shown any indication that fears are already on their mind.
A fear in this context is usually something that the participant would rather not happen. Typically you’ll hear that people don’t want to be put on the spot, or made to look silly when they ask a basic question. Sometimes it’s that they don’t want to be judged in front of the group, or they are concerned that they won’t be offered a much-coveted role.
We’re not usually dealing with existential fears such as falling from a great height, being consumed by flames or dying of starvation – unless our event happens to be parachuting, fire-fighting or survival skills.
we don’t want doesn’t always have a logical connection with what we do want. You can know that you don’t want to be caught in a fire and still have no idea what you want.

Discovering what PEOPLE really want… ask them!
You might say, ‘Well I do know what they want: it’s detailed on my website what this is about.’ Or, ‘I’ve been briefed on what’s required.’ While both of these may guide your planning, each participant will also have their own expectations, which will influence how they interact.
The way to find out what they do want is to ask them about it – then we can directly proceed to producing it. People invariably want to be treated with consideration: to feel physically and psychologically safe, have choices about how much or how little to contribute, and feel that the event – whatever it may be – is a good use of their time.
It’s worth noting that providing all the conditions that people do want will automatically ensure the absence of what they don’t want, which then means listing fears would probably be redundant.
How is such a switch possible with what seems like a relatively trivial linguistic adjustment?
Ideas about what we do and don’t want are equally constructions or stories about an as-yet unrealised future. And the stories we invite to take shape affect how that future emerges.
If we talk about what we do want, we have all the information we need to start creating that atmosphere, those conditions and the desired results. But people have fears and anxieties and they want to express them, you might say.
No, they don’t, they construct them, and that difference that is more than semantic. When asked about concerns, someone will probably join in that conversation and come up with: ‘Oh, yes, now you mention it, I’m concerned about the timing of the coffee breaks’. They didn’t ‘have’ that concern before.

Co-creating a different dialogue
Generate a positive atmosphere by co-creating a different dialogue – perhaps about our readiness to set off on an exploratory adventure together.
If you have already promised air time to ‘find out their fears about what your event is about’, then keep it brief, and decide what to do with them. In my first book, before realising there’s no need to conjure up stories about fears, I suggested people write them on a piece of paper and ceremonially put them into a bucket, from which they were invited to collect them later if they still wanted them.
So, if you control the agenda, resist the temptation. If you have negative thoughts yourself, try to turn them around rather than passing them onto the group. For example, instead of: ‘I’m worried you’ll be late to the rehearsal’, you might suggest: ‘Can we agree we’ll be starting on time?’
Instead of: ‘I fear you are all going to be distracted’, let’s switch to: ‘What’s going to keep us focused today?


YOUR NEWS – Witness Sees an Autumn Delay

YOUR NEWS – Witness Sees an Autumn Delay

Image: Witness for the Prosecution at London County Hall. Photo: Sheila Burnett

Agatha Christie’s famous courtroom drama delays its reopening due to uncertainty around a return to full capacity in theatres

By Paul Johnson

The reopening of Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution at London County Hall has been delayed until 14 September 2021. The production was due to reopen on 3 August.
Producers of the popular and perfectly staged production, Eleanor Lloyd and Rebecca Stafford, told Sardines: “We are absolutely gutted that we have to delay the re-opening of Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution at London County Hall until 14 September.
Unfortunately, the combined effects of continued uncertainty around a return to full capacity in theatres, no provision of cancellation insurance, and the delayed delivery of our promised Cultural Recovery Fund grant are such that we cannot afford to proceed with the rehearsals as planned. We have not taken this decision lightly. It leaves fifty-one people waiting to resume their jobs. For us as producers the cost of remaining closed is significant and will increase as furlough and business rates relief are reduced from July (the end of the various support schemes were not extended in line with the government’s four-week delay to the easing of restrictions from 21 June to 19 July).
We are sorry for our wonderful and loyal audience who stood ready to support our return in August. We urge you, please re-book into the new dates from 14th September and come and celebrate with us as soon as we are able to declare ‘THE COURT IS NOW (RE)OPEN’.”
In Agatha Christie’s savagely twisting and timeless drama, Leonard Vole is accused of murdering a widow to inherit her wealth. The stakes are high. Will he be able to convince the jury of his innocence and escape the hangman’s noose?
The twists and turns of the case are played out in a spectacular courtroom setting inside the iconic London County Hall as prosecution battles defence and witnesses take the stand to give their shocking testimonies. The production received Best Revival nominations at the 2018 Olivier and WhatsOnStage Awards.
Witness for the Prosecution is booking through to 20 March 2022. Tickets are on sale by visiting:

Alternatively, call: 0844 815 7141. Currently booking from 14 Sep 2021 to 20 Mar 2022.

Twitter: @WitnessPlayLDN
Instagram: @witnessplayldn
Facebook: WitnessPlayLDN
#SeeYouInCourt #sworntosecrecy

YOUR NEWS – Who? What? Where? The Ultimate Whodunnit… CLUEDO

YOUR NEWS – Who? What? Where? The Ultimate Whodunnit… CLUEDO

By Paul Johnson

In our previous edition we announced the new life-sized and interactive attraction Monopoly coming to London.
Hot on its heels is a new stage play based on the classic whodunnit board game preparing to tour the UK in 2022.
Was it Miss Scarlet, with the revolver in the dining room, or was it Professor Plum, with the lead pipe in the library…?
Producers Joshua Andrews and Stuart Galbraith of Kilimanjaro Theatricals, in collaboration with their US producing partners Work Light Productions, Lively McCabe Entertainment & The Araca Group, have announced that Cluedo, a new stage play based on the classic Hasbro detective board game loved by generations, is to tour the UK between January and July next year.
Based on Jonathan Lynn’s 1985 screenplay of the Paramount film Clue, the stage play is written by Sandy Rustin with additional material by Hunter Foster and Eric Price and, for the UK production, Mark Bell, director of The Play That Goes Wrong and A Comedy About A Bank Robbery.
He will direct the UK premiere production and just like the game, it promises audiences of all ages a nostalgic, fun and thrilling evening of entertainment.
When Miss Scarlett, Professor Plum, Mrs Peacock, Revered Green, Mrs. White and Colonel Mustard all arrive at a country house one dark and stormy evening, they find out that they have all received the same mysterious invitation from Lord Boddy.
What’s clear is that they all have something to hide and the mystery and hysteria grows, as the inhabitants and guests of Boddy Manor start being killed, with a variety of familiar weapons, leaving everyone to wonder, who will be next!
The spoof of a thriller, promises to keep you guessing right up to the finale as both audience and cast try to work out whodunnit, with what and where.

Twitter: @CluedoStagePlay
Instagram: @CluedoStagePlay
Facebook: /CluedoStagePlay

2022 Tour Dtaes:

  • w/c – 24 Jan – Bromley: Churchill Theatre
  • w/c – 7 Feb – Norwich: Theatre Royal
  • w/c – 14 Feb – Cambridge: Arts Theatre
  • w/c – 21 Feb – Woking: New Ambassadors
  • w/c – 28 Feb – Nottingham: Theatre Royal
  • w/c – 7 Mar – Richmond: Richmond Theatre
  • w/c – 14 Mar – Coventry: Belgrade Theatre
  • w/c – 21 Mar – Leeds: Grand Theatre
  • w/c – 4 Apr – Cardiff: New Theatre
  • w/c – 11 Apr – Shrewsbury: Severn Theatre
  • w/c – 25 Apr – Bath: Theatre Royal
  • w/c – 2 May – Birmingham: Alexandra Theatre
  • w/c – 9 May – Edinburgh: Kings Theatre
  • w/c – 16 May – Southampton: Mayflower
  • w/c – 30 May – Milton Keynes: Milton Keynes Theatre
  • w/c – 6 Jun – Leicester: Curve Theatre
  • w/c – 13 Jun – Brighton: Theatre Royal
  • w/c – 20 Jun – Malvern: Festival Theatre
  • w/c – 26 Jun – Salford: Lowry Theatre
  • w/c – 4 Jul – Glasgow: Theatre Royal
  • w/c – 11 Jul – Wolverhampton: Grand Theatre
  • w/c – 25 Jul – Belfast: Grand Opera House


In response to our YouTube video: “No comment from the non-professional sector? …right, it’s just us then!” on 16 June 2021…

Hi there,
I hope you are well.
Thank you for voicing what so many of us are feeling. It is as if we have been swept under the carpet to clear away the mess. There seems to be no-one fighting our corner, so please keep up the good work.
Best wishes

In response to our YouTube videos in general…

Just a quick note to say many thanks for your continued videos – they are informative and interesting and I like that you continue to challenge things whether government policy, am-dram societies and umbrella bodies quietness on issues etc.
It has been good because you have shared some info of what is happening, some of which I knew and other parts were news to me. I’ve just been listening to the one hour epic with the LTG, the NDFA, and the ex-CEO of NODA. In many ways I think your last speaker was spot on in terms of how things have gone during the pandemic. Whilst I can’t disagree with the LTG and NDFA comments re. doing what their members want, I think a lot of societies were looking to these groups for more guidance or best practice on what can be done safely within Amateur theatre.
There is always a need to comment, complain, etc. if something isn’t right… At worst you are glad you vented, and at best you may just have reached the right person’s ear…
I am in a couple of am-dram theatre groups and to be honest have not received any info from them unless I chased, and even then I believe they hid behind the policy of ‘safer not to do anything until the country is fully open again’ message, and not taking any opportunities offered to assemble or get creative.
I am also an individual member of NODA and apart from a couple of newsletters that mention some of what other societies have done during lockdowns I have seen no guidance or information, and certainly no comment on the government’s 4-week delay etc. Their website, even the members section has hardly any references to Covid, and their sub-section on NODA safe has no example Covid-safe policy for amateur theatres… almost as if Covid doesn’t exist.
I am disappointed that as an am-dram group we are still not back in rehearsals as yet – despite technically being able to from 17 May, there just seems to be no appetite to make the necessary commitment to Covid safety to make things work now… so yes, nothing happening until after 19 July. And of course we do not yet know if that date is a safe bet yet…
Your last speaker on the one-hour video made some good points about the amateur theatre needing a voice.. I think he is right, and especially in these difficult times. It may well be that the professional theatre groups might also welcome that extra (amateur) voice too, and may even sponsor that inclusion in their overall lobbying approach.
I think the biggest worry going forward is not that amateur theatre will start up again and may flourish, but on how many individual members may have got used to not doing it, and may not be bothered when it does start again. A lot of societies may see a shortfall in numbers come the end of summer…
Thank you for your continuing comments and encouragement about theatre, as I said informative and a voice (maybe the only one!) for us all… Keep up the good work.

In response to our YouTube video: “No comment from the non-professional sector? …right, it’s just us then!” on 16 June 2021…

Absolutely right! If the people involved in non-professional theatre don’t speak up then they are, effectively, devaluing their creative sector.
Small theatres and am-dram theatre companies rely on bums on seats to keep going. Everyone involved in the performing arts sector should be raising questions and leading discussions like this!

YOUR NEWS – Good Life Just Around the Corner

YOUR NEWS – Good Life Just Around the Corner

Bet you never thought you’d hear that this year!
Well, before you get carried away, a brand-new stage adaptation of the beloved 1970s British sitcom will tour the UK this Autumn. The new comedy by Jeremy Sams, is based on the classic television series by John Esmonde and Bob Larbey which entertained countless millions fifty years ago.
Directed by Jeremy Sams, this world premiere production will be the first time that the iconic characters of suburban neighbours the Goods and the Leadbetters will be seen onstage.
Starring actor, comedian and presenter, Rufus Hound, as Tom Good, The Good Life will open at Theatre Royal Bath on 7 Oct before touring the country to seven venues.
Remember the Goods – Tom and Barbara, suburban eco-warriors? And their next-door neighbours Margo and Jerry Leadbetter, desperately trying to maintain the Surbiton status quo? Jeremy Sams’ comedy leads the well-loved characters (not forgetting Geraldine the goat) through adventures, old, new and often familiar. This new play celebrates a time when, whatever our differences, we still managed to get on with our neighbours.
The BBC sitcom ran on British television from 1975 to 1978 starring Richard Briers, Felicity Kendal, Penelope Keith and Paul Eddington.
Jeremy Sams’s theatrical directing credits include Noises Off, Spend, Spend, Spend, The Sound of Music and Oklahoma!.
Rufus Hound’s appearances include Doctor Who, One Man, Two Guvnors, What The Butler Saw, Don Quixote, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Neville’s Island and The Wind in the Willows.