St Mary Magdalene Drama Group Committee Report 2015

This report covers the twelve month period to the end of December 2015 during which time the Committee sat on five occasions. The AGM was held on 8th July. The 2015 programme included presentations of ‘Macbeth’ in June and ‘The Revue’ in October. The Group also participated in various other activities throughout the year within the worship and social fellowship of the Church Community.

The Group were delighted to welcome Jayne Buckland and Derek Parr as new members in 2015. The Group remembered with sadness the passing in the last year of Richard Shone, Marian Kemball-Cook, Ray Barker and Norman Gillibrand who had been friends and supporters of the Group.

The year’s programme began with Colin Gibbens, Simon Downes and Aniru Shyllon taking part in the Epiphany service in January as the three Magi.

The Group’s New Year Party was held on Wednesday 21st January. It was very successful with 20 or so friends and members coming along. Gordon and Jackie were able to join us. Alison Reeve organised the opening game and there were contributions to the entertainment from Chris Moon, Cristyn Williams, Derek Parr, Michael & Janet Dixon and Vic Harrington. The customary charades were organised by Janet Rossiter. Gordon concluded with toasts to the Group and best wishes for Macbeth. Best wishes were also sent to the Group’s Chairman, Janet Reed, who had been unable to join the Group for the evening.

The Palm Sunday reading on 28th March was directed by Chris Moon. Jackie Nugent, Alison Ludlam, Janet Rossiter, Wendy Dollimore and Ann Rolland read the Matthew Gospel reading from the ‘Proclaiming the Passion’ book of narratives. Kiera provided ‘drum effects’. Microphones on stands were successfully used to amplify the voices. In all, it was simply presented and powerfully read.

The Group’s presentation of ‘Macbeth’ on Friday 5th June and Saturday 6th June was brave, inspired and a great success. The director was Rachel Moon and her deep knowledge of the play was reflected in the continuity of the scenes. Over 110 people attended the two performances. Gordon had preached a sermon on Macbeth on the Sunday before the performances and commented on them in his ‘Vicar’s Letter’.

The production involved the co-operation with, and contribution from, a number of local theatre groups including Incognito Theatre, The Barn Theatre, Southgate Opera and, in particular, Cuffley Players. Several members of Cuffley Players took parts in the production, provided prompt and also provided invaluable technical assistance with the demanding lighting and sound requirements.

The split-level set had been imaginatively designed and the use of entrances and exits through the Hall had worked really well.

After the production, discussions commenced with Cuffley Players about Rachel directing ‘Macbeth’ as a Cuffley Players production and as 2015 came to a close it looked as though it was going to be presented as the November 2016 Cuffley Players’ production.

The Group’s AGM was held on Wednesday 8th July. It was attended by 11 members including the Group’s President, the Rev’d Dr. Gordon Giles. The Committee was elected en-bloc. The Committee Report and Group accounts were presented at the meeting. The Committee report was published in the Church magazine.

The Group presented ‘The Revue’ in association with some friends from Southgate Opera Company on Thursday 22nd, Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th October. The director was Chris Moon. It was an original production comprising poems read by Drama Group members and songs performed by Southgate Opera. The readings and songs were grouped into ‘themes’ such as ‘The Bard’, ‘Love’ and the ‘Seasons’ It had been a good production to follow ‘Macbeth’ in that it was so completely different. A good foyle to ‘Macbeth’.

The mixture of poems and songs had worked well as had the proximity of the performers to the audience. It had also been an opportunity to involve friends who had not performed with the Group recently. The production went slickly, provided variety and was easy for the audience to engage with.

It was the first time that the Drama Group had worked with members of Southgate Opera. They enjoyed the involvement and the production was certainly something that the Group could consider doing again.

The Drama Group contributed throughout 2015 to events organised within the Church community including providing stalls at the Christmas Fair and performing ‘Albert and the Lion’ and ‘The Return of Albert’ at the Parish Concert on Saturday 27th June which had been dedicated to Norman Gillibrand who had recently passed away.

The Group maintained its presence on the Church’s website as well as Enfield Council’s Voluntary and Community Sector database. The Group continued to co-operate with and support other local Drama Groups. Building and sustaining links with other groups is critically important for the Group. These links had been important in the Group’s two 2015 presentations and its co-operation and relationships with Cuffley Players and Southgate Opera Group strengthened significantly in 2015. The Group donated £400 in 2015 for the use of the Hall and Vestry.

In the course of further work in improving the Hall back garden, repairs were made to the side of the Drama Group Hut replacing missing or rotten wood and the area around the back and side of the Hut was cleared. Group members painted the newly repaired sides of the Hut in the summer. The process of removing unwanted items from the Hut continued and work was also carried out on the stage flats.

A dozen or so singers assembled for the Group’s street carol singing on Tuesday 22nd December. We were delighted that Gordon was able to join us. The singing had to be shortened because of persistent rain and then a brief thunderstorm. The Committee extended its thanks to Janet Reed for her hospitality before and after the singing. £143 was raised for the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice – the Church’s chosen charity for the 2015 Christmas season.

Several Group members and other members of the congregation took part in the Nativity pageant at the two Christingle Services on Christmas Eve which were attended by over 500 congregants. Jackie Nugent and Jayne Buckland took the part of Gabriel, Jason Goodman played Joseph, Dawn Cope and Bella Horlick played Mary and the three Magi were James Horlick, Simon Downes and Aniru Shyllon. Use was made for the first time of costumes made for the purpose by Pam Hagan and Judy Smith. Thanks were extended to Pam and Judy. Some of the remaining costumes were hired from the Potters Bar Theatre Company.

For the first time the three Magi had also contributed to the Nine Lessons and Carols Service on Sunday 20th December. The gifts were processed up the centre aisle during the singing of ‘We Three Kings of Orient Are’ by Colin Gibbens, Vic Harrington and Simon Downes.

So concludes the 2015 Committee Report.

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