The December members' evening took an unusual turn with Bad Day at Black Frog Creek - a "panto" with a Wild West flavour. Yippee Brown (George Williamson) and Old Ma Treacle (Hermin Daley) tried to cook frogs helped by an entourage of chums, Big Brad (Jim Nicholas) and Angel Delight (Natalie Nelson). With the arrival of Filthy Frank Chisolm (Doug Yule) we were treated to a gaggle of rib-tickling "smelly" jokes. When No-Nose Muldoon (Graham Till) and his gang, Hairy Hannah (Janet Methley) and Dumbo Dawson (Miq Kelland) tried to steal back the diamond from the gorgeous Diamond-Tooth Lil panic set in. But it was happy endings all round! All the participants entered brilliantly into the spirit of the Wild West, complete with sound effects and music and song. The delicious bangers and beans provided by Charlotte Turner, and the fancy dress worn by many members made it a memorable production ably directed by Judith Dredge, who was sadly ill and missed all the fun.
The entertainment for the August 2008 Members Evening was a performance of last year’s Chairman’s Challenge winning entry written by Linda Stabler. Who’s Speaking was a spooky tale featuring Duncan MacFarlane, Janet Methley and Natalie Nelson. After supper the winners of the 2008 Chairman’s Challenge, Janet Methley and Chris Wills were presented with the trophy. We hope to be able to see their play The Habits some time next year.
In June we once again hosted a visit by The Rude Mechanical Theatre Company who presented Noah Babel’s Ark. Set in London in 1922, it was a comedy thriller, dark and menacing, with a surrealist twist. It featured Noah Babel, a carousel animal carver and his sons and was a reworking of the Noah’s Ark legend.
At our March members evening we were all entertained by the Time of our Lives Musical Theatre Company. What a delight it turned out to be as we were transported through many centuries of popular entertainment. Their production entitled All the Worlds a Stage was a lively, slick and professional performance and was very entertaining.
Our Christmas Members Evening was suitably festive with a very funny pantomime - Red Riding Hood - directed by Hermin Daley, gathering together faces old and new. It is always refreshing to see those members who don’t normally tread the boards “having a go”! Welcome back to Mike & Zaria Page and we hope to see new member Anne Barnes up on stage again in the future. Betsy had a busy evening, not only renewing memberships and enrolling new members, but also organising the delicious hot supper. The evening was rounded off with the traditional carol singing (not forgetting the Twelve Days of Christmas - always an enthusiastic rendition by the audience!) led by members of the St. Mary’s Church Choir from Storrington.
In September we were treated to an entertaining evening as Judith Dredge relived her travels through Europe and South America in the 1950s as part of the famous troupe of dancers led by Miss Bluebell. Jane Ball produced a slideshow of some of the wonderful
photographs which illustrated this talk. As a Bluebell Girl Judith had a very exciting time, experiencing a revolution in Argentina, and being privileged to receive a gift of chocolates from President Peron himself.
In 2007 the Village Hall celebrated its 50th Anniversary and to mark the occasion the various users of the Hall put on displays and events. For the week of the event the society had a display board, arranged by Margaret Watton, with photos and posters. On the Saturday of the event we held an open evening to encourage potential members to come and see the society in action. This took the form of various displays of memorabilia and photos, and also to see behind the scenes. Finally we presented a Murder Mystery entitled The Mystery of Talbot Manor where the audience had to solve the crime of how and why the mad professor was murdered. This turned out to be a very thought provoking exercise with three tables getting the correct results to varying extents.It was a very successful evening in that we managed to demonstrate to a wider audience what we are and what we do. So successful that we enrolled several new members. All in all an excellent evening's work.
There was strong competition at this year’s Sussex Downs One-Act Drama festival, hosted by Rustington Players, with entries from Ashington, Bury, Rustington, Storrington and ourselves. We had two entries, Man’s Best Friend
directed by Linda Stabler, and an excerpt from Fallen Angels directed and produced by Judith Dredge and Hermin Daley. The Adjudicator's Special Award went to the Fallen Angels Technical Team (in particular Charlotte Turner - Props).