Everyone was disappointed that our Christmas Members’ Evening on 18th December 2010 had to be postponed due to bad weather: the ice rink on the car park would have been dangerous amongst other health and safety issues! All was not lost, however: Cinderella shall go to the ball! Not cancelled but only postponed until the Members' Evening on 12th February 2011.
Our August Members' Evening was actually held on 24th July due to the planned work on the Village Hall roof, this event was very well attended with 65 members and guests. The entertainment for the evening was The Hitman - a one act play originally written as a radio play by J C W Brook, directed by Julia Yule and Hermin Daley with backstage help from Doug Yule, Eddie Stabler and Julian Gaydon. Hen-pecked husband George Ponder, admirably played by John Rimmer, dreams of a life without his domineering wife Alice (a lovely nose in the air performance by Lesley Carver). With the arrival of Miq Kelland, suitably sinister as Mafia hitman Mr Romero, accompanied by the glamorous Pam Luxton as gangster’s moll Gloria, it looks as if his dreams are about to be realised. However Alice manages to turn things around and the status quo is restored. This was followed by an appropriate Italian style meal of lasagne organised by Betsy Rimmer and catered by the Queens Head with salads and desserts provided by members. Thanks go to them and also Mike Page on the bar, and Ray and Jean Hunt who manned the raffle. Not forgetting Dawn Hanlon who did just about everything else, aided and abetted by Natalie Nelson. Nice outfits girls! During the evening our new Honorary Patron, Alexandra Bastedo, was introduced. She gave a presentation about a special fund raising evening in September for her ABC Animal Sanctuary. Finally the winner of the Chairman’s Challenge trophy was announced and presented. This was for In Two Minds - a drama about loss and recovery written by Justin Curtis, which will be performed at the February Members Evening next year.
The February Members Event was an Evening of Edwardian Parlour Games masterminded by Miq Kelland, including charades, a period picture quiz, the amazing memory game (kim’s game with Edwardian artefacts) and of course ‘word consequences’ plus a lucky ticket draw. The food, organised by Dawn Hanlon, had an Edwardian picnic theme, based loosely on the ingredients suggested for Rat and Mole’s picnic by the author Kenneth Grahame in his 1908 children’s book ‘The Wind in the Willows’. With a delightful array of period dress the evening was a great success.
The 2009 Christmas Members’ Evening was a very enjoyable Anything Goes Variety Evening. Dawn Hanlon and Natalie Nelson made their debuts as producers, bringing together some of the finest talent in the society with a variety of songs, poems and sketches accompanied by Terry Turner on the piano. Betsy Rimmer organised a lovely Christmas Pie supper and the evening was rounded off with a medley of carols – not forgetting our traditional rendering of the Twelve Days of Christmas!
Janet Methley and Chris Wills directed and produced their own play The Habits at our August Members Evening - the world premiere performance of this 2008 WCDS Chairman’s Challenge winning play. With a brilliant script and set it was a light comedy which briefly explored the interaction of honesty, tolerance and respect for individual differences in established friendships. These traits are never more tested than when friends are living together. The ‘friends’ were in their late twenties/early-mid thirties and we heard some of their favourite music. On curtain up Brothers Benedict and Thomas were seated and sewing the hoods of their habits, they were soon joined by Brother John Paul......... Congratulations to all the cast and crew for all their hard work and to Margaret Watton for organising the food. The evening was very well attended and considered to be a great success.
Chairmen of the Society Past and PresentMike Page 2003 - 2004, John Rimmer 2008 - 2018, Hermin Daley 1994 - 2003, Duncan McFarlane 2005 - 2008, Tony Watton 2004 - 2005
Our 60th Anniversary was celebrated in fine style with a black tie dinner in West Chiltington Village Hall. More than seventy members were able to attend and enjoyed comments from past Chairman Hermin Daley, a member for more than fifty years, and current Chairman John Rimmer, finishing with a slideshow of photographs from past productions.
An exhibition to celebrate our 60th anniversary was held in the Storrington and District Museum until the end of June. It was entitled Diamond Jubilee: West Chiltington Dramatic Society and comprised a collage of photos, titbits, newspaper cuttings, programmes and props.
The February Members Evening on Saturday 14th February celebrated St. Valentines Day and included a delightful performance of Lady Mary’s Jewels written and directed by Hermin Daley. The play was set in Parham House and was based on a true story of the civil war.