What an amazing production, a huge congratulations to Karen Penny for Directing, the cast who were fabulous, the backstage crew and front of house, who without their commitment and enthusiasm, this play wouldn’t have been possible.
Words from our director Karen Penny
Bishopston Amateur Dramatic Society are proud to present Calendar Girls, a play based on the true story of a group of ordinary women from a small Yorkshire Women’s Institute who are inspired to appear nude for a calendar to raise money for charity in memory of one of their husbands.
News of the women’s charitable venture spreads like wildfire and hordes of press soon descend on the small village of Knapely in the Yorkshire Dales. The Calendar is a success, but Chris and Annie’s friendship is put to the test under the strain of newfound fame….
Our local cast have been amazing, all amateurs, many in their first production. They have courageously dispelled any inhibitions they may have by not not only appearing live on stage in revealing circumstances but have also been willing to appear in our very own charity calendar.
We have produced 250 calendars, the production costs of which have been kindly donated by local businesses and supporters. We are delighted that 100 % of all sales of the calendar will go to three different charities representing “Hearts, Minds and Body”.
These organisations are: Alzheimers Research UK, Cancer Research UK ( a donation to a young man living with bowel cancer who is about to trek around Iceland) and for a defibrillator for Swansea Bay parkrun.
I, like many others have been profoundly affected by the loss of loved ones due to Alzheimers and cancer, and our local parkrun which attracts up to 500 participants weekly will benefit significantly by the presence of a lifesaving defibrillator
“Remembering Winston, Walter, Alfie, Kingsley and Alma. Never forgotten. And especially thinking of my Dad Keith at this very difficult time.”
Voices Beneath the Waves, written by one of our members Sarah Goodall, is available as an audio play. Many of the BATS team have been working hard to produce our first audio play and it is now ready. Please do provide us with your feedback on this historical local story.
The BATS Autumn 2018 production was ‘The Lady in the Van’, written by Alan Bennett and directed by Sian Cole.
Cast members :- Miss Shepherd – Julie Greenwood Alan Bennett – Steve Richardson Alan Bennett 2 – Roger Bell Mam – Wendy Thomas Rufus – Barry Cooper Pauline – Heather Cooper Social Worker – Helen Gwilliam Underwood – Stewart Hiorns Leo Fairchild and Mam’s Doctor – Dave Spear Lout and Miss Shepherd’s Doctor – Laurence Evans Interviewer and Ambulance driver – Karen Penny
Sian Cole’s Directors Blog
The rehearsals are going really well and the whole cast are just brilliant! There have been frantic back stage preparations for lighting, sound, props and costumes, and, as always, everyone has worked hard to make this another extraordinary production.The two Alans’ in their matching costumes are just mesmerizing; Miss Shepherd in her old, soiled cloths provides an amazing surly performance; with the rest of the cast adding their own distinctive character to make this a memorable show.
First Night Success
For the director, actors, technicians and the support staff, the first night of any show can produce some nervous moments…will I remember my lines, when do I come on stage, I must remember my stage props, etc. However, the first night of this production was just amazing. The two Alans and Miss Shepard delivered brilliant performances. I did notice that several members of the audience provided a standing ovation at the end. Congratulations to everyone at BATS for a wonderful show.
‘A polished and professional production ‘ ‘Amazing staging and acting especially on such a small stage’ ‘Great performances from all the cast’ ‘A wonderful rapport between Alan Bennett and Miss Shepherd, both tender and full of humour’ ‘Miss Shepherd was mesmerising’ ‘How did you get the real Alan Bennett to agree to do this?!’ ‘Your lady rivals Dame Maggie Smith!’
‘A polished and professional production ‘
‘Amazing staging and acting especially on such a small stage’
‘Great performances from all the cast’
‘A wonderful rapport between Alan Bennett and Miss Shepherd, both tender and full of humour’
‘Miss Shepherd was mesmerising’
‘How did you get the real Alan Bennett to agree to do this?!’
‘Your lady rivals Dame Maggie Smith!’
Thank you to our wonderful audience for coming to the show.
For the director, actors, technicians and the support staff, the first night of any show can produce some nervous moments…will I remember my lines, when do I come on stage, I must remember my stage props, etc. However, BATS first night of this production was just amazing. The two Alans and Miss Shepard delivered brilliant performances. I did notice that several members of the audience provided a standing ovation at the end. Congratulations to everyone at BATS for a wonderful show.
To celebrate 50 years of BATS, a party was held in September for members past and present and of course our loyal patrons. Live entertainment was provided by singer Deano Martini www.deanomartini.com and close up magician Dave Hitchcott www.mellusion.co.uk, with canapés and bubbles to accompany a wonderful birthday cake. Everyone that attended the 50th celebration party had a wonderful time and one of our founding members, Dorothy Morris cut the cake to celebrate this memorable evening.
BATS have provided live theatre to the Gower area for 50 years, a big achievement and one worth celebrating. The variety of directors over the years has ensured a range of plays have been shown, providing a range of genres for our audiences.
Not one to shy away from challenges our November production is ‘Tom Jones’ with a large cast, many scene changes and props. The play is an ambitious one but a perfect way to celebrate 50 years. Tickets on sale soon.
David and Carolyn Gawres had contacted BATS earlier this year to see if we could advice them on how to stage a play requiring numerous doors, a window, a balcony and staircase in a small village hall. And the set has to be turned 180º between Acts 1 and 2, and again between Acts 2 and 3! Barry gave them advice based our BATS production in 2006 and I helped by sending David the design of the set and details of how we turned the set. Some of you may recognise the set shown in the image in the review.
I was very interested to see how HADIT got on so I went up to see their first night last Wednesday. HADIT are a similar sized group to BATS in a similar hall and I was made to feel very welcome. In the programme BATS were thanked “for their generous advice on producing the play on a small stage.” Of course you may be thinking did HADIT give a better performance than BATS? All I can say is they gave an energetic performance which had the audience rocking with laughter and the curtain call was greeted with cheers and applause.
I have been in touch with David since my visit and he tells me another local group who saw their production were impressed and have contacted him as they want to talk to him about how he did the set!
The first two nights have been very well received by our sell out audiences. The whole cast have been outstanding, as well as some wonderful individual performances and great comic moments. Saturday nights fish and chip supper seemed a gastronomic success. Thanks to everyone behind the scenes for their support.
Tickets are still available for the final three performances on Thursday 6th April, Friday 7th April and Saturday 8th April 2017 at St. Teilo’s Church Hall, The Glebe, Bishopston. Doors open at 19:00hrs for a 19:30 hrs show.
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