Past Productions – 2010s

Introduction of Original Scripts!

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Over the most recent years, Exton has continued to march on producing quality productions year on year. In addition there have been several original scripts produced by existing member Rachel Feeny-Williams, something we hope to see more of in the future!

December 2019Cinderella

April 2019Entertaining Angels

December 2018Exton Variety Show

October 2018Setting Places – Original One Act Play

April 2018 – Last Tango in Little Grimley – One Act Play

April 2018 – Proof of the Poison

December 2017Mother Goose – Pantomime

June 2017The Sound of Murder – Murder Mystery

April 2017The Murder is The Thing – Original One Act Play

December 2016Christmas Variety Show

October 2016Wife Required – One Act Play

June 2016A Fete Worse Than Death – Murder Mystery

March 2016Curtain Up

December 2015Aladdin – Pantomime

March 2015 – 84 Charing Cross Road

December 2014 – Say Something Happened – One Act Play

April 2014  – The Most Massive Woman – One Act Play – Winner of Adjudicator’s Play in Exmouth One Act Play Festival

December 2013 – Dick Whittington – Pantomime

April 2013 – Open Garden – One Act Play – Multiple Award Winner in Exmouth One Act Play Festival

March 2013Hay Fever

November 2012 – The Odd Couple

April 2012 – The Farndale Murder Mystery

November 2011 – Procenophobia

April 2011 – Duets

December 2010 – Christmas Fireside – Variety Show

September 2010 – Murder Deferred

Cinderella

December 2019 saw Exton Drama Club on top form once again with their winter pantomime, Cinderella. Directed by Hilary Hoar & Pat Cusa the show exhibited funny dialogue, brilliant slapstick humor as well as very well choreographed dance/song numbers organised by Jenny Bolt and Emily Pattison.

While congratulations for the whole production normally reside a the end of a review I have decided that a huge congratulations should go to the directors of this production. Hilary and Pat did a wonderful job with this production and the below will explain why.

The pantomime saw a lot of familiar faces on the Exton stage, much the the audiences enjoyment. Rachel Pattison took to her ‘silly’ role as Buttons, encouraging the audience in rowdy exclamations of “Buttons! Bob the Bunny’s being Bothered!”. Standing along side Buttons was his best friend Cinderella. This principle role brought the debut of Ivy Curle to Exton Drama Club. Ivy played Cinderella beautifully and ended the first act with a lovely rendition of ‘Someday my prince will come’.

Cinderella and Buttons lived in the village of Stoneybroke with Baron Hardup, brought to life by Christopher Hoar. Chris’s face is a familiar one in Exton Pantos, having played Sandra the Abominable Snowman in Aladdin in 2015 and Priscilla the Goose in Mother Goose in 2017. His progression to a speaking role was well received as he portrayed a desperate man who thought he married Miss Right (now realising her first name is always!)

Rebecca Roach brought life to the Baroness with her apt entrance song ‘Big Spender’. Rebecca’s witty back and forth dialogue with the Baron made their marriage one of humour, even if you did feel sorry for the Baron.

Naturally, along with the Baroness comes her two “rosebud” daughters, Grizelda & Gertrude. Les Richards and Sean Murphy played these two villainous characters with perfection. The Boo’ing as they entered could be heard across the road as they sought to make Cinderella’s life a misery. Les is a familiar face as pantomime dame but his partnering Sean made for a wonderfully comical pairing.

The other comical pair in this production came in the form of two bumbling builders (Bodget & Leggett) who are determined to evict the Baron from his home to make way for a hotel. Bodget brought Rob Hatton back to the Exton stage after his lovely protrayal of Bardy in Entertaining Angels earlier this year. Leggett was played by a new comer to the group, Warwick Bassett. These two, despite Bodget desperately wanting to appear professional, portrayed the bumbling duo perfectly and their ‘slapstick routine’ had the audience giggling from start to finish.

While the sisters desperately try and keep Cinderella from the ball, the fairy godmother (Fairy G) is on hand to help ensure the story reaches its happy ending. Julie Roach, another newcomer to Exton Drama Club was a lovely elegant Fairy Godmother, bringing sparkle to the show, even when ordaining her cloak to take on the role of ‘woman in the woods’.

As we all know, Cinderella wouldn’t be the story we know without the prince. Having traded in her hairdressers smock from Mother Goose in 2017, Karen Hammond took to the role of Prince Charming with gusto. Her enthusiastic dancing and beautiful duet with Cinderella (I got you babe) had the audience Ahhh’ing as the Prince desperately searched for his Princess (or was it village girl?) of his dreams.

Following the Prince in his journey of love was his faithful servant Dandini (portrayed by Rachel Feeny-Williams) and the Royal Chamberlain (portrayed by Christine Cottam). Several ‘Royal Scenes’ including the dance of “The Gentleman’s Excuse Me” provided much humour to the audience.

Of course, no pantomime is complete without the compulsory ‘animal role’. This year the role was Hagan the Horse (his viking name given ’cause he’s a norse!’). Abi Pattison and Poppy Rowsell took into the horse costume and performed brilliantly, even managing to complete a dance with two left feet!

Supporting this cast of crazy characters was an amazing group of child performers playing Solders, Villagers, Animals, Dancers and so much more! Joe Basdale, Sam Pearson & Bethany Pearson performed brilliantly with very quick changes between their scenes while Emily Pattison scared the daylights out of the characters in her cameo as the ghost.

Cinderella is a story we all know well and possibly have seen before but sitting and watching this production I can confirm Exton managed to bring a new level of humour and magic to the story. We all can’t wait for the next panto and we look forward to seeing all of the faces we’ve seen this year and possibly new ones!

Exton Drama Club would like to thank all of its audiences from coming to the shows and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Entertaining Angels

The Spring of 2019 saw Simon Bolt take in the funny (but very topically complex) production of Entertaining Angels. Audiences were not only blown away by the impressive set (consisting of a stream, greenhouse, garden lawn, patio and the back of a house!) but also were amused and moved by the characters as the story unfolded.

The story of Entertaining Angels tells the tale of Grace Thomas (portrayed by Lyn Dunning). Grace is the wife of the recently deceased Vicar, Bardolph (or Bardy) (portrayed by Rob Hatton). Not that Bardy being dead stops Grace from putting the world to rights about her current situation. The back and forth of witty banter, ferocious arguments and heart felt conversation was portrayed brilliantly by Lyn and Rob, making it impossible for you not to like the two characters.

Outside of the world of her memories she shared with her husband, Grace is choosing to spend her time in the real world being exceptionally “difficult”. The demise of Bardy means that she will have to leave the vicarage, an event she keeps changing her mind about, much to the frustration of her Psychotherapist daughter Jo (portrayed by Rachel Feeny-Williams) and missionary sister Ruth (portrayed by Pat Cusa). Grace’s difficult mood is further worsened by discovering the Vicar who is to replace Bardy and “evict” her is a woman, the kind-hearted Sarah (portrayed by Rebbecca Roach).

Looking at the mess the characters start with you would imagine things can’t get much worse, but you would be wrong. Scandal and secrets flood through this production more so than in a soap opera.

A bonding moment by the stream sees Sarah reveal that she had previously had an affair with a young French polisher, much to Jo’s amazement. Sarah then further reveals she doesn’t think she’s cut out to be a Vicar but rather than explain she disappears from the house swiftly, leaving Jo entirely baffled.

However, the ultimate “bombshell moment” for our characters comes at the end of Act One where Ruth reveals that 30 years ago she had a “dalliance” and that has resulted in her being the mother of a 30 year old son called Jeremy. And the father? Her own sister’s husband, Bardy! It is understandable that the audiences audibly gasped at this reveal and Act One closed leaving them on the edge of their seats.

Despite the seriousness of the ‘confessions’ Sarah and Ruth reveal in Act One it was the funnier of the two halves of the production.

Act Two opens two days later with the sisters still at each other’s throats and refusing to stay in the same room to discuss it. This all becomes too much for Jo who emotionally breaks down to Sarah. Sarah then in turn drops another bombshell, that as a result of her affair she’d fallen pregnant and had a termination. This particular scene was one of raw emotion and despite the comedy that had come before and would come after, this scene held tension very well.

Jo, not put off by her mother and aunt’s stubbornness, is determined to get them together to talk. Initially this starts off with the catty remarks and the arguing that you would expect (as well as an additional angry explosion from Jo).

The situation is then further complicated when Grace decides to “test drive Sarah’s pastoral skills” by asking her opinion on the situation. Not put off, Sarah further questions Grace in regards to her choice to only have only child despite her advice to “have plenty”. This leads to another emotional reveal that Grace lost another child. While Ruth does try to console her sister, the anger Grace feels that Ruth not only kept this secret from her for 30 years but she also knew about the child Grace lost.

This emotional reveal from Grace prompts a further declaration. That she was there when her husband died and in her mind, was the one who drowned him. A heartfelt and sorrowful speech from Grace brings her true feelings about her husband and their marriage to light (along with the fact that she was not responsible for his death). This moment of closure then ripples outwards as the two sisters reconcile, leading to another beautiful heartfelt moment that make up this emotional half of the play.

The final moment of closure is seen in the following scene, set a year later. Sarah (now heavily pregnant) has taken her new role as Vicar in her stride (even though she finds it difficult to get a moment of peace). One of these moments is interrupted by Grace who asks if she can sit in the garden “one last time”. This allows the audience to see the closure between Grace and Bardy before Jo and Ruth enter and the family reveal they are on their way to the airport to meat Ruth’s son. However, before they can go Grace can not help but comment on Sarah’s bump not really going with a Vicar’s collar. Not to be put off Sarah reminds Grace that Christ himself fought through all kinds of adversities but Grace has the last word stating he could have been more disadvantaged by “coming as a woman”. Seeing the family leave and Sarah settled in her new home provided a lovely moment of closure despite all the secrets that have rocked the worlds of the characters throughout.

The three nights of this production were the 4th, 5th and 6th of April and feedback from the audiences was exceptionally positive. There was much thanks offered by Simon to the cast & crew of what was a very well put together production! Please enjoy the pictures below!

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Exton Variety Show

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December 2018 saw Exton once again exhibiting a multitude of talents in their yearly Variety Show. Variety Shows have always been hits and this year was no exception. With talents ranging from hilarious sketches, beautiful songs and amusing dance numbers Exton did not disappoint! The whole evening was very well received and hosted by the very funny Les Richards.

 

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Setting Places

Cast:

Sarah – Jenny Bolt

Jack – Marc Kilsbie

Chris/Fabio – Kieran McGarry

Laura – Rachel Feeny-Williams

Crew:

Prompt: Lynn Dunning/Christine Cottam/Pat Cusa

Props: Lynn Dunning/Christine Cottam/Pat Cusa

Lights & Sound: Simon Bolt & Ashley Dyer

Almost a year and a half after her first original script ‘Murder is the Thing’ came to Exton’s stage, Rachel Feeny-Williams is at it again with another original comedy script as part of ‘An Evening of Light Entertainment’. The play was very well received over the three nights, as is evident by the below critique from Ian Attiwell.

On Saturday evening I visited Exton Drama Club to see their performance of ‘Setting Places.’ We were highly entertained. This was the first run of an original play, written by one of the cast. It concerns a small dinner party and the trials and tribulations of having entirely the wrong guests. The hostess, Sarah, had invited her sister Laura, and Sarah’s husband Jack had invited a work friend. Then Jack changed the game entirely by inviting Laura’s ex husband Chris, instead. Being a normal bloke Jack did not tell Sarah. A recipe for disaster for them and a good laugh for us. And it’s all Jack’s fault.
What a hoot it was when the ex husband Chris was hurriedly dressed and made up, complete with droopy false moustache, to be introduced as ‘Fabio’ the interior designer. His Italian accent was pure slapstick and perfect for the play. We were not at all surprised when Laura seemed to be falling for Fabio, despite hating her ex husband! There were many funny twists and turns to the plot, making for an excellent evening’s entertainment.

The set was simple and effective, making good use of the limited space in this tiny but much loved local theatre.

When the ladies were leading the dialogue the play crackled along beautifully, but there were a just few little hesitations with Jack. He kept going, however, no prompt was required and his stage presence carried him through. Fabio seemed entirely happy romping along in pidgin Italian, or was it Spanish. The audience loved him. In fact they loved the whole thing.

So, well done Exton, the basic tenet of any show is to please your audience and you definitely pleased us.

Well done also to Les Richards, who entertained us with jokes and anecdotes after the curtain came down on ‘Setting Places’. With the auditorium arranged ‘Cafe Style’ we happily munched our cheese and biscuits and drank our wine while enjoying Les and his confident delivery of many awful but hilarious jokes and stories, drawn from a seemingly endless fund.

Yes, a great night out. Sincerest thanks and Well Done to all involved.

Ian Attiwell

Last Tango in Little Grimley

Once again this year Exton took the hilarious production of ‘Last Tango in Little Grimley’ to Exmouth’s one act play festival. The story told the tale of the Little Grimley amateur dramatic society and their attempts to save their society by putting on a risky production that comes complete with its own warning of ‘Nudity and Sexual Content’.

Following the great reception of the play at Exmouth, ‘Last Tango in Little Grimley’ has now moved forward to the next stage of the competition at Dawlish.

Best of Luck to the cast & their amazing director!

Cast:

Gordon – Sean Murphy

Bernard – Les Richards

Margaret – Lyn Dunning

Joyce – Christine Cottam

Director – Simon Bolt

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Proof of the Posion

For their first production of 2018, Exton Drama Club by Falkland Cary. The 5th, 6th and 7th of April saw the beautiful main room of the Sanderson household open up to audiences. However, not all was sweetness and light, as our audience soon discover.

No sooner had you been introduced to the characters (outlined) below then the sinister reality of Mr James Sanderson’s death was revealed and everyone came under suspicion:

Cast:

Kate Wilson (James Sanderson’s step daughter) – Rachel Feeny-Williams

Robert Boyd (Kate’s fiance) – Les Richards

Nina Cooper (James Sanderson’s step daughter) – Jenny Bolt

Hector Sanderson (James Sanderson’s brother) – Rob Hatton

Helen Traynor (James Sanderson’s secretary & Hector’s wife) – Rebecca Roach

Agatha Dominic (James Sanderson’s aunt) – Ann Hacking

Mr Luce (Family solictor) – Brian Wood

Mary Whitfield (Family Domestic Help) – Emma Blasdale

Inspector Harvis – Simon Bolt

Directed by Hilary Hoar & Pat Cusa

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The backwards and forwards of suspects being pulled into the limelight certainly kept the audience guessing but in the end it was Nina Cooper who was led away in cuffs. Multiple compliments were received following the production and I think it can be safe to say that all agreed it to be a very well put together piece, leaving the audience guessing right to the end.

Please enjoy the pictures of the production above.

Hay Fever

Spring of 2013 brought the Noel Coward classic, Hay Fever to Exton’s stage. Directed by John Sharples, Hay Fever tells the story of a weekend in the delightful, if somewhat chaotic household of the Bliss Family.

The story takes place in the glamorous main room of the Bliss Household, consisting of the elegant Judith Bliss (Emma Blasdale), her literary husband David (Simon Bolt), their artistic and slightly synical son Simon (Tom Alford) and their catty daughter Sorel (Rachel Feeny-Williams). Their house maid Clara (Gloria McGinty) despairs as she learns that guests are to descend on the household.

The visitors consist of the young, if somewhat bashful Sandy Tyrrell (Dustin Sanders), the literary marvel Richard Greatham (Kevin Butler) and two ‘intriguing’ ladies Myra Arundel (Marnie Pyne) and Jackie Coryton (Sophie Pillow). While initially this may appear no different to any other house party things soon turn ugly over an after dinner game.

More peculiar still, each guest that was invited by one family member ends up with another family members attentions focused on them, including a kiss on the sofa between Judith and Richard, and a rendezvous in the library between Sandy and Sorrell.

In the end the guests decide they can take it no longer as they flee in the early morning, much to the dismay of their hosts.

In addition to a stunning set and costumes, the play is full of witty dialogue between the characters that keeps the pace of these chaotic events flowing swiftly.

Please find the full cast list and pictures below.

Hay fever

Mother Goose

 

 

 

December 2017 saw the most recent magical pantomime, Mother Goose, come to life in Exton Village Hall.

The story begins with talk of a battle between Night and Day. That is Fairy Day (Pat Cusa) and Demon Night (Rob Hatton). Demon Night is determined to prove that all humans are vain and greedy but as Fairy Day comments “good always wins, that’s just common sense!” Not to be put of, Demon Night challenges Fairy Day to a battle in the land of mortals, with the loser to fly away!

Meanwhile, in the little village of Eidertown where Mother Goose (Les Richards) and her two sons Jack (Rachel Feeny-Williams) and ‘Silly’ Billy (Rachel Pattison) work tirelessly with the help of their goose, Priscilla (Chris Hoar) to raise money for their rent without success. The greedy and nasty Squire Blackheart (Dustin Sanders) is raising the villagers rents and threatening eviction notices, much to the dismay of his neice (and Jack’s girlfriend) Jill (Hannah Edwards).

The squire’s two bumbling bailiffs, Biff (Brian Wood) and Bash (Sean Murphy) are soon sent to Mother Goose’s cottage to collect but Priscilla has other ideas, chasing them off with a peck on the bum! Despite being poor, Mother Goose still shows her heart of gold by allowing Sally The Goose Girl (Annabel Pagliero) and her gang of orphans to stay with them when they have no where to go.

As a reward for her kindness, Fairy Day casts a spell on Priscilla, allowing her to lay golden eggs, much to the family’s delight. However, its not long before the greedy squire has his eye on the golden eggs and even proposes to Mother Goose to get them. Even worse, Demon Night soon hatches (pun not intended) a plot to get Mother Goose to part with her precious goose in exchange for eternal youth and beauty.

Meanwhile, Mother Goose has ventured to Madam Fifi’s (Gloria McGinty) Beauty Parlor, where she summons her professional make up artists Trinny (Sharon Pagliero) and Susannah (Karen Hammond) to perform a three minute makeover on Mother Goose. The girls soon realise they are not up to the challenge and leave Mother Goose in Demon Night’s clutches.

The wicked Demon then lures Mother Goose to the Magic Well where she (caught in a moment of weakness) makes the trade. Chaos then ensues resulting in both Jill and Priscilla being kidnapped.

However, our brave characters are soon after him and happily ever after arrives in Jack being pronounced King of Gooseland by Queen Goosey-Goosey (Gloria McGinty) and King Gander (Pete Chubb)!

Not only did we have an amazing cast of adults and children alike but we also have several wonderful musical numbers, beautiful sets and even a hot air balloon!

This production also saw the retirement of our amazing Musical Director, Trevor Perkins!

Please find the full cast list, as well as a the lovely review from the Woodbury News,  some lovely pictures!

http://www.extonvillagehall.uk/mother-goose-2017-review.html

Enjoy!

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The Sound of Murder

Friday 23rd June saw Exton Drama Club take to the Marquee once more for another Murder Mystery ‘The Sound of Murder’. The Drama Club were determined to have their rehearsal for their upcoming production of The Sound of Music despite the apparent double booking of their rehearsal space.

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As the rehearsal unfolded, it became apparent that there were animosities between the groups ‘Star’ Julie Anders (Rachel Feeny-Williams) and everyone else in the group, and for good reason!

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The audience very quickly joined the side of the rest of the group as they watched Julie, mock, belittle and enjoy the suffering of her other group members. It was no real surprise to anyone when she was found murdered in the cellar. The only real question was, who did it?

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With the help of Inspector Foot (John Sharples) and Seargent Inch (Brian Wood), the audience were charged with the task of questioning the various suspects. Although all had their reasons for wanting Julie gone:

Martha (Anne Hacking) – A fellow aspiring actress but constantly condemned by Julie (due to her keeping the society in the black)

Aggie (Jenny Bolt) – Julie’s sister who has never seen eye to eye with her since an event 18 years ago.

Eadie (Rachel Pattison) – A member of the drama group who professes her love for Aggie but makes the mistake of allowing Julie to know it!

Andrea (Gloria McGinty) – The Musical Director of the society who hold Julie responsible for suggesting to her husband he could have a better life away from Andrea.

Sarah Snoop (Pat Cusa) – The Caretaker of the hall the group rehearse in. Julie has made it her mission to get Mrs Snoop fired, frequently going behind her back to her superiors.

Stephanie Spielberg (Lynn Dunning) – The Director of the society, condemned to local theatre after Julie is revealed to be the one who has been restricting her access to working in the big time.

Although a conspiracy was suggested at one point, it was eventually guessed by three of the table groups and guilty party (Eadie) taken into custody. This, coupled with some lovely singing by both Jenny Bolt and Ivy Dyer as well as Violin my Emily Pattison, made the evening a rousing success.

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The show as a whole (as well as the delectable supper provided by The Puffing Billy) was a lovely evening and greatly enjoyed by all.

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