Aldermaston Players

2012 Oh! Coward – NODA Review



Society           ;           Aldermaston Players

Production     ;           “OH COWARD”

Date                ;           Friday 24th February 2012

Venue             ;           Aldermaston Parish Hall

Report by       ;           Henry Hawes – NODA Representative – Area 13

On Friday 24th February 2012, I was pleased to be invited to the Aldermaston Players second presentation since being affiliated to NODA, and what a good start they have made! From their double bill, ‘Art’ and ‘Man’s View’ to this evenings presentation ‘Oh Coward’, which was combined with an excellent meal, and certainly bodes well for this progresive and enthusiastic group.

The evenings entertainment was in the format of a Revue of Noel Coward’s work who is best known for his comic masterpieces such as Blithe Spirit, Private Lives and Hay Fever. But apart from that, Coward was one of the most prolific songwriters of his day and wrote over 300 songs in his 60 year career and we were presented with a number of his better known songs during the course of the evenings entertainment which resulted in a pleasant evening. It had been well staged with good continuity throughout.

            THE LADIES                                    THE GENTLEMEN

            Kim Antell                                                     Nigel Antell

            Tricia Goodchild                                         Andrew Dutton

            Hils Latimer                                                 Chris Faulkner

            Kerry Woodley                                            Chris Goodchild                

                                                                                    Graham Jerome

                                                                                    Nigel Wilson

These ten performers certainly presented Coward in the right light with a wealth of Coward’s songs all presented in the ‘Coward’ manner. All the cast entered into the spirit of this production and certainly made an impact on the receptive audience. The performers presented some good singing voices with good diction and projection so that every word could be heard and it was obvious that there was a joy of performing which was enhanced by the superb and sympathetic playing of the piano – I was given to understand that two of your performers, Kerry Woodley and Andrew Dutton, experienced a ‘baptism of fire’, being the first time they have performed. From an observers pount of view, nobody would have known, and Congratulations to you all.

Chris Boott – (PRODUCER / DIRECTOR) – Chris had certainly selected a good production to run in conjunction with a ‘supper evening’. His cast had been well rehearsed in their characterisations and movement about the restricted stage area ensuring an evening of ‘Coward Nostalgia’ – Congratulations.

Cynthia Newman – (STAGE MANAGER) – This appeared to have been a well managed stage throughout with no visble hitches.

Angie Boott assisted by Angela Shirt – (WARDROBE MISTRESS) – The costumes devised by Angie and Angela fitted the various characters and at the same time gave a good indication of the period.

Chris Chapman – (LIGHTING & SOUND) – Chris had ensured that the lighting was suitable for the performance with no shadows being seen, sound was also of a good quality as every word could be heard at the back of the hall.

Sally Goodworth – (PIANIST) – Sally displayed a lovely touch on the piano when accompanying the performers, it was a delight to listen to.

Fiona Wilson – (REHEARSAL PIANIST) – Fiona had obviously worked hard during rehearsals ensuring the cast sang Noel Coward’s numbers as he intended.

Angie Boott – (PROPERTIES) – All properties used looked authentic and fitted the period of the various numbers.

Kerry Woodley – (MAKE-UP) – All make-up appeared to have been well applied with the performers looking natural under the stage lights.

Set – (MEMBERS OF THE CAST) -This was a simplistic but effective set which ensured the maximum space was available for the performers, together with a piano and certainly helped to set the scene for what followed.

Programme – A neat programme of the right size. It contained all the necessary information, well laid out with items of interest. It is good in this day and age to see a programme that is not inundated with adverts – Well done.

Karen Baldwin – (FRONT OF HOUSE) – Pleasant Front of House who were helpful and attentive to the audience.

Jean Chapman – (CHEF) & Staff – An excellent menu, well cooked and presented and served with aplomb by the waitresses.

Thank you for inviting me to review your latest presentation and your hospitality. I look forward in anticipation to your next presentation and wish you all success with it.


NODA Representative – London Region – Area 13