News

COMING SOON
"Sudden Death at Thornbury Manor"....a murder mystery evening in the church hall on 17th, 18th and 19th March 2016.  Tickets are £12 each and include a ploughmans supper, dessert and coffee.  Curtain up at 7.30pm.  Come along to see a radio play presentation set in 1954, where a group of performers will act out formal scenes and then mingle with the audience to be interrogated!  Tickets are available from Mike Standing on 02380 255203.

November 2015
THE COSMIC EAGLE HAS LANDED!  The world premiere of 'Diamond in the Sky' by Mike Standing was staged at the Methodist Church Hall on 26th, 27th and 28th November 2015.  
"The crew and mysterious passengers of the Starship 'Cosmic Eagle' were hurled by accident through space and time from an alternative universe.  They were more than a little confused when they landed near a medieval battle taking place between Owen Glendower's Welsh rebels and King Henry's English army".  Great fun.

March 2015
"Worth a Fortune", a farcical comedy with undertones of deception, was well received by 3 appreciative audiences!  The play by Frances A. Lewis, was brilliantly directed by Alison Standing and presented by a confident cast.
"Setting out to assure his aunt that he is living a sober and respectable life so as to convince her to leave him a considerable fortune in her will, Timothy weaves an ever increasing web of deceit involving family, the maid, and even the vicar!  Ex-wife Lavinia's presence really doesn't help either".
A complimentary review was kindly written by our supporters on the local web site 'Chandlers Ford Today'.
  

November 2014
'Ladies of Iniquity' by David Appleford, was a great success.  The following review appeared on the website 'Chandlers Ford Today' written by Janet Williams and Tom Whyte.
"The scene was set in the 70's when power cuts and strikes were common; when the telephone sitting in a dominant place in the lounge was still attached to a wire and neighbours could pop in through the back door unannounced.  It was a hilarious comedy. Even though it was opening night, I was surprised at how good the acting was, and the fact that very few lines were fluffed!  All the cast were excellent, particularly Sarah Sullivan as Susan Foster and Lester Parry as Albie the Fence.  It was a delightfully funny play with some lovely lines.  I particularly liked the reference to the 'Double H' mob, a local reference for a made up group - the Hiltingbury Hooligans!  Doris and her cronies were a hoot, not many lines but wonderful acting and expressions.  I look forward to the next production"   
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Other successes.......
This appeared in the Church magazine in November 2014 as an update on recent news about a couple of our members.  
"Following the success last year of her play ‘Love, Loss and Latte’, Sarah Sullivan was one of the finalists in the Chesil Theatre’s national competition, "10 x 10", with her ten minute play, ‘In memory of …’.  A group of MDG members attended the first performance of three to a full house at Winchester’s Chesil Theatre, and it was great to see among the audience that great actor, Sir Ian McKellen.  All the short plays were well received and Sarah’s excellent offering was one of the three or four that stood out from the rest.  Congratulations Sarah!
 
On another front, Mike Standing has had a good year with his murder mystery play, "This Business of Murder", which was originally performed on our stage in 2012.  It has now been performed in several locations in the UK and five in the USA.   All profits go to good causes.  

April 2014 - Our most recent church musical......

In April 2014, 12 MDG members took part in a christian musical in the Methodist Church.  Along with people from the other local churches, their involvement ranged from singing and acting on stage to directing and producing back stage.  The successful musical, 'The Cross Road', was performed in the church and was enjoyed by 3 good sized audiences.  The entrance was free but there was an opportunity to make a donation to 4 chosen charities.  The music was based on various christian worship songs, and the drama was adapted by Mike Standing, to suit the group. 

The story told of an ordinary lad called Joe - a modern day teenager growing up in a broken family.  When Joe's relationship with his mother breaks down, he sets out to find a new life of excitement and success.  After meeting Frank Ross, a local man with a bad reputation, the two devise a business plan that will change their lives, for better or worse.  Joe battles with the two sides to his nature, Good and Bad, knowing he alone can only decide the best path to take.  All the while, the Easter story is being told, faithfully following the Easter week and the road that Jesus and his Disciples took.

November 2013 - full stage production.......

REVIEW – ‘Bunkered’

“What I love about the plays I see here is the eclectic mix!”  This was overheard during the interval at a recent performance of Lynn Brittney’s comedy ‘Bunkered’. The storyline guides you through one farcical day with the Navy Personnel who have maintained a cold war bunker for over 40 years; 20 of those in secret!  Chandler’s Ford MDG Players again achieved a high standard production on November 28th, 29th and 30th 2013, with an equally high standard ‘Bunker’ set.  The excellent details – maps & charts, dials and pipes – with coloured flashing lights and high quality sound effects to boot, gave an overall effect that achieved a well deserved round of applause before a word was even uttered by the actors. 

The 3 main Navy personnel characters led the cast with a strong hand, ably assisted by the cheeky chappy electrician Harry Morris (Lester Parry).  Second Officer Joan Morris – or Joanie, as she was affectionately known – played by Jillie Curtis, attempted to maintain order in ‘her’ bunker, whilst chaos reigned about her.  Jillie’s portrayal of the upright Joan was astute and humorous.  Her wicked sense of fun showed in buckets when she fed the unassuming Marine a cat worming tablet in place of a sedative!

Richard Wright successfully played the role of Chief Petty Officer Peter Burrows, receiving laugh after laugh whilst modelling a wedding dress, stood precariously on a small table, with a distinctly uncomfortable expression.

The dialogue between Harry and Peter was comically presented; interspersed with moments of common sense by Joanie.  The other member of the ‘crew’, Leading Wren Mags Potter (Brenda Discombe), was intent on completing the hem of her niece’s wedding dress (as previously mentioned and beautifully modelled by Peter!)

The actors all managed to portray the absolute pleasure they felt for working in this defunct bunker, even as it went into ‘shutdown’.  The ‘not so smooth’ storm party consisted of a pair of Marines (Mike Slatcher and Alison Baseley).  As with all the costumes, their combat gear was spot on, and the play had some charming moments when they were both on stage, sharing their sometimes dubious wisdom, on life in the services.

Pyjama wearing, ‘man flu’ suffering Leading Seaman Bill Potter (John Archer) carried the story towards its conclusion with a full naval pigeon funeral and great comic timing.  All in all, the Bunker occupants worked extremely well together to convince the audience they’d really been working there for all those years.

Sea Reconnaissance bunker seventeen was finally decommissioned by Commodore Shelton (Alison Standing) – a rare breed of female Commodores -  and played with the perfect amount of pomp and gravity.

The clever use of voices ‘off set’ (including the BBC announcer) by Margaret Smithson, Pauline Blair, Barbara Bound and Nick Sullivan, gave the audience some background information and then closed this humorous play.

Directed by Mike Standing (who was also responsible for the sound and light), this comedy certainly had a touch of madness to it!  As another member of the audience was heard to say, “What a bonkers play!” 
Definitely another success for the MDG Players and a great way to sign off their 50th anniversary year.
 

Celebration dinner
As mentioned on our home page, in 2013 we celebrated 50 years of amateur dramatics, MDG style!  In May last year, seventy past and present members enjoyed a delicious 3 course anniversary meal at the East Horton Golf Club.  With the tables named after Theatres, and the decor draped in gold (to signify 50 years) we dined and chatted to our hearts content.  Our chairman, Mike Standing, entertained us with a speech, as did one of our founder members, Pam Turner, and we toasted each other, ex members and the future success of the group. 

50th Anniversary Play
In March 2013 our play was written for us by one of our own members, Sarah Sullivan.  The gentle comedy entitled 'Love, Loss and Latte' was set in a quiet town cafe, called 'Lil's'.  The story, which focuses on Lil and her customers, spans a year, and follows the many ups and downs that every day life can throw at us all.
We enjoyed three successful performances and had a delightful write up in the Southern Daily Echo, from Anne Waggott :-

"Former dinner-lady Lil owns and runs the traditional village cafe, full of home-baked goodies, always with a keen eye on the competition and providing the personal touch to all her customers, whether a cheeky aside or a shoulder to cry on.  She is right at the heart of the community, welcoming them in for a cuppa and a chat.  The enchanting, enduring friendship between widow Lil (Irene Bourne) and widower Albert (Mike Standing) alternated between flirting like teenagers and bickering like a long-married couple.  The relationship between reunited school friends Helen (Lecky Gebbett), Debbie (Ali Baseley) and Georgie (Barbara Bound) was humorous, reverting to giggling girls reminiscing about their past, and touching, offering mutual support during current emotional times.  In her first originally scripted play, director Sarah Sullivan produced a charmingly genteel observational comedy (reminiscent of The Cafe and Last of the Summer Wine) with both amusing and poignant annotations".

Having a play specially written for us continued a theme, as the 40th anniversary play, 'Picture Perfect', was also written by a member, the current chairman, Mike Standing.  

Quiz Nights - Social event
In June 2013 and again in June 2014, MDG member Brian Newman and his wife Margaret, transformed into Quiz Master and Quiz Assistant to lead 2 fun evenings of quiz questions in the Dovetail Centre at the Church. In teams of 4 or 5, attempts were made to answer his puzzling pointers with varying levels of success.  His 'marathon' rounds are a particular favourite, causing much head scratching and arguments!