Coming Up

2021-2022

Hay Fever

By Noël Coward

Performing 1421 May 2022

One of Noel Coward’s most popular comedies. As light as champagne bubbles it follows the Bliss family over a weekend house party. Judith Bliss is a retired actress and David her much quieter husband. They and their children Simon and Sorel have all invited guests to stay, but, being the Bliss family, they haven’t told each other who is coming.

This amateur production of “Hay Fever” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals Ltd. on behalf of Samuel French Ltd. www.concordtheatricals.co.uk

A new feature is a Matinee on the last Saturday of the show, starting at 2:30pm. If you don’t fancy being out at night, why not come to see the Matinee?

Centenary Celebration Gala Night, Saturday 21st May – ticket price (£16) includes reception drink and after show finger buffet – 1920s costume optional.

Director's Notes

Chads last performed Noel Coward’s effervescent comedy Hay Fever in 1999 to celebrate the centenary of his birthday, so it seemed appropriate to choose the play again to be performed as part of the post-lockdown season designed to mark (albeit belatedly) the society’s own centenary, our first ever productions having been staged in 1921/22. Extraordinary to think that those earliest shows took place just a couple of years before Coward wrote this play. He had already established himself as a dazzling actor, singer, director, composer and playwright, and with Hay Fever he achieved a West End triumph, where it ran at the Ambassadors and then Criterion theatres for 337 performances. It was the first of a string of famous comedies which continue to be revived by professional and amateur companies alike: Private Lives, Blithe Spirit and Present Laughter must be amongst the most performed plays of the last hundred years. What can account for Coward’s continuing popularity? It is not likely to be his dramatic ingenuity or deftness with unexpected twists: by his own admission Hay Fever “has no plot at all, and remarkably little action”. He does sometimes offer us social satire, especially on human pretensions and hypocrisies, but his tight little world of the elegant upper and upper-middle classes in their lives of privileged comfort is never seriously challenged as it certainly would be by post-WW2 writers like John Osborne or David Hare. Perhaps the appeal lies simply in his ability to give us access to that world of charming wit and shameless theatrical artificiality and to entertain us brilliantly with the sheer clever silliness of it all. Coward admitted that “I am very much attached to Hay Fever. I enjoyed writing it and producing it, and I have frequently enjoyed watching it.” We hope you do too.
Nigel Westbrook

Separate Tables

By Terence Rattigan 

Performing 29 July 2022

A British classic. Set in the Beauregard Private Hotel in Bournemouth during the early 1950s, a wonderful array of characters are staying at the hotel which has a veneer of gentility, and yet conceals secrets which are laid bare in the course of two events separated by 18 months.

This amateur production of “Separate Tables” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals Ltd. on behalf of Samuel French Ltd. www.concordtheatricals.co.uk

A new feature is a Matinee on the last Saturday of the show, starting at 2:30pm. If you don’t fancy being out at night, why not come to see the Matinee?

Director's Notes

Sir Terence Rattigan (1911-1977) wrote extensively for both the stage and screen. His early plays included ‘French Without Tears’
(1936), ‘After The Dance’ (1939), ‘The Winslow Boy’ (1946), ‘The Browning Version’ (1948) and ‘The Deep Blue Sea’ (1952).

‘Separate Tables’ (1954) is set in post-war (WWII) 
England and encapsulates many of its social values and prejudices. It is actually two inter-linked one act plays sharing the same setting, the Beauregard Hotel in Bournemouth (a slightly shabby but genteel establishment accommodating both ‘regular’ and ‘transient’ guests), but separated by some 18 months.

In the first play, a disgraced politician is seeking anonymity 
using an assumed name and following a hand to mouth career as a journalist when he is tracked down by his former wife. Why exactly has she chosen to find him after so many years?

In the second, an ex-Army major finds himself before the 
local Magistrates Court. It turns out that his professed background is fictitious. The ‘regulars’ are divided as to whether he should be asked to leave, but he finds unlikely support from the shy and retiring daughter of his nemesis, the formidable Mrs Railton-Bell.

 The two main characters in each play {John Malcolm and Anne Shankland in the first, and Major Pollock and Sibyl Railton-Bell in the second) will be played by the same actors. All the other nine characters – both residents and staff – appear in both plays.

Hamish Lawson

Chads 2022-2023 Season

Ladies in Lavender

adapted by Shaun McKenna 3-10th September 2022

A Heart warming and romantic drama

This amateur production of “Ladies in Lavender” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals Ltd on behalf of Samuel French Ltd www.concordtheatricals.co.uk

Two unmarried sisters who live in a quiet Cornish village in the 1930s find their lives disrupted by the discovery of a mysterious young man they find washed up on the beach whom they take in and care for. A heart-warming and beautiful romantic drama based on the film which starred Judi Dench and Maggie Smith.

Shadowlands

by William Nicholson 22-29th October 2022

The life of C. S. Lewis is turned upside down when he meets the feisty American poet

This amateur production of “Shadowlands” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals Ltd on behalf of Samuel French Ltd www.concordtheatricals.co.uk

C.S. “Jack” Lewis, Oxford don and author of the famous Narnia books, lives comfortably with his brother Warnie, two ageing bachelors in a world of academia.  Securely confident in his views on God, Life and Love, Jack’s world is turned upside down when he meets the feisty American poet Joy Davidman and his theories are put to the ultimate test.  A hit in the West End and on Broadway the play was made into a film starring Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger

God of Carnage

by Yasmina Reza – Studio production 15-19th November 2022

A brilliant satirical comedy which won an Olivier award back in 2008

This amateur production of “God of Carnage” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals Ltd on behalf of Samuel French Ltd www.concordtheatricals.co.uk

Two smart middle-class couples meet to have a polite, civilised discussion over a recent playground incident in which the son of one couple hit the son of the other, but it soon degenerates into something altogether nastier… A brilliant satirical comedy which won an Olivier award back in 2008.

The 39 Steps

by John Buchan adapted by Patrick Barlow 10-17th December 2022

A hilarious version of John Bucham’s famous spy thriller

This amateur production of “The 39 Steps” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals Ltd on behalf of Samuel French Ltd www.concordtheatricals.co.uk

John Buchan’s famous spy thriller, filmed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1935, comes to the stage in a hilarious version in which just four actors take on a multitude of roles and costumes to tell the exciting story with fast-moving theatrical flair.

Round and Round the Garden

by Alan Ayckbourn 28th January – 4th February 2023

Annie has second thoughts about spending the weekend with brother-in-law Norman as the dysfunctional family tries to come to terms with itself.

This amateur production of “Round and Round the Garden” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals Ltd on behalf of Samuel French Ltd www.concordtheatricals.co.uk

Sarah’s desperate attempts to have a nice, civilized week end culminate, not surprisingly, in disaster. Ruth, Norman’s wife, is summoned but Norman still contrives to cause havoc involving, finally, all three women. Matters are not helped by such events as the slow thinking Tom mistaking Ruth’s intentions during a conversation they have together. Eventually the horrific week end draws to a close. The four visitors depart, but even at the last moment Norman manages, deliberately or not, to wreck all plans by driving his car into Reg’s. Back they all troop, now facing having to stay. Norman finds himself spurned by all three women and is left protesting with injured innocence that he only meant to make everyone happy.

Copenhagen

by Michael Frayn – Studio production 14-18th February 2023

Set in the middle of World War two, Frayn takes us into a passionate debate on the morality of war and science

This amateur production of “Copenhagen” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals Ltd on behalf of Samuel French Ltd www.concordtheatricals.co.uk

In the middle of World War Two the famous German physicist Werner Heisenberg, deeply involved in the Nazis’ attempts to build the first nuclear bomb, travels to occupied Denmark to see Niels Bohr, his old colleague and mentor, and his wife. With his usual theatrical mastery, Frayn takes us into their world, creating a riveting lyric drama out of their rivalries and passionate debate on the morality of war and science.   

Humble Boy

by Charlotte Jones 18-25th March 2023

Sad, Very Sad, Funny, Very Funny—This is a serious wonderful play –(London Sunday Times)

This amateur production of “Humble Boy” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals Ltd on behalf of Samuel French Ltd www.concordtheatricals.co.uk

Felix Humble is drawn back to his family home after the death of his father, a biology teacher and amateur beekeeper. There in the garden he finds his waspish mother Flora, her downtrodden friend Mercy and suspiciously ever-present local businessman George Pye, whose daughter Rosie was once involved with Felix. A luncheon is arranged…

All is not well in the Humble Hive. Thirty-five year old Felix Humble is a Cambridge astro-physicist in search of a unified field theory. Following the sudden death of his father, Felix returns to his middle England home and his difficult and demanding mother, where he soon realizes that his search for unity must include his own chaotic home life.

Quietly

by Owen McCafferty – Studio production 25-29th April 2023

A powerful story about violence and forgiveness

This amateur production of Quietly is licensed by arrangement with The Agency, 24 Pottery Lane, Holland Park, London W11 4LZ info@theagency.co.uk

It’s 2009 and Jimmy is in the pub watching Northern Ireland versus Poland. He has invited Ian to join him. They have a lot to discuss. In particular the atrocity in 1974 when an UVF bomb blew up the very pub they are sat in. They were both 16 years old one a victim, one a perpetrator.

She Stoops to Conquer

by Oliver Goldsmith 6-13th May 2023

A reserved lover, it is said, always makes a suspicious husband – (Oliver Glodsmith)

Wealthy countryman Mr. Hardcastle arranges for his daughter Kate to meet Charles Marlow, the son of a wealthy Londoner, hoping the pair will marry. Unfortunately, Marlow is nervous around upper-class women, yet the complete opposite around lower-class females. On his first acquaintance with Kate, the latter realises she will have to pretend to be common, or Marlow will not woo her. Thus Kate stoops to conquer, by posing as a maid, hoping to put Marlow at his ease so he falls for her.

© Chads Theatre