News Letter – Nov 18

BACKSTAGE – September 2018

Yet again it’s the start of a new season, but what a year it has been.

To start on an incredibly high note, in case you missed it on the BBC news; CHADS won both the cricket and the croquet matches this July, lets aim for a repeat next year. The players must have felt the force.

The huge roof project is progressing, had hoped to say finished, but best laid plans! As you know it has not been without problems. Those of you who have been down helping over the summer break will realise the weather had an impact, plus the steel work required remaking (only came to light after the old roof was removed). Finance is another story but I’ve left that one in our Chairman, Steve’s capable hands. The membership owes a huge thank you to the small team who have repeatedly and unfailingly given so many hours. It is just a shame it is always the same few that pitch in whatever is needed.

With luck the plays this season will prove as popular as last years, so we can refill the bank account and make the most of our new auditorium. Please make sure you all watch every play to support your fellow members, especially if not actively involved, other than appearing on stage. We are very much a team effort.

Due to the delay in finishing the work I so far haven’t fixed a date for the ‘Wardrobe Sale’ but in the meantime when sorting through clothes, shoes etc keep hold of any good condition items so we can raise funds whilst having a chat and laugh with the bar open. Keep an eye open for a date being announced.

As per emails, you will have seen that the Opening Social has been moved to Sunday 16th September from 12:30 pm. It would be really good to see lots of you there. Please have a token wearing of something red, blue, yellow or green. The reason will be revealed on the day but don’t panic, nothing onerous or risky. Encourage someone to come with you to boost the numbers!

See you soon, Janine, President

Dates for your diaries:

Saturday 15th – Stones In His Pockets, by Marie Jones
Saturday 22nd September

Sunday 16th September Opening Social (from 12:30 pm)

Friday 28th September Macmillan Coffee Morning

Saturday 6th October Literary Evening

Saturday 27th October Ghosts, by Henrik Ibsen
Saturday 3rd November

Chairman’s Corner

Hello Friends at CHADS,

This is just a very brief note to give you an update. I will be doing another Chairman’s Corner video soon as that seemed to be well received but for those who don’t do the internet here’s where we are:

Good progress has been made with the roof (see photo overleaf). The new frame and all the inner roof lining have been fitted and the steel outer cladding is being fitted (or may even be finished) as I write this. We need to turn our attention to the inside of the theatre and get it ready for the opening social and the opening play. You will have seen our President’s email rescheduling the opening social from the 8th Sept as there’s not enough volunteers available to get the Foyer/bar ready in time. Please spare an hour or 2 when you can. Work nights are taking place every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evening, plus all day Saturday and Sunday between now and the 23rd September to get the place ready for our public.

Member’s Loan scheme: We have had a fantastic response to the scheme with over £15,000 being pledged. I set myself a target of £20,000 as a starter and we are almost there. If you can make a loan to CHADS please let me know. It will make a big difference in what we can include in this phase of the refurbishments. I’ve raised the prospect of getting the studio Air-con back into the current phase of work with the Roof project team and with an extra push on loans I feel sure we can make this happen.

Bank Loan: all of the paperwork and solicitors shenanigans have been completed and the loan documents signed and submitted to the bank, and the good news is that the loan has now been released to us.

CHADS Lottery: Don’t forget you can support CHADS by doing the Golden Lottery and have the chance of winning £1800 or one of the many prizes each week. CHADS gets 50p for every pound played in the lottery. See the website for details. You can go direct to the sign up page:

Please include the whole of the link or CHADS won’t get the commission.

I’ll soon have more info on the planned crowdsourcing scheme but that’s all for now, hopefully see you soon at the theatre.



I wish to thank all of those who have paid their subs so promptly. However a lot of subs are still outstanding. The last date for paying is the end of September – please don’t make me send you a personal reminder. If you are not renewing, I do need you to tell me so please email me asap.

Eileen Stonehouse.

Our Next Production
Stones In His Pockets
by Marie Jones
Saturday 15th –Saturday 22nd September

Let us take you to a field somewhere deep in rural County Kerry. Here the might of Hollywood has descended to film an “Oirish” epic. Our heroes Jake the local lad and Charlie from Ulster, both without a great deal of hope, jobs or luck in their lives, have been recruited as extras.

In Marie Jones’ Olivier award winning play the lads tell the story by playing all 15 characters themselves including that of the know nothing American siren leading lady.

This sad, hilarious and irresistible show chronicles when happens when big bucks movie money meets impoverished Ireland. The results are both comic and tragic and very relevant to us today.

So after sell out runs in Dublin, Belfast, Edinburgh and the West End, “Stones” lands in our perfectly formed little studio. Hold on to your seats, it could be a bumpy ride! Anthony Josephson and Adrian Barrowdale take up the theatrical challenge of “multi-parting”. Mike Rogerson directs.

The ArtCo reports…..

As I hope you are all aware, our 2018/19 Season opens with “Stones In His Pockets” by Marie Jones (a preview appears above). This will be performed in the Studio for one week only (we were refused a licence to perform it for a second week) between the 15th and 22nd September 2018. Book your tickets now via the Chads website/TicketSource – it couldn’t be easier!

DIARY DATE – Saturday, 6th October 2018. The first literary event of the Season, intriguingly entitled “Unexpected Arrivals”, is to be master-minded by Derek Slater. Please attend in your droves for what promises to be a highly entertaining evening.

“Ghosts” by Henrik Ibsen will be the first play back on our main stage following completion of the roofing project and will run from 27th October until the 3rd November 2018. Mike Brown, who has adapted the text, will direct and rehearsals commence very shortly. Tickets are available now.

DIARY DATE – Saturday, 10th November 2018. To mark the centenary of the end of World War I, Anthony Josephson will direct an evening of readings. Further details will appear in the next Newsletter, but please put this date in your diary/calendar/personal organiser NOW.

Finally, the Executive has appointed Nigel Westbrook, Kathryn Way, David Quaife, Sue Stokoe and Roger Haslam as the 5 members of the 2019/20 Season Plays Selection & Casting Committee. They shall be starting work very soon. If you would like to suggest any plays for consideration, please forward them to me at and I will pass them on.

Hamish Lawson
Chads Child Protection

I can’t remember when I became Chads Child Protection Co-ordinator, which probably means it is high time I handed over to someone younger.

Chads has an excellent Child Protection Policy which is available to read on the members’ notice board. I am hoping that among our membership there is someone who cares enough to want to make sure that the Policy is adhered to.

Our Youth Theatre has up to 40 members, most of whom are 16 or under. These are the children we have a particular responsibility for. Especially when they are involved in a Chads or Youth Theatre production.

We always provide sufficient DBS checked adults to attend as chaperones on performance nights and on some later rehearsal nights. Finding these people is the job of the Co-ordinator. Teachers, doctors, lawyers, nurses: most of these people will be DBS checked, but Chads will pay for volunteers to be checked.

SO what do we need? A new DBS checked Child Protection Co-ordinator and lots of new volunteers to act as chaperones on 2 or 3 evenings a year.

If you want to know more then contact me Sheila Burt,


On Friday 28th September 2018 between 10am and 12.30pm we are holding a COFFEE MORNING at CHADS THEATRE to support this invaluable charity.
Do you have a friend or family member who has or has had cancer? Perhaps it is you who have experienced this horrible disease.
All these people, me included, will have been offered help and advice and support from Macmillan nurses.
To make this coffee morning a huge success, we need donations of home baking or, if you can’t bake, shop bought baking. If you can donate baked goods e.g. cakes, scones, biscuits, tea
breads, then contact me as soon as you can at
and we can arrange delivery or a pick up.
Even more vital is your attendance at this event so that you can donate money to say thank you to the nurses who have helped so many of us.
I look forward to seeing you at CHADS

Play-reading evening at CHADS
We are planning a reading of scenes from 20th century comedies (including Noel Coward and Giles Cooper) on the evening of
At 7-45 p.m. in the studio. The title of the event is
Among the distinguished performers will be Di Coakley, John Blunden-Ellis, Julia O’Toole, and two former members of the youth group, Eilidh Way and Harry Chalmers-Morris. There is every prospect of a very entertaining event, and we would encourage any members who have a free evening (yes, it will be a free evening!) to come along and enjoy themselves.

Little Theatre Guild Northern Region Conference
26th – 28th October 2018 at Stockport Garrick

There is no reason not to attend-it couldn’t be much closer!
Invitation from Elaine Pratt –

“It is with great pleasure that I extend this invitation to join us for the LTG Northern Conference. In 2018 our October play was always going to be something related to the First World War. We opted for ‘All Quiet On The Western Front’, a new play by a local writer, inspired by the famous novel. War, new writing and local talent has therefore inspired our theme Keep Calm and Carry On the Drama! We need to learn from our history, be inspired by it, nurture new writers and celebrate local talent. To this aim we have workshops from the ‘New Writing Associate and Dramaturg’ at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre; Workshopping of Stockport playwright Simon Stephens’s play ‘Port’ with Howl Productions; Presented by members of our theatre: Using your theatre’s history to good advantage; Exploring new writing technique using verbatim theatre. Peruse the attached forms, and remember the deadline for sending them to me is 28th September. Any questions please feel free to email me
The Role of the Dramaturg.
What is a Dramaturg and what is their relationship with a playwright? What do they do? Explore this with Suzanne Bell. Suzanne has worked with many professional theatres, including the National, but is currently the ‘New Writing Associate and Dramaturg’ at The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.
Howl Productions – Actors Workshop.
HOWL Productions, run by Co-founders & Producers Howard Perrett and Eleanor Sutton, are bringing ‘Port’ by Simon Stephens to the Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester in October 2018. This production will then tour local Stockport Venues, taking it back to its spiritual home. Howard and Eleanor worked together, in 2015, at the Old Vic in Future Conditional by Tamsin Oglesby, starring Rob Brydon. Howard can be seen in this year’s film The Happy Prince, written, directed and starring Rupert Everett alongside Colin Firth and Emily Watson. Eleanor is currently with the Storyhouse 2018 repertory company in Chester, appearing in The Crucible and A Little Night Music.
An Exploration of Verbatim Theatre.
Led by Garrick member, Tom Ferguson, An Exploration of Verbatim Theatre is a discussion and practical workshop, exploring examples, challenges, opportunities and giving a clear understanding of what Verbatim Theatre is. Tom graduated from the Manchester School of Art in 2013, where his work explored different methods of telling stories. He also completed the University of Salford’s MA in Creative Writing: Playwriting in 2014. Tom has been actively involved at our theatre since 2011 and has helped with the branding of the theatre and set design. Tom has long been an advocate for new writing at our theatre; he helped launch our ’24 Hour Plays’ event and has brought in new writers to showcase their work at our Literary Evenings. His most recent achievement at our theatre was organising our Festival of New Writing this May. He managed to secure sessions with playwrights Simon Stephens and Alistair McDowall, as well as writers and experts from the Royal Exchange Theatre, Octagon Theatre Bolton. This workshop will include a practical element, so please
come along with pen and paper, your mobile (or anything you can voice record from) and headphones.

(LTG Conference Cont.)

The History of the Garrick – a PR Tool?
Steve & Elaine Pratt have been members of Stockport Garrick since 1986. They will present a short history of the Garrick Theatre and how the presentation has evolved into a useful fund-raising tool, followed by a short Q & A session.
Friday and Saturday night we have access to free car-parking at the offices next door, Applicon House. During the day there are various paying car-parks, also spaces on Exchange Street (3 hours maximum stay)”.

Let me know if you need any more information

Paul Burt Chads LTG Rep

Stage Lighting For All Course at Lyceum Theatre, Oldham 13th & 14th October 2018

Ever wondered what all the fuss is about when we talk about stage lighting?

The Lyceum Theatre Oldham are running a 2day stage lighting course.

The course will discuss what we can do with light in the modern theatre – Is it just making the stage as bright as possible or is it more? We will explain what good lighting is and how to accomplish it.
It will cover all the design aspects so will give a foundation for anyone lighting but will also be of interest to anyone who is just interested in understanding different aspects of theatre.

This course will introduce the basic elements of lighting in the theatre:-
• The tools of the trade (the different stage lights, colour, intensity etc.).
• How the tools of the trade can be used to affect atmosphere and mood on the stage.
• The principles of lighting design
• The objectives of stage lighting
• The design process from reading the script, through rehearsals, producing the paperwork for the design, setting it up, the final rehearsals (Tech and dress) and the run.
Light is powerful, it affects our mood and touches our emotions in real life and on stage.
The course looks at how can we use that power to enhance a production and touch the mood of the audience.
The course is open to all. Not just those who are interested in doing stage lighting but also anyone who is interested in theatre and wants to know more about what goes into a good production. Feel free to pass this invitation on to friends who may be interested.
(Stage Lighting cont.)

Location:- Lyceum theatre, 95 Union St. Oldham. OL1 1QG
Date:- Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th October 2018.
Time:- 9.30 am to 4.00 pm
Cost:- Free
Tea and coffee provided
Email us at if you want to attend or want any more detail.

These are some of the comments from those who attended the first course:

‘Having attended this course l have to say it was far better than I could have ever expected. I think it is a first step for people with no experience or lighting knowledge who are thinking about getting involved. You learn history, skills, tricks and an appreciation of challenges of adding to the feel of a play. It really is a must for directors, stage hands and anyone involved in production of a play. If nothing else I think it’s helped me challenge how we currently build sets which will hopefully be for everyone’s advantage.’

‘I can thoroughly recommend this course to anyone, being absorbing and engaging. It was excellent, interesting, entertaining, eloquent and professionally presented from beginning to end. My only concern was that it would be too technical a course but this was pitched at just the right level. It has totally changed my knowledge, understanding and appreciation of how important ‘good lighting’ is as critical tool to a director.

‘It was a fascinating course, really well presented, and we learned a huge amount that we never realised before. Highly recommended to anyone who couldn’t make the first course- you will get a lot out of it.’

‘A really wonderful course, interesting, informative and thoroughly enjoyable. Bob explained everything so well in layman’s terms and I learned so much about the effects of lighting. It was especially useful to know how the set design can affect the lighting design; also how moods and atmosphere can be enhanced’

As part of the sorting/tidying that has been ongoing alongside the roof project, we find ourselves short of just one programme for the last 35 years of plays. If anyone has a programme from “The Careful Glover” performed in Autumn 2012, can you please contact Terry Anderson.

Newsletter Contributions

Contributions for the next newsletter are due by 13th October for issue 15th October.