Our Patron – Roy Hudd
Actor and comedian Roy Hudd, one of the nation's best loved performers, was welcomed by BSEAODS to their recent production of Half a Sixpence.
The veteran performer is one of the best-known and most versatile figures of British stage and screen. He is the brains behind the radio series The News Huddlines and his hit shows include Oliver!, Underneath the Arches and The Fantasticks, while on television his roles have ranged from satirical series to Dennis Potter plays.
Roy - who has also made regular appearances as undertaker Archie Shuttleworth in Coronation Street - was thrilled with our performance and personally went back-stage to chat to all the cast and crew following curtain-down.
Our President, Mel Barnes, has received the following letter from our Patron, Roy Hudd:
“Apologies for not writing sooner, but things have been very hectic the past couple of weeks. “Just to say how much Debbie and me, and our granddaughter Emma, enjoyed Half a Sixpence. It’s always a pleasure to see a team of players who give a hundred percent, and the Society certainly did. Not only the principals, who were excellent, but the smaller parts too, in fact everyone involved. The acid test is always the reaction at curtain down, and you couldn’t have had a better one. “Thanks for inviting us to an evening of pleasure. My love to the whole company. “Yours, Roy.”
As this comes from such a consummate professional, our President, Mel Barnes, hopes the whole Society will share his pride.
In 2008, Roy also popped into rehearsals for The Merry Widow. The Society had assembled a "first-class" production team for its latest show, added Mrs Alexander. The director, Wallace Wareham, has been responsible for numerous productions in Newmarket, while musical director Gill Garside has previously achieved great success with the society's productions of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Choreography for The Merry Widow is in the hands of Judith Thomas and Heather Couch, who most recently helped produce 42nd Street, Mrs Alexander said.
Bridget Alexander, of BSEAODS, said everyone involved with the production was thrilled with Mr Hudd's input on Tuesday night. "We were absolutely delighted," she said. "It was a great honour for us that such a busy performer could give us some of his time. We couldn't keep him off the stage - he loved it. It was wonderful to get his reaction to how our show is shaping up."