Archive for July, 2009

Jim Lovell ………. Name mean anything to you? Nah, me neither!  BUT he should have been on Apollo 11 in July 1969!  Michael Collins was originally slated to be the Command Module Pilot on Apollo 8 but was removed when he required surgery on his back and was replaced by Lovell, his backup for that flight.  After Collins was medically cleared he took what would have been Lovell’s spot on Apollo 11.  So the world turns, hey?  More about that historic mission later.


As mentioned previously, our August members’ evening will be held on the opening night of Appointment with Death, namely Friday, 28 August.  We will be providing snacks and some free champers after the show (once the hoi polloi has left!).  Bookings open on 15 August so make sure you book a seat – we all know how popular the Christies are!



Raymond Rudolph reports back on the Festival in general and our MVDS show, Hello & Goodbye, in particular: 

 Grahamstown was great – we had summer weather the whole week – three quarters of my case had warm winter clothes which I didn’t touch – ran out of T-shirts!  The trip in the Kombi went off well, despite strong winds buffeting us on the way there and mist slowing us down on the way back.  But I’ll never again drive 900km through the night, as I did on the way back: it’s very hard to stay awake, even stopping at all the towns en route.  Hello & Goodbye was brilliant, despite a badly sited and too-big venue.  Great ovations at all 5 show:  we had reasonable but not spectacular houses to begin with, but we got a lovely review (lead article with photo) in the Arts and Entertainment page of the EP Herald, on the morning of the last performance, and we had almost a full house for that show.  We were described as “one of the must-see shows of the festivel”  Full review at www.theherald.co.za/entertainment/article.aspx?id=441571.

I managed to see about 10 other plays and musicals and a jazz concert.  It’s an amazing experience and well worth repeating, probably much better without having the stress of being in a show at the same time.  The accommodation in the students’ res was ok, but a pain to have to walk downstairs to the communal showers and loos!  The Res breakfasts were outstanding.  Would you believe Wesley Figaji and I were chosen (forced!) to participate in Nicholas Ellenbogen’s latest play (A Midsummer Night’s Raders – a send-up of Shakespeare):  it’s just he and his son onstage, but they pull in people from the audience, giving them costumes and directions on what to say and do.  We were allocated the parts of Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern (from Hamlet) but it turned out that these were the names of the two HORSES which had to pull a carriage of actors onstage – so we hammed it up onstage for about three minutes, to much applause.  What a surprise to read the review in the Cue (the daily festival newspaper ) the next day – together with a colour pic of the two horses!

We can all be immensely proud of MVDS –  birga, Suzi, Wesley, Roland, and very hard-working Raymond deserve huge accolades for flying the flag so high and so professionally.  Terry Best and Celia Musikanth were also there and saw 40 shows in 9 days (Phew!!) which shows Celia describes as “some brilliant, some good, some average and a few down there”.




Appointment with Death welcomes new cast members Janice Budd and Jonathan Duguid on board!  Still looking for a wood/canvas deckchair!  Tom Byrne looks forward to a good turn-out for his audition on 25 July at 14:00 for Mothers of the Criminal Element.




Our beloved theatre had a face-lift in all departments recently!!  This was headed by Simon Sutton, whose short report follows:

Masque Maintenance got off to a slow start but this escalated like Cape Town audiences with many missing the show for waking up too late. Nevertheless, we managed to achieve about 70% of our target, which I must say was exhaustive.  Thanks must go to our Trustees, Mancom and resident Societies for their openhandedness in this exercise: it has cost a lot of money but we can be confident that many essential and, perhaps, long neglected items have now been attended to.  The scope of work was extensive, from completely repainting the exterior of the Theatre to replacing lavatory seats in the patrons’ loos with every area getting its fair share of treatment.  As far as the folk involved are concerned, the list is long and hard; mention must nevertheless be made of, in no particular order, Helen Mathers, Sue Bolton, Brett Radloff and Wendy, Shirley Chips, Wally Hodges, ElectroWatts, Wendy Goddard, Scott Gill, John McConnell, Ralph Thornley, M. Ryan Plumbing, Alison King and her boys (Christopher, Timothy, Andrew), Ronnie and Eve Carr, Kim Harris, Michael Samuels, Bob Goode, Andy and Sally-Jane Fletcher, Hayley and Gary Fargher, Celia, Rick and Brian de Jager.  And others that don’t come to mind at present, my apologies. 

Sincere thanks to everyone, Simon.

Well, as Ron and I are in Appointment with Death which moves into the Theatre on 16 August, we are really looking forward to experiencing all the “updated” features in the dressing and green rooms!  A full and impressive list of projects undertaken is attached hereto!!



I had a little fun with our August birthdays – I have found them all a “twin”!  Starting with:

John McConnell on the 10th: shares with Robert Lee “Bobby” Hatfield, born 1940 – an American singer, best known as one half of the Righteous Brothers singing duo.

The 15th sees Tobie Beele’s birthday as well as that of Jimmy Webb, born 1946 – a songwriter whose  compositions include “Up, Up and Away”, “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”, “Wichita Lineman”, “Galveston” and “MacArthur Park”.
Sandy Gee and Ralph Lawson share the 20th as does Rājiv Ratna Gāndhī, born in 1944 who became the 9th Prime Minister of India at the age of 40.
Joan Hitchcock shares the 25th with Sir Thomas Sean Connery (born 1930), perhaps best known as the first actor to portray James Bond and repeatedly mentioned as one of the most attractive men alive by magazines.

Lastly, Jabu Hallinan on the 27th shares with Mark Alan Webber, (born 1976) the first Australian to race in Formula One since David Brabham in 1994.
So if you haven’t yet had YOUR fifteen minutes of fame at least you share with someone who has!



Isn’t it Romantic by Wendy Wasserstein, directed by Graham Boxall at the Masque from 17 to 25 July.  Essentially a comedy, it takes place in the late 1980’s in New York City and looks at the bittersweet side of relationships.
Mothers of the Criminal Element MVDS Audition at the Rendezvous, Lakeside, 2pm Saturday 25 July, Enquiries Tom Byrne 021 6741470 or 083 962 7233

Quartete Le Jidd plays Bolling at the Masque for three shows only on 31 Jul & 1 Aug. Four musicians perform the “crossover music” of internationally acclaimed Claude Bolling.

Desperate Divas meet Cape Town Tenors at the Masque for three shows only on 7 & 8 Aug.  An opera programme including songs from popular musicals.

Wonderful Women – Poetry & Music in the Masque Foyer on Sunday, 9 Aug at 19:00.

Tickets at R60 (R50) include Gluhwein.  This showcase of music and art by women celebrates National Women’s Day.

Perfect Score 2 shows on Sat, 15 Aug.  Matinee R55 (R50), Eve R45 (R40).  This group of seven youthful male singers will show you what can be done with the human voice.

Trap for a Lonely Man by Robert Thomas, directed by Mike Tompson at the Milnerton Playhouse from 14 to 21 August.  Bookings on 021 5573206/0822671061
Appointment with Death by Agatha Christie, directed by Alastair Duff for MVDS at the Masque from 28 Aug to 5 Sept.  Sometime in the late 40s a group of characters meet in Jerusalem and then travel to Petra.  It is obvious from the start that something is wrong with the Boynton family and soon someone dies.
The Haunting of Hill House based on the novel by Shirley Jackson, directed by Angela Lee-Wright for Fish Hoek.  A group of people spend a summer at Hill House to gain solid evidence of haunting … but the house is gathering its powers …

Please note days, times and prices for Masque Theatre productions

(unless otherwise stated) are Thurs & Fri performances at 20:00,

Saturday matinee at 14:30, Saturday evening at 18:30


Thurs eve and Sat Matinees R45 (Theatre Club members R35)

Other Nights R55 (Theatre Club members R45)

Bookings on 021-7881898


Well, I really shouldn’t head it that way ‘cos it certainly was dramatic!!  I’m talking, of course, about Apollo 11:  the first manned mission to land on the Moon.  You all know the “famous facts” so here is a slightly lesser known one:  Charles Duke, responsible for capsule communication from the ground during the landing phase, acknowledged the landing with a very flustered “Roger, Twank…Tranquility, we copy you on the ground. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue here. We’re breathing again. Thanks a lot!”, expressing the relief of a Mission Control made nervous by a landing that almost expended all of the lunar module Eagle’s fuel.  And why was it called the Eagle?  After the bald eagle, national bird of the United States.

                                    AND THAT’S IT FOR NOW FOLKS!



FOH       Box Office           Pilot carpeting of the box office; Installation of new computer system; Servicing or all cupboards and cables; relocation of battery recharging facility to the lighting box; rationali-sation of seating

Foyer                    servicing of all chairs and tables (ferrules, feet, lubrication, etc.); servicing of all doors, lubrication, locks and alignment; installation of dedicated Perspex poster holders; relocation of A0 signage board to the stoep; replacement of canopy down lighting cabling; rehanging of patrons’ board and other paintings; fitting curtain tie backs for balcony door curtains

Kitchen                servicing all cupboard doors and shelves

Bar                         repainting in line with foyer décor; recoating of top counter

Toilets                  repainting Disabled and gents walls, curtaining; replacing toilet seats; servicing all door closers, washers and plumbing

Balcony                skirting and parapet wall top, water proofing; eaves treated and painted; air-condition unit treated for rust; US running lights removed; Signage boards dollied-up and up-lights repositioned; all bolts and nuts lubricated;

Lighting Box  – seating rationalized; general tidying up;

                    – certain control switches cleaned

                    – 24 hour electrical power plugs installed

                    – cable to green room laid

Auditorium    – all suspect seating secured, lubricated and upholstery attended to

                    – all aisles repainted, and cover strips secured

                    – all light bulbs checked

                    – working light fitting replaced

                    – hand rail ends attended to

                    – safety tape checked on all uneven surfaces

                    – doors and plugs checked

Stage            – fly bars and winches serviced

                    – legs and borders repaired

                    – faulty lighting extensions repaired

                    – front tabs mechanism checked

                    – middle traverse curtains sorted and repaired (rear trav is missing three drops

                    – blues checked: one fitting replaced

                    – donation of an industrial steam cleaner for the curtains secured

Green Room  – Sinks relocated

                    – cupboards and shelves installed or repaired

                    – floor painted (mostly)

                    – flat bays secured and flats reorganised

                    – collapsible 450mm rostra bases replaced with 18mm shutterply boards

                    – most contents of cupboards sorted

                    – carpet replaced

                    – donation of radiant heaters secured

                    – fire extinguishers and hose checked and one f/e relocated 

                    – Xanita board mezzanine repacked

                    – scaffolding poles relocated to cellar

                    – dimmer board relays renovated (all 24 circuits now operational) 

                    – special brackets for projection screen supplied

                    – 24 hr  power supply installed for fridge

Dressing Rooms    – curtains installed; donation of chairs secured; lighting addressed;

                            – all material and curtaining tidied-up; carpeting and dress rails sorted to a degree

Toilets    – curtains made; walls waterproofed and repainted

Cellar    – cleaned and sorted; extractor fan cleaned and lubricated; lighting neatened up

Exterior      painted; light fittings serviced; bird spikes installed (experimental); storm water pipe installed on SE side of building; down piping modified

General    – pavement and plant mulch, station side chipped stone and drainage attended to

               – padlocks oiled, security fencing modified

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Claremont Dramatic Society Newsletter

P O BOX 50, Eppindust, 7475
Tel 021 683 8630 (h)  083 327 7350 (c)
Fax 021 431 3410    Email   simon.d@mweb.co.za


No 81                                                        JULY 2009


Hello everyone!


When our scribe hasn’t been overworked, he’s been ill.  Or both.  So I’m going to fill you in on all the doings until Simon’s life returns to merely frenetic.




Our most important piece of news is that our production of Wendy Wasserstein’s ‘Isn’t it Romantic’ opens Friday 17 July (tomorrow!), and runs until Saturday 25 July.  Essentially a comedy, it takes place in the late 1980’s in New York City and looks at the bittersweet side of relationships.  Bookings:  021 788 1898.  Please note that the starting times have changed:  Weeknights: 8:00 pm; Saturdays: 2:30 and 6:30pm




Our member’s evening on 10 July was well-attended despite the ffffrrreeeezing weather.  Thanks to Pam and Elza-lynne for the hearty soup and rolls which kept us fortified.  Thanks too to Adrian Kettle, Jen Moss and Adrian Kettle for the delightful entertainment. 


The next member’s evening is on 23 October – put that in your diary now!




A hearty welcome to our newest members:  Eva Adams, Jen Crossland, Bernie Jacobs, Francis White, Philip Gordon and Chris King.  We hope your stay with CDS will be a long and happy one. 




Ondine has moved to the UK – we wish you all the best with your adventures!


Kaz and Adriana have invited everyone to their Baby Shower on 24 July.  The only problem is that you’ll have to go to Japan to be part of the fun.  Junior is due sometime between the end of
August and the first few days of September.  If you haven’t visited their website, they’d really appreciate it if you could take the time to take a look at the baby news (especially the “baby installer”), pictures, and names, and if you can/want, leave your votes & messages:  http://www.kazmatrix.com/baby


Norman and Caroline are moving to Dublin in August.  A wonderful opportunity to be sure, to be sure.




17-25 July – Masque Theatre:  Isn’t it Romantic by Wendy Wasserstein.  Directed by Graham Boxall for Claremont Dramatic Society.  Bookings:  021 788 1898


25 July – Audition:  Mothers of the Criminal Element by Tom Byrne.  Directed for MVDS by Tom Byrne.  American accents required.  Enquiries:  Tom Byrne – 021 6741470 or 083 962 7233


14-21 August – Milnerton Playhouse:  Trap for a Lonely Man by Robert Thomas.  Directed for Milnerton Players by Mike Tompson.  Bookings open 20 July:  021 557 3206 / 082 267 1061 e-mail: macdram@absamail.co.za



Did you ever wonder why you never see dead penguins on the ice in Antarctica?

Ever wonder where they go?  Wonder no more.

It is a known fact that the penguin is a very ritualistic bird which lives an extremely ordered and complex life.

The penguins have a very strong community bond.  They are very committed to their family and will mate for life.

They also maintain a form of compassionate contact with their offspring throughout its life.

If a penguin is found dead on the ice surface, other members of the family and social circle have been known to dig holes in the ice, using their vestigial wings and beaks, until the hole is deep enough for the dead bird to be rolled into and buried.

The male penguins then gather in a circle around the freshly dug grave and sing…
 …”Freeze a jolly good fellow.”


Cheers for now,




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Greetings all.

“Row Row Row your boat gently down the road………” Well we have been able to in our road that’s for sure!!! How about the rest of you? And how flippin cold is it as well? I can’t wait for spring to arrive!!!

Well so much has happened since our last Newsletter. Lots going in on in all our lives. We are very sorry to report that in May, Di’s brother Ed passed away in the UK after a long illness. Di is back in the UK at the moment to spend some time with her family and will be back with us again at the end of August.

Debbie is also off globetrotting on the 17th July and we wish her the very best on her travels.

I am back working in the suburbs and very happy to be doing so!

Our production of “The Time of my Life” was a great success and our hearty congratulations go out to Barrie and his cast and crew for an outstanding and stunning production!

We also congratulate Jane Cohen for being awarded the Best Actress trophy by Milnerton Players for her role in “Not 104” by Finoula Dowling. Well done Jane!


We held our AGM in May. The current committee were once again asked to stand and all agreed. We also welcome Janice Budd onto our committee and we are sure she is going to be a huge asset to the committee and our society. Lieske Bester had been asked to adjudicate our plays from last year and once again treated us to a wonderful talk on the productions themselves and theatre in general. The following awards were made:

  • Best Actress          : Denise Dubber for The Rainmaker
  • Best Actor                      : Max Tichauer for The Rainmaker
  • Best Supporting Actress  : Robyn Robson for Accommodations
  • Best Supporting Actor     : Deryck Broom for The Rainmaker
  • Best Play                         : Sue Bolton for The Rainmaker
  • Best Technical                 : Cecil Jakins & Debbie Bentley Buckle for set – The Rainmaker

Congratulations to everyone.

After the business was concluded everyone enjoyed a rather superb selection of soup and rolls and a lively quiz conducted by Roy Oldfield



We warmly welcome the following new members and look forward to seeing them at future functions;

Denise & Maureen Dubber

Jabu Hallinan

Wendy Goddard

Jane de Sousa

James Skilton



This will be on Wednesday 29th July at 7.45p.m in the Guide Hall Bergvliet. Wesley has just returned from the Grahamstown Festival where they presented the MADS production of Athol Fugard’s Hello & Goodbye. He is going to give us a very interesting talk about their experiences at the festival and if we are lucky we may inveigle Wesley and Suzy Gehr to present a snippet from the production. After this we will have another feisty session of 30 seconds to keep the old brain cells turning over! In order to keep out the winter chills we will be serving Gluhwien and cheese and biscuits – yummy (well hopefully – as it will be my first time making Gluhwien so………..)



We are very excited to have Wesley directing for us in our next slot which will be opening on 30th October. It will be “Abigails Party” by Mike Leigh. Described as a dark comedy, this very funny social satire is set in London in the 1970’s. It is going be a very interesting project for our society and we ask that you give Wesley all the support that you can, if approached to help. An audition was held on 12th July at which I believe it has been almost cast. I will report back once this has been finalised



Isn’t it Romantic by Wendy Wasserstein, directed by Graham Boxall at the Masque from 17 to 25 July.  Essentially a comedy, it takes place in the late 1980’s in New York City and looks at the bittersweet side of relationships.
Bookings Monday to Friday 9.00 – 16.00 Saturdays 9.00 12.00 021 7881898


Weekday now start at 8.00p.m

Matinees now start at 2.30p.m

Saturday evenings now start at 6.30p.m



           BY TOM BYRNE and Directed by: Tom Byrne

DATE:              SATURDAY 25TH JULY 2009
TIME:              14:00

SYNOPSIS:  The play takes place in the kitchen of Lilly Delorio in Leavenworth, Kansas, USA one very hot afternoon and evening in 1973. Louie Delorio (Lilly’s son) is in prison for bigamy, eleven or twelve counts of bigamy depending on whether you count the Gravecci twins as one or two. Louie is on a work release program decorating wedding cakes for the Sitting Bull Bakery when he realizes he is decorating a cake for one of his ex-wives. This is too much for him, so he runs away. Where does a son run to when escaping from prison, his mom’s house of course? Unfortunately the shock of his surprise appearance kills Lilly. While Louie is trying to get her into the chest freezer so she won’t spoil, Lilly’s friend Rose calls to remind her that the girls are coming to her place tonight to play Scrabble. To cover his escape Louie must pretend to be his mother for the evening. Things go down hill from there.

The cast calls for four men and four women whose ages range from twenties to seventies. Readings will be taken from the script, so those who audition need not prepare an audition piece. The director wishes to note that although American accents are necessary, actors and actresses will not be expected to audition with an accent.  At least one man must be comfortable wearing a dress, but not too comfortable.


Milnerton playhouse:

TRAP FOR A LONELY MAN 14, 15, 20, 21 August at 20.15 and 22 August at 14.15 & 20.15

Bookings open 20 July 021 557 3206 / 082 267 1061 E-mail: macdram@absamail.co.za




Di Thom            11th July

Fiona Carling       21st July

Lee de Andrade    29th July


To Lee & Fiona’s debut performance as Belly Dancers! You can contact Lee or me if you would like tickets. Judging by what we have seen on our Belly Dancing travels so far it should be very colourful and entertaining. The costumes are always amazing – I love it!!!!!


Till next time

Lotsa Luv

Fiona x

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