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Please note updated
dates and times!

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All sessions are in the Village Hall

Friday 22nd September from 7pm
Principals auditions

Sunday 24th September
10am - Children (6 - 12 yrs) including those auditioning for Chip
10am - Adult chorus and dancers (including those aged 13 years+)

2pm Principals recalls

If you have any questions, please reply to this email or email


A Chorus of Disapproval

31st May - 3rd June 2023

NODA Review by Jane Turner

One of Alan Ayckbourn’s most successful plays, A Chorus of Disapproval had a difficult journey from its debut at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough in 1984 to the National Theatre in 1985 and finally the Lyric in 1986, whilst also being turned into a film directed by Michael Winner, who adapted Ayckbourn’s script unmercifully, much to the latter’s displeasure. In fact, Ayckbourn refused to attend the film première in 1989!

The story follows Guy Jones, a young widower recently moved into the area to work for an obscure company called BLM (Diversification in Action). He joins an amateur operatic society that is putting on The Beggar’s Opera where he is cast in a minor role but rapidly rises up through the ranks, through a series of misfortunes which befall other cast members, to take the lead. At the same time, he manages to have affairs with a few of the female cast. It is in fact two plays running simultaneously – the Pendon Amateur Light Operatic Society’s production of The Beggar’s Opera (written by John Gay in 1728) and the lives of the Society’s members played out during rehearsals.

The set was quite plain, changing only by the movement of props brought in and out by the cast. I was intrigued by an invisible door which opened through the back flats. The cast seemed to have no problem operating it! Lighting was discreet and effective and the two sets of costumes, for A Chorus of Disapproval and The Beggar’s Opera, were appropriate with some fairly quick changes between the two. The chicken heads which appeared briefly were an amusing touch!

I find it difficult to single out individual performances as everyone gave their all, switching easily between their two characters in Chorus and Beggar’s Opera. The two who did stand out were Tommy Torreiro as Guy Jones and Simon Fraser as Dafydd ap Llewellyn. Torreiro started as a nervous newcomer to the group, unable to face the audience and with an almost inaudible singing voice, gradually taking in his stride his promotion through the ranks, manipulating a secret deal with the unscrupulous developer Ian Hubbard (played by Daniel Williams) which involved a large bribe, before becoming the assured, fully-costumed lead at the end and, for some inexplicable reason, attracting the advances of some of the female cast along the way. Fraser was a tour de force as Dafydd ap Llewellyn, full of nervous energy and coping with the endless frustrations of the lives of the cast impinging on the survival of his production of The Beggar’s Opera. He never faltered and
won the sympathy of the audience as he struggled through the drawbacks which were thrown his way. The long-suffering Mr Ames the pianist (Jamie Boyes) was quietly amusing and had a fleeting appearance as The Beggar, while providing skilful accompaniment to the singing.

Congratulations to Director/Choreographer Meg Bray for such an enjoyable and complicated production. Ewhurst Players are lucky to have someone with such skill and experience to direct their shows. Long may she continue!

Jane Turner
Assistant NODA Rep

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