Dangerous Liaisons – more dangerous than normal

Our One Act One Night evening is coming on the Friday 28th September at St Michael’s Primary School – you can come along and pay on the door.

Our second offering of the night is going to be two scenes from Dangerous Liaisons written by Christopher Hampton.

The reason for the added danger is that, unusually, Richard Pink and Rebecca Faulkner (who normally perform as singing duo ‘Cider At Yours’) have elected to perform the piece without rehearsing it at all!2FF1E819-E48C-4B9A-8DF0-F3FF873AC97D

Sounds like madness, so we asked Richard why …

‘Its a really edgy piece about a power struggle between two very Machiavellian and ruthless people – former lovers – who use every means necessary prove their authority – it’s intense and we thought it would add another layer of intensity if we didn’t know what each other were going to do on the night. We’ve met once to run the lines to get used to hearing each other speak the cues but none of the moves are planned and anything could happen’

Rebecca added ‘ I’ve got one or two interesting moved up my sleeve that Richard will have to contend with – it’s going to be really interesting and if it goes wrong we’ll just have dig ourselves out of it’

Well, its different thats for sure – we can’t wait to see what they do !!!




Nickers !

Our One Act One Night evening is coming on the Friday 28th September at St Michael’s Primary Schools – you can come along and pay on the door.  We like people to try out new things and so Sally Fenton has decide to try her hand directing for the first time in a while – good for her we say – here are her thoughts on getting back in the Director’s chair!!

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Here’s our Sally in full flow in our production of Love’s Labours Lost last year – lets hope she looks less worried for this one !

When I agreed (i.e. had my arm twisted 😉) to direct something for One Act One Night, I did so with some trepidation because I didn’t have a play in mind and I haven’t directed anything since 1999!

Fortunately, the experienced directors at Water Lane pointed me to the Lazy Bee website which has hundreds of play scripts available for use by amateur groups. For my new foray into directing, I was keen to do a comedy and to have a relatively small cast and so, after reading through more than 20 scripts, I picked Nickers.

Nickers is about four, rather incompetent burglars (the eponymous ‘nickers’). It’s not Ayckbourn but the script is witty, with well written dialogue and the four main cast members can be male or female – useful when casting.

So, my first hurdle is solved – I have a play; now to direct it successfully! You’ll have to ask me in a few weeks about my directing style! But I know I’ll be helped in this new adventure by my excellent & supportive cast (Nicki, Rachel, Penny, Amanda & John). I hope we all enjoy the journey – and I hope our audience enjoys the outcome!


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Theatre in the Fields – or the Dragon Strikes Back!




Following our Carnival performance of the Brent Pelham Dragon. We were invited to perform at the Theatre in the Fields Festival in Furneux Pelham.

This was a brand new Theatre Festival based at Brook Cottage Farm in the fields of Furneux Pelham aiming to bring a full day of theatre in all shapes and sizes!​

The team behind it was The Big Room Theatre Company, comprising of Artistic Director Lee Dillon-Stuart (Actor|Director), Creative Director Hester Tingey (Writer|Actor), Creative Director Tabitha Tingey (Actor|Certified Yoga Instructor) and Chloe Tingey (Musician|Digital Marketing Consultant) who joined forces with Brook Cottage Farm’s Louise & Russell Seddon (Proprietors) and Caroline Noble (Events Organiser) .

It was designed to be a magical day out, chock-a-block full of amazing shows, food, yoga, creative activities, weird and wonderful performances and general festival cheer, deep in the Hertfordshire countryside.

Facilities included :-

BAE’s Barn Theatre: The Main Stage, a beautiful newly-built 80-seat venue. Produced theatre in its fullest form. Plus some Edinburgh Fringe previews and stand-up Comedy.

Black Box Barn: A 50-seat venue in the hay bale barn. A chance to see some new work, cabaret, spoken word, one woman/one man shows, children’s entertainment.

​The Yoga Tent: Yoga and mindfulness to get you in your creative flow.

​The Colts’ Paddock: Interactive kids’ theatre, acting workshops, storytelling, clowning workshops, improvisation

Some of the events in the programme were:-

Stageys in the Stixxm – A brand new cabaret created for Theatre in the Fields, starring Performers from Broadway and London’s West End!

Angela Barnes – BBC New Comedy Award winner, ANGELA BARNES performed  a work-in-progress of her brand-new hour of jokes!

BUMP! A fast-paced, highly physical new play.

How to Cope with Embarrassment ​Two Pale Ladies, and their new pale mate (Ben Hudson; Splutter Theatre) presented How to Cope with Embarrassment, an irreverent showcase of what makes us tick, blush, cringe and silently scream.

Did it Hurt?​  Two strangers share a room. Once inside, they cannot leave.

​Abigail Carter-Simpson​ Stand up comedienne, bringing along her singing and mediocre ukulele playing for moral support!

Games and After Liverpool​  Two 30 minute absurd, comic plays, which run back to back.

The Art of Skipping ​ Brand new mysterious and mystical musical.

DICK!  ​Richard ‘Dick’ Head – world renowned comedian, bingo-caller extraordinaire and National Geographic’s Moustache of the Year!

The Turn of the Screw A night of spine-chilling horror in Henry James’ classic ghost story.

Burning Tails  Burning Tails is a one-man tragicomedy piece following a series of heart breaking events within a fox’s romantic life

Three Menopausal Maids – Three Menopausal Maids are hot and guaranteed to tickle your Tena Ladies and Starring our own Linda Shelverton.

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It was good to see some of Water Lane’s members involved as directors and actors.

Well done Cat Quigley, Becky Faulkner, Linda Shelverton, Amanda Green, Jacqui Kinnison, Sam Soames, Nicki Maguire, Ben Maclean, Sally Fenton, John and Pam Johnson-Cook, Les and Carys Sullivan and the children Imogen, Izzy and Mags.

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We performed the Brent Pelham Dragon twice at 1.00pm and 3.00pm in the outdoor Haybale arena in lovely sunshine but battling a very blustery wind which was playing havoc with the various tents and gazebos. We received some kind and enthusiastic comments afterwards and met up with a gentleman who was writing a book about Piers Shonks, our hero, and who was keen to stay in touch.

In all the day turned out to be  a great success and the varied and high quality programme was a tribute to the organisers and performers .Hopefully this stimulating Festival will become an annual event. Improvements in advertising and signage to the venue should increase visitor numbers and I hope that Water Lane will be able to perform at the Festival again.

John Johnson-Cook , Director: The Brent Pelham Dragon

The thoughts of our new Chairman – Mr Granville Rush

The thoughts of Chairman Moi

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I always thought of myself as someone who quietly gets things done in the background, which I started doing with Water Lane Theatre Company thirty-something years ago when a certain dental practitioner roped me in to helping out backstage with the set and promotional artwork. All of a sudden, I found myself centre stage under the spotlight as the Wizard of Oz. I’m still not quite sure how that happened, and I haven’t been able to get off the stage since! I find myself in a similar situation now. There I was, minding my own business, when the “un-namely” nominated me to become Chairman at the AGM. So here I am again, centre stage, and a bit bemused as to how it happened.

All joking aside, I’m honoured to be fulfilling this post, and to have been asked. Water Lane is so much more than a local am-dram group. Fast  approaching 70 years since the group was founded, Water Lane is a staple in the community. Third generation members are on the scene, and lifelong friendships have been made. There are no prima donnas here. Members get the opportunity to challenge and express themselves, try something new and have a lot of laughs along the way. We aren’t one trick ponies either; from punk Shakespeare and period dramas, to comedy nights, 70’s nostalgia and murder mysteries. There really is something for everyone.

The outgoing Chairman (the previously mentioned dentist, now x) achieved great things in the last three years, so I’ve got a big cavity to fill. However, In the same way when directing, the secret of a successful show is to have a strong cast. Where the chair is concerned it is a strong committee. Fortunately for “Moi” there could not be a better dedicated committee in place to help with an exciting line up of productions in the coming months. That’s what I’m looking forward to most, heading up the team and putting on high-quality, diverse productions. Summer picnic plays, studio productions and big show stoppers, not to mention street theatre, drama festivals and our regular ‘One Act, One Night’ performances. As always, we will have plenty of socials, playreadings and quizzes, and everyone will have a chance to muck in.

Of all the roles I’ve been roped into over the years, I’m really proud to be cast as the latest in a long line of distinguished Water Lane Chairmen, and I hope that I am worthy of the job. A daunting one, but as Dorothy said “All you have to do, Toto, is click your heels together and you are on your way.”

Granville Rush – Chairman – Water Lane Theatre Company


John Wetherall

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It is with great sadness that we have to tell you that John Wetherall passed away last week.
He had been seriously ill for quite some time, and for him a release, but doesn’t make the loss any easier

John was a founder member of Water Lane and played the lead in many of the early productions

His stage presence was second to none, and he was equally happy in roles involving many different moods and characterisations
He moved to The Hadham Players but we still kept in close contact, and John was guest speaker at out 60th Anniversary Dinner at Great Hadham Golf Club
His last role was the photographer in When We Are Married for The Hertford Players, to which he brought comedy and pathos. Also in the cast was Andy Roberts as one of the hapless husbands and whom we welcomed for his enthusiasm and commitment.
John will long be remembered for his Dames. The Little Hadham Pantomimes were brought alive by his characterisation, timing and wit.
John also had a series of monologue cameos, the most famous one being his Uncle Charlie with a string of hilarious one liners and jokey tales. Forever in memory the picture of Uncle Charlie riding on his bicycle, down hill, with a grandfather clock strapped to his back taking it to be repaired. He fell off and a bystander was heard to remark (in Johns lovely “farmer Giles” accent) “why don’t ‘e wear a wrist watch like any other sensible bloke?” There is another one about a squirrel but maybe not for now!!

There is so much more to John’s life, but as Water Lane, we wanted to pay tribute to our common love, the theatre, the “smell of the grease paint, the roar of the crowd!!!
God bless John. Sock it to them on the great big stage in the sky

Funeral arrangements: Tuesday August 28th at 12 noon,
Haileybury College Chapel, Hertford Heath.
No black by request
No flowers but donations to Action For Pulmonary Fibrosis
Or Heart Foundation if you so wish.

Blog by Water Lane Theatre Company President  – Pat Bastin

The thoughts of Chairman John

After 3 years in the Chair our illustrious Chairman John Johnston- Cook has made way – we gave him a warm hand on his exit at the AGM and asked him for his thoughts about being in charge for the last 3 years – here’s what he said


When the chair of Water Lane Theatre Co became vacant I had an inexorable feeling that it was the right time to step up to the mark having managed to keep a low profile for the past 33 years! Having seen the group develop over that period I had come to realise what a special company of friends we are.

We are all members intent on enjoying the various rewards that being part of a dramatic production can offer whether it be onstage,backstage or offstage at social gatherings.

What is special about Water Lane is the support that each member gives to the others in helping to develop their skills and the chance to put those skills into practice in order to produce as professional performance as possible.

Continuing and encouraging this was my main aim as Chairman as well as promoting the standing of the company in the local community.

To this end I actively encouraged  members to take on new roles helped by others with more experience. We are very lucky in that we have some very talented actors and directors who can pass on their skills and as a consequence we have an increasing fund of accomplished members. We are equally able to put on large scale productions at Rhodes and small street productions at the behest of the Town Council. I feel these are just as important.  We have experienced directors of Shakespeare and also those willing to take us in new directions.

I have been incredibly impressed with the standard of our productions both large and small over the last three years.

I see the Chairman’s role as striving to expand our horizon’s and giving every member the chance to develop their skills at the same time having fun and enjoying each other’s company socially. I feel we need to encourage more people to take part in supporting roles such as costume, production management and set production as these often prove difficult to fill and are equally as important as treading the boards.

With the future of venues in the town now being uncertain one of my most important concerns has been to keep up to date with Council proposals and I feel that going forward we should use our contacts in the town to make sure that that our best interests are served.

I feel I should thank thewhole society for the support I have received during my Chairmanship. Also special thanks to my committee for the everyday running of the society without which we would not be able to function.

I am happy that we have a vibrant and forward thinking attitude and that the diversity of group will continue to enhance  both the social and the theatrical endeavours of Water Lane Theatre Company.

With many thanks