The Actress – Ticket Announcement

Tickets are now on sale for our next production, running from the 13th to 16th March see link below:

Box Office 0844 804 5354

the actress full

The Actress dramatises the events backstage as a colourful, complicated actress makes her emotional farewell performance. Various people from her life invade her dressing room to say their goodbyes, declare their love, roar with laughter, spit insults, grab a final embrace, and renew old battles.

January Newsletter

“THE ACTRESS”: Rehearsals for this have started in the Barn. The actors are developing

their characters with enthusiasm, but people are still needed for backstage jobs:

Production Manager, prompt and Front of House manager.

The most important of these is the Production Manager, whose job is to hold all the reins

in his/her hands, so to speak, and check that everything is going to plan. If you’re

interested in any of these jobs, or if you’d like more details, please contact the director,

Annette ( ) or me (

Welcome to two new members, John and Beth Bolitho-Pearn, who both have parts in this

play. We don’t hang about, you know!

If anyone would like to come up to watch a rehearsal, they would be very welcome, though

I have to say that the Barn is a little chilly at the moment, so wear your thick coat!


ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS are now due (as from 1 st January). Beverley F., our

Treasurer, has noticed a distinct lack of people paying subs…. The cost is £22 (Full

member) or £11 (Associate member), and all activities of the Society are open to all

members, apart from acting, which only Full members can do.

You can send a cheque to Beverley or you can give cash or cheque to any Trustee

to be passed on (yes you do know who they are, they’re John G., Jean, Beverley C.,

Sandy, Pat and Valerie) or you can pay online into ALP’s account.

Payment of subs ensures that you’re covered by insurance in case of accidents – not a

cheerful subject, but it can happen.


ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING It’s once more time for this much-loved jolly festival

necessary meeting! It will be on Tuesday 16th April at 8 pm in the Barn. Anyone can attend

but only fully [aid up members can nominate someone or cast a vote.

Which neatly leads me on to nominations. Have a think about whether you would like to be

on the board of Trustees (sounds very official). It would be nice to have nominations for all

posts. There will be a nomination form with the February newsletter.


Any proposals that you would like discussed and/or voted on have to be in to the

Secretary (, ) by Tuesday 26th March, three weeks before

the meeting.



Wed 13 Feb Trustee meeting

9 – 16 Mar Play week for “The Actress”

Tues 16 April Annual General Meeting, 8 pm, Barn

6 – 13 July Summer play week

10 – 16 Nov Play week for “Ladies in Lavender”


FUTURE PRODUCTIONS Roger will be directing “Ladies in Lavender” for November, and

hopes to have a reading of the play, probably when the current play has finished.

Unfortunately we have no play or director for our July slot – can anyone help? Please

contact any Trustee if you can.


LEARN A NEW SKILL Simon has traditionally done Lighting and Sound for ALP for many

productions, but in July this year he and Wendy will be away. So he is planning to run a

Lighting and Sound workshop when “The Actress” is over, to give anyone who is

interested an insight into how these jobs are done. It would be great if in future we could

rely on our own members for this, and give Simon some time off!!

If anyone is interested in this, please contact me or John

( )

So far five people have expressed an interest.

Newletter – December Additions

Our March play “The Actress” has been cast as follows:
Lydia Martin – Anita Lucas

Katherine – Barbara Johnson

Charles – Brian Hibberd

Harriet – Ann Bolitho-Jones

Nicole – Beth Bolitho-Pearn

Paul – Stuart Martin

Margaret – Jean James

“Chekhov” part
Lopakhin – John Bolitho-Pearn

Gaev – Craig Elliot

The first rehearsal is on Tuesday 8 th January at 8 pm in the Barn, and the director is
Annette Toms.

Newsletter : December 2018

Lettice and Lovage was an interesting one to do, though hard work for the two main characters. I’m pleased to note that we have gained five new members, who were all Tourists in the play: Delta O’Connor, Craig Elliott, Ray Knowles, Anita Lucas, and Nikki Williams. We also have one Associate member who has made her acting debut: Beverley Chamberlain. Welcome to all of you. After the afternoon performance, most of the cast had an enjoyable fish and chip supper in Elvira’s – I think the only downside was that the smell of chips might still be around on Monday morning! Thank you to everyone involved, and to Sylvia for directing.

“THE ACTRESS”: There is a reading for this TONIGHT (Tuesday 27th ), with auditions on Tuesday 4th and Thursday 6th December. If you would like to be involved but can’t make any of these dates, please contact Annette. Audition pieces will be available at the reading, or emailed to everyone who would like them (Or both).

PLAYREADINGS There will be a ‘reading for pleasure’ of “Deadly Nightshade” by Francis Durbridge on Thursday 13th December. This is an unusual story with a twist, so come along and enjoy the read.

The will also be a reading of “Ladies in Lavender”, our play for November 2019, on
Wednesday 9th January. Both readings are in the Barn at 8pm.

Tues 27 Nov Reading of “The Actress”
Tues 4 Dec } Auditions of “The Actress
Thur 6 Dec }
Thur 13 Dec Reading of “Deadly Nightcap”
Wed 9 Jan Reading of “Ladies in Lavender”

Thur 10 – Sat 12 Jan Village Moonlighters panto “The Wizard of Oz”
Wed 16 Jan Trustee meeting
9 – 16 Mar 2019 Play week for “The Actress”
6 – 13 July 2019 Summer play week
10 – 16 Nov 2019 Play week for “Ladies in Lavender”

again. Some were discovered hiding in a member’s house after being washed at the end of the last production; but quite a few are still missing.
Did you do Front of House for “Middle Aged Spread”? Might you have ‘extra’ teatowels that you don’t recognise? They are all labelled “Abbots Langley Players” so should be easy to spot. It would be useful to have them back!

AND FINALLY There won’t be another newsletter before Christmas, so Happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year to everyone.

Newsletter : November 2018

“LETTICE AND LOVAGE”: Performance week is nearly upon us. Tickets are selling fast, so if anyone you know needs a ticket, don’t leave it too long.

If you took flyers to distribute locally, please can you return any unused ones to the Barn by Thursday 8 th November, as they will be needed for the street promotion on Saturday 10th.

Lots of help is needed for set construction, set dressing, flat painting, tea making…. We shall be in the Barn on Saturday 10 th November from 10 am papering and painting flats for use, and then on Sunday 11 th assembling them in the Hub from 10 am. If it sounds like hard work, you will get a couple of minutes off at 11 am… If you’d like to help in any capacity, or just be part of it, please come along. I always reckon it beats cleaning the bathroom any day!

FUTURE PRODUCTIONS: March 2019: Annette is directing “The Actress” by Peter
Quilter. There will be a reading of this in the Barn on Tuesday 27 th November, with
auditions on Tuesday 4 th and Thursday 6 th December. As usual, if you’d like to be involved but can’t make any of these dates, please contact Annette.

November 2019: Roger Gotts will be directing “Ladies in Lavender” for us. More details later.
Summer 2019: We still have no offers of a play or director for this slot. Does anyone have a desire to do something, or any ideas?

OTHER PRODUCTIONS The Village Moonlighters panto is on January 10th – 12th , and includes a few past and present members of ALP, and also a REAL LIVE DOG (who will undoubtedly steal the show). Tickets aren’t on sale yet but don’t forget the date.

AND FINALLY It would be nice to have some playreadings in the New Year. Does anyone have a play that they think might be possible for production? Or just one that they would like to read for fun? If you do, or if you have any ideas, please contact me (Jean J).

Sat 10 Nov Painting flats in Barn
Sun 11 Nov Set assembly in Hub, also rehearsal 2.30 pm
Mon 12 Nov Technical Rehearsal
Tues 13 Nov Dress Rehearsal
Wed 14 – Sat 17 Nov Performances
Wed 21 Nov Trustee meeting
Tues 27 Nov Reading of “The Actress”
Tues 4 Dec } Auditions of “The Actress
Thur 6 Dec }
Wed 16 Jan Trustee meeting
9 – 16 Mar 2019 Play week for “The Actress”
6 – 13 July 2019 Summer play week
10 – 16 Nov 2019 Play week for “Ladies in Lavender”

Lettice and Lovage – Ticket Announcement


Tickets are now on sale for our next production, running from the 14th to 17th November see link below:

Box Office 0844 804 5354

Lettice is the daughter of an actress who toured with an all-female company playing Shakespeare’s plays. She has inherited both theatricality and eccentricity, and is now employed as a tourist guide in a shabby stately home, where she enlivens its dull history with her own over-imaginative fantasies. She is caught in the act and promptly sacked, but is later visited by the starchy Preservation Trust official who fired her, and an unlikely friendship develops between the two.

Newsletter : September 2018

“MIDDLE AGE SPREAD’’: Our audiences enjoyed the play, the NODA report thought it
was good, and we made a very creditable profit, somewhere round £1000. Congratulations and Thankyou to everyone involved with this. One little quibble: Sandy’s white sheet still hasn’t returned home. If you lent any bedding for the set, please could you check carefully that you don’t have an unfamiliar sheet in your cupboard.

“LETTICE AND LOVAGE’: this has been cast as follows:
Lettice Douffet Barbara Johnson
Lotte Schoen Annette Toms
Miss Framer Sue Baker
Mr Bardolph Stuart Martin
Surly Man John Gordon
Tourists ALP members, led by Sandy McIntosh
The Production Manager is Pat H., who may be contacting you at a later date to ask you to volunteer for something!
First rehearsal is on Tuesday 4 th September, and the director is Sylvia (07505 449185).

60 TH ANNIVERSARY (now 61 st ): The date for our celebration is Saturday 8 th September (now fast approaching.)
It will be open to all current and past members and partners, all of whom will receive a specific invitation. This will be sent separately, as this newsletter goes on Facebook and is public, and the event is not open to everyone.
All the details will be on your invitation.

If you don’t get one, and feel you should, please
contact me, Jean J (

PETER TOMSON: We will be dedicating our November production to the memory of our President, Peter Tomson, and in the play programme we would like to include some pieces about him. More longstanding members will have many memories of Peter, so please may we have contributions from as many of you as possible for inclusion? They don’t have to be long compositions, maybe just an anecdote. Please send anything to me, Jean J. (contributions may be edited due to space restrictions.)

PLAYREADING There will be a reading of “The Actress” by Peter Quilter on Wednesday 19 th September. Please come along if you can, as this play is a contender for production at some point.

Tues 4 Sept First rehearsal “Lettice and Lovage”
Sat 8 Sept Alp’s 61 st anniversary beanfeast
Wed 19 Sept Reading of “The Actress”
Wed 26 Sept Trustee Meeting
11 – 17 Nov Play week “Lettice and Lovage”
9 – 16 Mar 2019 Spring play week
6 – 13 July 2019 Summer play week
10 – 16 Nov 2019 Autumn play week

AND FINALLY Well, there isn’t anything really, except to remind you that we need to
know who will be coming on Saturday 8 th . ASAP so we have a clear idea of how much food to provide.

Sylvia Poole aka Emily Baines


You’ve been both acting and directing for the Kings and Abbots Langley Players for more years than you might care to remember! Do you know how many plays you’ve acted in and how many you’ve directed in that time?

Oh crikey! I’ve directed about half a dozen and acted in a baker’s dozen!

Which ones have been the most memorable for you?

Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me which I directed for Abbots in March this year, Lettice and Lovage which I appeared in for the Company of Ten in St Albans in the early 1990’s and directing Daisy Pulls it Off at Kings Langley about 20 years ago.

Are there any particular types of play you prefer to be involved in?

Shakespeare and the classics.

You play the awkward resident, Emily, in Summer End. What’s she like?

Cantankerous, bloody minded but frightened of approaching infirmities.

You have a busy life outside the drama world. What sort of working life have you had? Is there any time left for other interests and hobbies?

I spent many years working as a House Mistress in boarding schools followed by a few years working in the county court before retiring. It may sound prosaic but I enjoy reading, particularly books with an historical background, knitting, crossword puzzles and holidaying with family!

When you’ve finished Summer End do you have any plans or ambitions for future productions?

No immediate plans but I would like to direct the play ‘A Busy Day’ by Fanny Burney written in the late 1700’s but it has a large cast – and of course I’m always available for Lady Bracknell!

Laura Tomlinson aka Sally


How did you get involved?
It was all a bit random really, I saw a post on the Abbots Langley Matters group on Facebook saying the annual meeting was taking place, so I went along and ended up signing up.
Have you done much in the way of acting before? Are you enjoying it?
I was actually a part of YPDC (Young People’s Drama Centre) until the age of 18 and was involved in a show they took up to the Edinburgh Festival, which was an amazing experience. Since then I haven’t really had the time to be involved in much, so I was thrilled when this opportunity came about. Acting has always been a passion of mine and I am really enjoying getting back into it again.
If you had the chance, are there any particular plays or types of play you’d like to get involved in after this one?
I have a love of musical theatre, I sing and dance, so anything in that genre would be amazing. Aside from that I generally like things that are a bit different, such as surrealist theatre, or plays with dark themes.
You play Sally in this one, an assistant carer in the retirement home. What sort of character is she?
The first direction I was given was ‘think of Kevin from Harry Enfield’ which has really helped me to shape her. She basically is a sullen teenager, very immature and quite thoughtless at times. I wouldn’t say she is exactly the best employee, she would much rather sit and have a chat then actually do her work. But she is not a malevolent character, she has her flaws like everyone else, but I think deep down she is quite caring really.
How do you get on with learning the lines? Do you have any particular method of learning them?
I actually have a really bad memory, so I do struggle a bit, but I just keep reading over and over them until they stick in my head. Rehearsals help, as once you see how everything fits in with the other characters and your characters movements it helps me to memorise them.
Apart from the acting, how else do you like to spend your leisure time?
As previously mentioned I am quite musical so enjoy singing and also attending gigs to watch some of my favourite bands. Other than that I like spending time with friends and have to admit I am a bit of a TV slob at times.