Archives

Members' Profiles


Here is a “rogues gallery” of many of our regular and not so regular members. In most cases the photo and text for each profile was extracted verbatim from the printed programme for the latest production in which he/she appeared.

Jeff Barry

Jeff Barry Although Jeff has spent most of the last few years behind the scenes in stage management and set construction he has had major roles in Dancing at Lughnasa 2004, The Cherry Orchard 2006, Cold Comfort Farm 2010 and The Odd Couple 2011. In 2006 many people will recall his fall down two flights of stairs as Garry Lejeune in Noises Off. Jeff made his directorial debut the following year with The Importance of being Earnest 2007. A more recent stage appearance was as Tom – the hapless vet in Living Together 2015. Most recent appearance: Tom (again) in My Friend Miss Flint 2017.


Gary Bates

Gary Bates Although Gary can usually be found as part of the backstage crew of FDS (lighting and sound effects) My Friend Miss Flint 2017 as Mr Dodds is his second appearance on stage at Buscot. The previous year he played Rev. Paul Latimer in Side Effects 2016 and he is pleased to be back on the boards especially in this lovely theatre. Previous accolades have been an English soldier in Reflections 2014 and Officer O’Hara in Arsenic and Old Lace 2004. Most recent appearance: Mr Dodds in My Friend Miss Flint 2017.


Lynda Bates

Lynda Bates Lynda has been a very active, non-acting member since 1998. She has served on the committee as our treasurer for 4 years and has also been helping to produce the many miracles of costumes within the wardrobe department. She will usually be seen front-of-house at most performances.


Jacob Bayliss

Jacob Bayliss We saw Jacob on stage last year playing the part of a new member of FDS in Faringdon Follies 2018 (basically, himself!). His debut actually came in 2017 when he stepped in at short notice to take a couple of small roles in Cider with Rosie, one of which entailed him being beaten to death! This was his first appearance in Panto and he feels on slightly safer ground, but is still keeping a wary eye out for those witches. Most recent appearance: Prince Fitzroy in Wishing on a Star 2019.


Abby Benson

Abby Benson Abby has appeared in countless pantomimes with FDS, including Happily Ever After 2016, Cinderella 2012, Dick Whittington (the title role, in 2011), Aladdin 2010, Beauty and The Beast 2009, Peter Panto 2008 and Pirates of the Faribbean 2007. She was also in the Community College production of Boogie Nights. She has just returned from two years as a family entertainer in hotels, so Wishing on a Star 2019 was something of a busman’s holiday for her! Most recent appearance: a cocktail waitress in Shakers 2019.


Andrea Bond

Andrea Bond Andrea (formerly Smith) is a Dance and PE teacher, and she has appeared in several pantos over the past few years – she was the heroine Gloria in The Snow Queen 2015, Florence in Jack and the Beanstalk 2013 and before that she took the title role in Aladdin 2010. In the past Andrea has taken on other principal roles such as Cinderella and the Sugar Plum Fairy and her performance highlight to date was representing her county in the Millennium Dome in 2000. Most recent appearance: Star in Wishing on a Star 2019.


Dominic Bullock

Dominic Bullock Dominic played Theseus when he was at school so he likes to take on challenging roles. He first appeared with FDS as the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland 1999, followed by Merlin in Arthur's Adventure 2002, the Master of Ceremonies in Cabaret 2002, Yepikhodov, the estate clerk in The Cherry Orchard 2006, and Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream 2013. He has since been involved in our fringe event So Long Leonard in 2017 and our epic Faringdon Town Nativity held in the Market Place later that year. Most recent appearance: Midshipman Harry Brewer in Our Country’s Good 2019.


Suzanna Carter

Suzanna Carter Wishing on a Star in 2019 was Scooby's fourth panto appearance with FDS. Previously she has played Prince Charming (in Cinderella 2012), and Jack (of The Beanstalk) in 2013. Scooby had a few years away whilst starting a family but she was delighted to come back.to perform the evil Morgan Le Fay in the panto Arthur’s Adventure 2017 and as the infamous Lucy in the hilarious comedy My Friend Miss Flint 2017. Most recent appearance: Griselda, a witch in Wishing on a Star 2019.


Sarah Couzens

Sarah Couzens We last saw Sarah on stage in her first panto role with FDS, the wizard Merlin in Arthur's Adventure 2017. Before that, Sarah's most recent appearances have been in Living Together 2015, The Odd Couple and London Suite (both in 2011). When she first joined FDS in 200I Sarah took on the title role in Daisy Pulls it Off (where she gave "a very convincing performance") and also appeared in Arsenic and Old Lace 2004. Most recent appearance: Audrey (playing Lady Doreen Bishop, Violet Bishop, Mrs King, Joan Bishop) in The Farndale Avenue Murder Mystery 2018.


Josh Dunn

Josh Dunn Josh’s first time on stage was at the Junior School, in their production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (he was Pharaoh’s assistant). Since then he has been more of a musician than an actor, playing guitar and bass, but he has really enjoyed being in some FDS productions lately - he was Sir Loin in Arthur’s Adventure 2017 and Jack in Cider with Rosie later the same year. Most recent appearance: Boho, King of Barbary in Dick Whittington 2018.


Katie Dyet

Katie Dyet Katie has appeared many times in panto, most recently as the Evil Queen in Happily Ever After 2016 and Jack Frost in The Snow Queen 2015. Other plays she has been in include Candleford 2008 (where she won critical acclaim but didn’t utter a word!), Wife After Death 2013, My Friend Miss Flint 2017, and Dick Whittington 2018. Katie has been the chair of FDS and has taken numerous roles behind the scenes and front of house. Most recent appearance: Thelma (playing Daphne Bishop, Rose Bishop) in The Farndale Avenue Murder Mystery 2018.


Janie Eyre-Brook

Janie Eyre-Brook Janie first appeared in an FDS production (Beside the Seaside 1974) over forty years ago. Since then she has been a member of several different groups and appeared in a wide variety of FDS productions including My Friend Miss Flint 2017, A Midsummer Night’s Dream 2013, Present Laughter 2012 and Our Town 2009. She has also appeared in the “background” of several films and even pressed her body against Pierce Brosnan in The World is not Enough (well, someone had to do it). Most recent appearance: Ifelda, a witch in Wishing on a Star 2019.


Gary Field

Gary Field Gary joined FDS in February 2005 and although he first worked backstage it wasn’t long before he stepped into the spotlight took his first role as the cynical manservant Yasha in The Cherry Orchard 2006. He has been in numerous plays since and taken several roles in panto (most recently as Sir Jikal-Trusse in Arthur’s Adventure 2017, but also as Bo Peep!). Gary also directed I Thought I heard a Rustling 2009, Wife After Death 2013, My Friend Miss Flint 2017, and is the current chairman of FDS. Most recent appearance: Lord Uppham: in Wishing on a Star 2019.


Millie Green

Millie Green “Oh, go on Mum, audition for one of the witches!” Millie had only come to the casting with her daughter Tabitha (one of the sprites) but was surprised to say the least when she ended up with a leading role. She has been a member of Bishopstone Dramatic Society for some years and has a degree in psychodrama, which is not as far removed from pantomime as you might think. Most recent appearance: Esmerelda, a witch in Wishing on a Star 2019.


Dave Headey

Dave Headey Dave has directed several plays for FDS and has lost count of the number he has performed in. He has also appeared with Amegos Theatre, the Act IV Theatre Group and occasionally with Lechlade Players. It has been quite a challenge narrating Cider with Rosie – though a most enjoyable one – this being his first ever play where he has not exchanged a single line with any other cast member. Most recent appearance: Laurie in Cider With Rosie 2017.


Jayne Hoyland

Jayne Hoyland Jayne (formerly Isham) first joined us as one of the two charming and very silly girls in The Importance of Being Earnest 2007. Since then she has performed regularly in many productions in both small and more major parts. She has taken on various other roles too; from prompt and front-of-house to producer for Agatha Crusty and the Village Hall Murders 2016 and musical director for Arthur's Adventure 2017. Among her more recent acting roles were as Prince Charming in Happily Ever After 2016 and Galaxy the Minstrel in Wishing on a Star 2019. Most recent appearance: a cocktail waitress in Shakers 2019.


Sandra Keen

Sandra Keen Sandra has been acting since 2001, starting with a production of Cinderella, and has since performed a wide range of roles including Lady Sneerwell in Sheridan's School for Scandal. Here at FDS she has had major parts in the award-winning Dancing at Lughnasa 2004, The Odd Couple 2011, Wife After Death 2013, Living Together 2015 and as Sir Reale in the panto Arthur's Adventure 2017. Most recent appearance: Felicity (playing Pawn, Mrs Castle, Colonel King) in The Farndale Avenue Murder Mystery 2018.


Ian Lee

Ian Lee Never to be seen on stage except perhaps behind the curtain, Ian has been a member since 1994 and has had various jobs. Mostly they include child co-ordinator and parking supervisor for the pantomimes, construction and maintenance of our web site, email contacts, online ticket sales, and front-of-house. He served on the committee as our membership secretary for 4 years and continues to maintain our membership records.


Joan Lee

Joan Lee Joan joined the Dramatic Society in 1987, and after making the mistake of admitting that she could sew, has been on the wardrobe team ever since. A panto star, she is more often seen in animal roles, being in her time a lion, two halves of a horse, a fish and a toad. Her more recent stage appearances were in Steel Magnolias 2014, as Agatha Crusty’s sister-in-law in 2016, Granny Trill in Cider with Rosie 2017, and Tapioca Dripping, the cook in Dick Whittington 2018. Most recent appearance: various parts in Faringdon Follies 2018.


Debbie Lock

Debbie Lock Debbie has been with FDS since 1987 She has appeared in a variety of productions and has directed several plays and pantomimes; most recently Faringdon Follies 2018 and Side Effects 2016 at Buscot Park, Cider With Rosie 2017, and The Farndale Avenue Murder Mystery 2018. She was last on stage as Sir Veillance in the award-winning panto Arthur's Adventure 2017 and before that you may have spotted her "mirror image" in the 2016 panto Happily Ever After. Another of Debbie's talents is choreography and when she has not been directing a panto has often been responsible for the dance moves. Most recent appearance: Mrs Reece (playing Clarissa Rook, Regine, Patricia Bishop, Letitia Bishop, Mr Goodbody.) in The Farndale Avenue Murder Mystery 2018.


Richard Lock

Richard Lock Richard has been involved with FDS for many years and is most often found playing in our panto band, or working backstage, although his misspent youth included many stage appearances in pantomimes and musicals. He has taken on the roles of PC Locket in Agatha Crusty 2016 and grumpy Frank in Side Effects 2016 (a role for which he won a NODA “best actor in a play” award). Also earlier as Kevin in Wife After Death 2013 and Henry in Present Laughter 2012. My Friend Miss Flint 2017 was his first go at directing. Most recent appearance: various parts in Faringdon Follies 2018.


Fiona Merrick

Fiona Merrick Fiona’s first foray into all things dramatic was a Dad’s Army sketch in the 2005 Faringdon Arts Festival. Rather curiously Fiona seems to have been attracted to the letter C, having appeared in Candleford 2008, Cold Comfort Farm 2010, Cinderella 2012 and Cider with Rosie 2017. Now she has moved on to the letter D! Most recent appearance: Salty in Dick Whittington 2018.


Alison Morris

Alison Morris Alison lives in Witney and made her debut with FDS as Laurie Lee’s sister Marge in Cider with Rosie 2017. For ten years Alison has been a member of two choirs, taking roles in sketches and musicals performed in the summer with Witney Inter-Church Singers. She previously played Ratty in the St Mary's Church production of Wind in the Willows. As Prince Odo in Wishing on a Star 2019 was her first go at pantomime, and she thoroughly enjoyed it. Most recent appearance: a cocktail waitress in Shakers 2019.


Andy Pritchard

Andy Pritchard Andy was a memorable Bottom in Midsummer Night’s Dream 2013. He was then co-opted to play Harvey in Wife after Death 2013 and was also convincing as the poet Siegfried Sassoon in Reflections in 2014. For many years he has been a leading player with the Cotswold Arcadians and Meysey Players. Andy is also a member of the Act IV Theatre, where he took the title role in Raffles – One Heart and Mind, and a founder member of the Lechlade Mummers as well as having done commercial and TV work. Most recent appearance: Major Robbie Ross in Our Country’s Good 2019.


Verity Roberts

Verity Roberts Verity (formerly Crowdson) has taken leading roles in The Importance of Being Earnest 2007 (her first), Cold Comfort Farm 2010, and The Odd Couple 2011, and was Hermia in 2013’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She has had significant parts in no fewer than eight of our last ten pantos. Verity was co-author (with Helen Thrower) of the panto Happily Ever After 2016 and Wishing on a Star 2019. She also appeared as Snitch in Dick Whittington 2018. Most recent appearance: a cocktail waitress in Shakers 2019.


Duncan Sinclair

Duncan Sinclair Wishing on a Star 2019 was Duncan's sixth appearance in a Faringdon panto, having taken various roles in Wantage and Cirencester over the years. You may remember him as ugly sister Hernia in Cinderella 2012, the Ogre in Jack and the Beanstalk 2013, Gaston Legroom in the Scarlet Pumpernickel 2014 or Dame Trott in Happily Ever After 2016. In Dick Whittington 2018 he was incompetent seaman Captain Cockleshell. Most recent appearance: Boatman/Innkeeper/Highwayman in Wishing on a Star 2019.


Jeni Summerfield

Jeni Summerfield Jeni has been with FDS for over 25 years and she has appeared in many productions including The Crucible 2001, Dancing at Lughnasa 2004, and numerous pantos. In Happily Ever After 2016 she completed the set of Queen, Fairy and Witch, not to mention a nasty stepmother – Hysteria in Cinderella 2013, and Maisie in Agatha Crusty and the Village Hall Murders 2016. Jeni has also directed some one act plays but most of the time is to be found feverishly designing and sewing costumes. Most recent appearance: various parts in Faringdon Follies 2018.


Alan Taylor

Alan Taylor Alan's first appearance on an FDS stage was as Johnny Badger in The Murder of Maria Marten 1986 and he has since performed in far too many plays to mention and been back stage for most of the rest. Since appearing more recently as Mr Guinness in Reflections 2014 and as the squire in Cider With Rosie 2017, he is more likely now to be found serving behind the bar during the intervals. Most recent appearance: Governor Arthur Phillip in Our Country’s Good 2019.


Carolyn Taylor

Carolyn Taylor Carolyn joined FDS in 1986 and has been Chair of the Society three times. She has directed and appeared in many productions for FDS and other companies, including a number of open air Shakespeare productions, most recently Macbeth and Midsummer Night’s Dream at Oxford Castle and The Dell, Stratford upon Avon in 2016. Other highlights include playing Aunt Ada Doom in Cold Comfort Farm 2010 and Madame Ranevskaya in The Cherry Orchard 2006. To her list of talents she can add that of playwright, being the author of the pantomime Beauty and the Beast in 2009 and Reflections in 2014. Most recent appearance: Scaringas, the dragon in Wishing on a Star 2019.


Helen Thrower

Helen Thrower Helen joined FDS for Jack and the Beanstalk in 2013, and has been in several plays since, most notably as the hair stylist Truvy in Steel Magnolias 2014. She has plenty of experience in drama, both at the Pegasus Theatre and in schools. At the Unicorn in Abingdon she has directed Robin Hood, Oliver Twist and Cats. With FDS she directed The Scarlet Pumpernickel 2014, also Happily Ever After 2016 and Wishing on a Star 2019 (both of the latter she co-wrote with Verity Roberts). A more recent appearance on stage was as Black Berry, the pirate in Dick Whittington 2018. Most recent appearance: various parts in Faringdon Follies 2018.


Sarah Varnom

Sarah Varnom Sarah is making a rare appearance in panto. She won accolades for her role as Laurie Lee’s mother in Cider with Rosie 2017, but she has enjoyed all manner of roles from Wicked Witch to Lady Bracknell. In 2010 Sarah directed Heroes which was performed as part of a dinner/theatre experience and was a huge success, winning the NODA Flame Award that year. Most recent appearance: Dame Ariel Bucket in Wishing on a Star 2019.


Matthew Warner

Matthew Warner As well as appearing in almost every FDS pantomime since Beauty and the Beast in 2009, Matthew has taken part in school productions such as Boogie Nights and Annie (as newsman Bert Healy) and is a member of Musical Youth UK where his most recent role was in Les Miserables. He has also appeared at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and in April 2014 joined the company in Miss Saigon. Most recent appearance: Prince Sigurd in Wishing on a Star 2019.


Martin Waymark

Martin Waymark Martin's stage debut came relatively recently, after five years in the orchestra pit at the FDS panto, in My Friend Miss Flint at Buscot Park in 2017. Since then he's been making up for lost time with roles in So Long Leonard 2017 and as Sir Bedevere in the AmEgos 2017 production of Spamalot. He appeared as a rakish Salvador Dali in Faringdon Follies 2018, so it didn't take long (or much persuasion) to get him back as the only male cast member in Farndale. Most recent appearance: Gordon (playing Inspector O’Reilly) in The Farndale Avenue Murder Mystery 2018.


Jo Webster

Jo Webster A member of FDS for over 25 years, Jo's director credits also include Arsenic and Old Lace 2004 and Cold Comfort Farm 2010, but we have seen her on stage in in productions ranging from Steel Magnolias 2014 and Stepping Out 1991 to Wind in the Willows 1991 and 2003 and Faringdon Follies 2018. She has also had some lovely character parts in panto: she stole the show as the hen that laid the golden eggs in Jack and the Beanstalk 2013. Despite all this her particular forte is visible to all: Jo has been the set designer for more than sixty (yes, that's 60) FDS productions. In 2018 she also directed The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Murder Mystery. Most recent appearance: various parts in Faringdon Follies 2018.


Peter Webster

Peter Webster Although he is seen on stage from time to time, Peter is more likely to be found with a paintbrush or screwdriver behind the scenes. Or with a pen - he is a prolific author of pantomimes, including The Snow Queen 2015 and Jack and the Beanstalk 2013 which he directed. His last stage appearances were as the Baron in Cinderella 2012, which he also wrote, and as Mr McGregor in Reflections 2014. Most recent appearance: various parts in Faringdon Follies 2018.


Adrian Wells

Adrian Wells Adrian has been a part of FDS for over 20 years. He has been in award winning productions including The Crucible 2001, and has enjoyed a variety of roles in plays by Shakespeare, Chekhov, Wilde and Ayckbourn. He usually seems to play a “baddie” in pantomime so playing Alderman Fitzwarren in Dick Whittington 2018 made a welcome change. He has also designed most of our publicity posters and programme covers. Most recent appearance: various parts in Faringdon Follies 2018.


36 profiles submitted out of around 45-50 full-time and occasional members.