2018 The society would like to thank Rosemary Church of the Faringdon & District Archaeological & Historical Society for allowing us to digitise the records of Faringdon Dramatic Society for our online archives that she has put together dating back to 1948. It has provided us with many photographs (thanks to Wiltshire Newspapers Ltd) for almost every production and programmes that would have otherwise been lost.
What again!! That’s 4 wins and one 2nd place in the last 5 years.
Arthur’s Adventure. A pantomime written by our own Peter Webster. That’s four wins and a second place in the last five years for FDS.
This is the sixth time FDS have won the competition. We won with Alice in Wonderland in 1999, Snow White in 2005, Jack and the Beanstalk in 2013, The Snow Queen in 2015, and Happily Ever After…? in 2016.
Happily Ever After…? A brand new pantomime written by our own Helen Thrower & Verity Roberts.
For the first time we tried a new format of 3 matinee and 3 evening performances, which was very successful.
2015 – Nominated for the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) awards for London and the South East Region.
The Society has been nominated in the following two categories:
The Harvey Kesselman Comedy Award – for Joseph Armer as Pinocchio in ‘The Snow Queen – a Winter’s Tale’
The Constance Power Trophy of Encouragement.
The Snow Queen. A pantomime written by our own Peter Webster.
This is the fourth time FDS have won the competition.
WALTHER SCHOONENBERG 1935-2015
Anyone who was a member of Faringdon Dramatic Society in the 1990s will remember Walther, who was an active member from 1992 to 1998, when he and his wife Iren (who was also an active member) moved back to their native Holland. During his time with the Society, Walther acted in ten productions and was involved in sixteen set builds. As far as the sets were concerned he was very useful, as when anything went awry we could ‘blame Walther’ even if the problem had nothing to do with him! When it came to acting he played many parts, several of them quite memorable; for instance he was The Old Man of the Sea in the 1993 production of Sinbad the Sailor. Who can forget his first lines? ‘Rash, foolish mortal aren’t you feared, to plant your fishhook in my beard!’, scaring children in the audience to death. He was also the very confused electrician Schuppanzigh in the 1993 production of Black Comedy and the over-the-top film producer, Mr Neck, in 1994’s Cold Comfort Farm. Walther was one of the nicest men you could ever wish to meet, seemingly always cheerful and willing to muck in with whatever needed doing – that may sound like a platitude, but in his case it’s true. He will be much missed and our thoughts go out to Iren and his family.
2015 – CANADA EXCHANGE
Faringdon Dramatic Society are continuing with our third exchange with the Garrison Little Theatre in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada. The first full week of May 2015 will be taken up with the Canadian visit. We expect them to arrive on Saturday 2nd May. Performances will be on Friday 8th May and Saturday 9th May at Faringdon Junior School. They will leave us on Sunday 10th May. The play, this time, is ‘Office Hours’ by Norm Foster. This is a comedy consisting of six interconnected stories set in various offices in a city tower block. This production will have an entirely Canadian cast but a FOH, backstage and production team consisting of members from both societies.
2014 – We have been nominated in all these categories for the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) awards for London and the South East Region.
Best Play – Wife After Death – awarded ‘Runner-up’
Best Panto – Scarlet Pumpernickel
Best Male Performance – Andy Pritchard as Harvey in Wife After Death
Best Female Performance – Carolyn Taylor as Vi in Wife After Death
The Scarlet Pumpernickel. A pantomime written by Dave Buchanan.
Carolyn Taylor presenting Peter Webster with the ODN Pantomime competition winner’s shield for Jack and the Beanstalk, performed in 2013 and which he both wrote and directed. This is the third time FDS have won the competition. We won with Alice in Wonderland in 1999 and Snow White in 2005.
This plaque donated by Ann Taylor following the death of her husband is awarded each year to any member of the dramatic society who in the opinion of our members has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the society.
The plaque, a ceramic mosaic, was designed and created by Jo Webster.
The first person to be awarded the plaque was Denise Monk in 2011 for her dedication over many years to front of house on the ticket desk.
In 2012 the award was given to Debbie Lock for all her hard work for the society over the years and specifically during this year’s panto, Best of British, the Canada exchange, and the future planning for the next panto.
CANADA EXCHANGE 2011/12
Faringdon Dramatic Society FDS currently have an exchange partnership with the Garrison Little Theatre in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada. Fort Erie is on the border of Canada and the USA and is very close to Niagara Falls. GLT came to Faringdon in September 2007 to perform Lend Me a Tenor. FDS went to Fort Erie in May 2008 to deliver a performance of Outside Edge. GLT came to Faringdon in October 2011 to perform a joint production of London Suite. FDS will visit Fort Erie in June 2012 to repeat the performance.
FDS Secretary, Karen Whiffen has left for pastures new after many years of both acting and directing. She was presented with a mosaic plaque at our 2011 summer barbecue. The plaque was designed and made by Jo Webster.
Pantomime Competitions 2011
Dick Whittington was nominated for the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) Pantomime Competition and came 3rd in the Oxfordshire Drama Network (ODN) Pantomime Competition.
Seb Allum who played Idle Jack was awarded a special award for “Most Outstanding Young Actor”.
In Memory of
a long-standing member of Faringdon Dramatic Society, who died very suddenly at the end of November 2010, two weeks after his excellent performance in ‘Heroes’.
2009 Louise English Award
Louise English Award
Pantomime Competition 2008
Peter Panto was awarded 3rd place in the Oxfordshire Drama Network (ODN) Pantomime Competition.
Public presentation of all this year’s awards at The Faringdon Arts Festival by Debbie Lock and Carolyn Taylor.
- Shield on the left (both photos) – ‘Albert‘ – The fourth play in ‘Idle Chatter‘ was performed again at Wallingford Drama Festival and was awarded best play.
- Certificate on the left – Our pantomime ‘Snow White‘ was winner of the ODN Panto Festival 2005. This is the second time FDS have won the competition. We won with Alice in Wonderland in 1999.
- Certificate and shield on right – The nationally acclaimed Ron Kench Shield for Drama was awarded for ‘Dancing at Lughnasa‘.
Pantomime Competition 2001
Cinderella was awarded 3rd place in the Oxfordshire Drama Network (ODN) Pantomime Competition 2001.