InNewbury Magazine (Spring/Summer 2017) - page 10

The Boxford Masques
All at Sea! 26-30 July 2017
To find out more about getting
involved or to buy tickets,
please contact:
07931 951255
Photographs supplied by The Boxford Masques,
except page 8 top by Fiona Cue.
Many local children
have discovered what fun
it is to be involved with
theatre through the
Boxford Masques.
In Newbury
asked Geraldine
how long it takes her to write the
masques. She replies, ‘About two to
three months to get it to first draft,
then Ade gets involved. It's never
completely finished – we write and
rewrite until it's staged!’
But the writing is only the
start of it. There is a huge team of
professionals and amateurs involved
in bringing the play to fruition:
musicians, choreographers, directors,
make-up artists, costume designers,
set designers, ticket sellers, front of
house, parking attendants – and
that's before we've even mentioned
the actors.
‘We usually have at least one
professional actor in our summer
productions. Those not so used to
treading the boards find it a massive
help and reassurance to have
someone to guide them in the art of
theatre,’ says Ade, who actually started
his own career as an actor so knows
the challenge facing his amateur cast.
TheWatermill Theatre is still
a real friend of the Boxford Masques,
their Box Office and front of house
team offering their services, and the
theatre generally helping with the
loan of equipment, costumes and
props. Ade says, ‘We were fortunate
to have TheWatermill's Production
Manager, Lawrence Doyle, lighting the
masque for us last year.
‘We rely heavily on our
wonderful volunteers, and raising
funds to put on the show is of prime
importance. There are so many things
to be paid for that aren't obvious at
first – insurance, toilets and so on.’
Anyone who might like to
be involved with a Boxford Masque
production – now or in the future – is
invited to meet other members of the
company at an informal ‘meet and
greet’ event at a local pub. For
All at
this took place in April, but any
volunteers are still most welcome to
get in touch. Adults in particular are
needed to help in whatever capacity
they feel comfortable – whether for
one of the many behind the scenes
duties or in full view of the audience
as actor, singer, musician or dancer.
Many local children have
discovered what fun it is to be
involved with theatre through the
Boxford Masques, and such is their
involvement that there is a special
director for the 5–11 year olds who
rehearse earlier in the day. Indeed
Ade's twin sons, Dylan and Louie,
have participated in the masques
for several years. Now aged 14, they
are both capable, confident actors
and musicians. Geraldine's daughter,
Ailsa, also starred in the group as a
child, and is now a professional West
End actor, having studied at RADA.
Several other local ‘ex-masquers’ have
taken up acting careers too, amongst
them Lizzie Lewis and Jak Ford-Lane;
and the singer Frances – shortlisted
for the 2016 Critics’ Choice Award at
the BRITS and nominated for the BBC
Sound of 2016 – was in the masque
band for several years. ‘Lifelong
friendships have been forged through
the Boxford Masques,’ Geraldine says,
‘and even two marriages – and, so far,
one “Boxford baby”!’
If you have not yet experienced
this local ‘mini-Glyndebourne’ that is a
Boxford Masque, make a date in your
diary this year. ‘It's a really wonderful
high-summer event,’ says Ade. ‘People
arrive early, strolling along the avenue
of beech trees to enjoy a picnic in the
beautiful grounds of Welford Park, then
take their seats in the auditorium– or
remain relaxing in their picnic area if
they prefer.’
He continues: ‘The show usually
lasts around 21⁄2hours, including the
interval, the second half starting in
the relative darkness which is very
atmospheric and magical in the glow
of the theatre lights. When it's over,
the audience often stay on and enjoy
another drink or two … along with the
cast, many of whom camp out in the
grounds nearby. By the time everyone
leaves it's pitch black, so it's become a
tradition to have garden flares guiding
the way back to the carpark. The last job
of the night for our wonderful team of
volunteers is blowing out the lights.
And so to bed ….’
‘The Crowning Of
The Year’ in the
original hillside
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,...48
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