Hi all,

Hope you are all well: physically, mentally and economically.

We have reviewed the revised 2020 BADS productions we envisaged at the end of March. Needless to say we were too optimistic. There is even a possibility that indoor events may not be allowed before the end of the year. And if they are allowed it is likely that social distancing restrictions will make them not financially viable.   However, that doesn't mean we have to give up on everything and are therefore now proposing the following:
  1.  We are still hopeful that we can arrange some sort of social event, possibly now towards the end of August. We will make a decision around mid/end July when we should have a better idea of what is allowed/possible within social distancing guidance.
  2. Until we know what is possible we can't schedule a date for this year's AGM. We are still looking at some time in the autumn, but again date, time and format will be determined by what is allowed.   Because of the delay in being able to have an AGM and appoint new members, Lorna and Barbara have agreed to be co-opted onto the committee in the meantime.
  3. It shouldn't come as a great surprise that we won't be able to go ahead with the October play.   We will therefore re-arrange this for the same time (and venues) for next year.
  4. However, there is an opportunity to replace that event with something different.   The proposal is to put on 'an afternoon with BADS'   of individual (but possibly connected) acts. Each act can be performed by a 'social bubble', i.e. each act has its own characters and director. This will be an outdoor event, with minimal costs. We are looking at the first half of October, possibly in the field next to the shop.
  5. And then all being well we can go full steam ahead with the 'Three Musketeers' early 2021!
In the meantime, there appear to be quite a number of productions which can be watched via social media. We are aware of some, but if anyone is aware of anything that they feel might be of interest to BADS members, please let us know and we can inform everyone via the website and facebook.

And as you may have seen from an earlier email, Allison is hosting 'BADS Nights In' via zoom. The first one is due to take place this evening, 8th June. Any other suggestions re how we can keep in touch are of course more than welcome.

Keep safe and well,

BADS committee


BADS Brockweir, an amateur dramatics group based in the Wye Valley. 

In 1984, a group of Brockweirdos performed an entertainment for the Senior Citizens lunch, in the Brockweir Inn. Judy Hooper --( from Wyevern)--wrote " Here we go round the Nursery Rhymes"--actors included Mavis and Granville (landlords), Janis Williams, Stuart Merritt, and several others, including Brenda and myself.

1985 saw us perform an "Old Tyme Music Hall" in the pub, a collection of 'party pieces'--dances, songs and a melodrama, featuring a larger cast, dancing drag fairies, heroes and villains, and an unforgettable can-can, performed by 'The Sues'--Watson, Calderwood, Birch and Merritt. Flushed with success, we inflicted this show on an unsuspecting public at the Mac hall, and BADS was born!

Next was our first full script, " The Brigands of Brockweir", penned again by Judy Hooper, and directed by Sue Calderwood. A wonderful script and witty adaptations of G & S songs attracted a good audience and MONEY was made on the door and at the bar in exchange for dubious performances and much alcohol ( consumed probably more readily by cast than audience!). A full supper was provided by the newly formed Social Club (forerunner of BEST), to provide better value for money!.

Social Club needed funds as it grew ,to provide Summer and Christmas events for seniors, and a Christmas outing for the children, as well as many imported entertainers, dances and dining events. BADS was able to fund |(or at least underwrite) these events , and so a partnership grew between the two groups--BADS put on shows and made money, Social Club provided some of BADS logistics (food/ bar/ front of house etc) in exchange for our profits---the village as a whole benefitted from a hugely improved social scene.Eventually, Social club became self-sufficient and BADS was able to begin its charitable donations.

For several years, Sue Calderwood (" Madame La Directrice" as she was known) attempted to direct BADS and performances increased to twice yearly, with an ever increasing and changing cast, who were all required to answer the questions--? can you act?, can you dance? can you sing?--any 'yes' answers were rejected--all 'no' answers accepted with open arms.So the reputation of an Am Dram Soc which didn't take itself too seriously was born .

Backstage, footlights were acquired to complement 4 naked stage bulbs--Very illuminating, but highly dangerous with exposed wiring, sometimes causing fuses to blow if water , people or props got too close.( Health and safety consisted of telling the kids in the audience not to put their fingers too near the lights ) Mercifully, before any fatalities, the refit of a London Theatre provided us with free new lights from the sister of the electrical engineer there.This lighting was in use for 25-30 years , lightening our darkness mostly, but with the odd blackout as their high power consumption blew the hall circuits,  

Sound was provided by John Marsden( a hugely talented pianist--able to change key to 'join' any singer who had little knowledge of tune (many of us ). Also, Social clubs new sound system , operated by Andrew Naylor ( BBC Bristol) gave us sound effects previously undreamed of.

After several years, Sue C vacated her directors chair, and Judy H moved on. Many thought that would be the end of BADS--not so--along came new writes, directors, backstage crew, and

 actors to ensure its continuation. THAT was the 'learning curve' that taught us how necessary change was to the ongoing success and vitality of the group.

Todays BADS we believe continues to reflect the core values we had in those early days--namely

1) Our major aim is to bring together the community to have fun

2) Money raised is given to charity

3) BADS is an inclusive group open to all

4) FINALLY--work hard but don't take yourself too seriously --ie--it doesn't matter too much if you can't act/dance/sing--you're IN IT!

Thanks to Milly for this contribution.

BADS , currently have four events each year, with a pantomime performed in spring, a fundraiser in the summer for the local church, an autumn play and a contribution to the annual village Christmas variety show.  Whilst we are not a registered charity all profits from our various performances go charity.  If you would like to get involved either treading the boards or behind the scenes then please  /contact-us

Brockweir is a village in the Wye valley, straddling the border between England and Wales, Chepstow is 7 miles to the south, Monmouth 9 miles to the north and the Forest of Dean 5 miles to the north west. Most rehearsals and performances are held in Mackenzie village hall in Brockweir http://www.brockweirvillagehall.co.uk/ although our Autumn production does visit other local venues.

Scenery Building, set design, catering , wardrobe manager, front of house are some of the roles that are key to any successful production so if you fancy joining a diverse but lively group then please contact us /contact-us

Peter Pan March 2019

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