Calendar

Important: (03-Oct-2019) Over the next few months I will be replacing the calendar system. The current system should remain largely unchanged until I am sure that the replacement is working correctly.

If you’re holding an event in or near Okeford Fitzpaine and would like it to be publicised on the Fippenny News web site send us the details. We’ll also include it in our print edition if space allows and it reaches us in time for our copy deadline.

Nov
17
Sun
Bedroom Farce
Nov 17 @ 19:30

Comedy Dysfunction Coming To A Stage Near You!

Alan Ayckbourn’s fast-paced, touching comedy ‘Bedroom Farce’ comes to the South West this winter as theatre group ‘Close to the Mark’ come out to play. 

With all proceeds going to The Stars Appeal and Ataxia UK, you are invited to join in the fun and bring some warmth and laughter to a dark winters evening as all sorts of antics play out on stage.

Capturing the true spirit of Ayckbourn’s work, this hilarious 1970s farce sees four couples navigate their relationships during one long night. Set in three bedrooms and focused around a young couple’s house warming party we see Kate and Malcolm play about losing clothes and failing at DIY, whilst their friend Jan gets stuck in between and underneath all sorts of bother with her partner Nick. Dysfunctional Trevor is in a disastrous partnership with Susannah, one highly-strung and intense woman, and their troubles spill out and impact everyone involved, including Trevor’s parents Ernest and Delia who wonder where their son went wrong in love. Ayckbourn’s timeless talent turns this calamity into a fast moving comedy that connects to anyone who has ever been in a relationship! 

With a cast boasting roles in TV and film ranging from Tomorrow Never Dies, Casualty and Midsomer Murders, and local and National Theatre leads in Coram Boy, Mary Poppins, The Winter’s Tale, West Side Story, Importance of Being Ernest, Oliver Twist plus many local pantomime shows, ‘Close to the Mark’ is guaranteed to treat you to a wonderful show. There will be five performances so get your tickets quick! Dates and ticket details below:

Shaftesbury Arts Centre, 13 Bell Street, Shaftesbury SP7 8AR. Tickets available directly from the venue for £10. http://www.shaftesburyartscentre.org.uk/events/bedroom-farce/

Saturday 23rd November Gala Performance at St Mary’s School, Shaftesbury, SP7 9LP. Tickets are £20 and include free drinks and canapés throughout the evening, available via http://www.thelittleboxoffice.com/cmp

Thursday 28th November at The Exchange, Old Market Hill, Sturminster Newton, DT10 1FH. Tickets available directly from the venue for £10. https://stur-exchange.co.uk/programme/bedroom-farce/

Friday 13th December at Godolphin School, Milford Hill, Salisbury SP1 2RA. Tickets are £10 and available via Little Box Office http://www.thelittleboxoffice.com/cmp

Saturday 14th December 7:30pm at East Knoyle Village Hall, Church Road, Salisbury SP3 6AE. Tickets are £10 and available from East Knoyle village shop.

Cash and card donations will be gratefully received at the end of every performance. The performance at Shaftesbury Arts Centre is in aid of Ataxia UK (https://www.ataxia.org.uk), all other monies will go to the Stars Appeal at Salisbury District Hospital (http://www.starsappeal.org).

‘Close to the Mark’ is a group of eclectic and talented professional and amateur actors, some of whom have played together on stage for years. Dedicated to creating fun, laughter and delight for their audience, this production is a particular labour of love for this group… 

The production honours the memory of Mark Boyden, a well-known local thespian, and much loved friend to the cast, none more so than his brother David Boyden who is playing Malcolm. Mark was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer earlier this year and passed away in March. The play was originally Mark’s idea and he was cast as Trevor. 

“Salisbury District hospital was fantastic in Mark’s diagnosis and palliative care. We all want to support the great work they do and say thank you. Even after he was given the prognosis he wanted the play to go on and hoped to recover enough to perform. Sadly that wasn’t to be but we will perform in his memory. 

Mark was known for his relentless positive spirit and love of not just theatre but of life. It’s a very funny play with a fantastic cast in memory of a lovely man and all for a great cause.” David Boyden, ‘Malcolm’.

A full cast list with acting bios and personal notes from the players follows.

Cast list:

Trevor  – William Scott-Masson

Susannah – Lucy Irwin

Malcolm – David Boyden

Kate – Charlie Greenwood

Ernest – Jerome Swan

Delia – Rachel Sargent

Nick – Rupert Farringdon

Jan – Nicki Porter

Bios:

William Scott-Masson

William was trained at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. He has enjoyed various roles in films which include Braveheart, Tomorrow Never Dies and Flawless; television roles in series such as Endeavour, Midsomer Murders, Casualty, Sherlock, Foyle’s War and Coupling. His theatre credits include Journey’s End, Dangerous Liaisons, The Dock Brief (Shaftesbury Arts Centre), Taking Steps (Lower Zeals Players), School for Scandal (English Touring Theatre) and two seasons at The National Theatre with Coram Boy. 

During his working life, William has spent four years in the Army (hilarious), sixteen years in hospitality (wonderful) and 8 months as a removal man (absolutely awful). Outside of acting he enjoys music, tinkling on the piano, taking epic walks and eating toasted tea cakes with an obscene amount of butter.

“I love acting. I love Ayckbourn. I love this play. I love this cast.  And Mark Boyden was a rare and beautiful being.”

Lucy Irwin

Lucy wrote, directed and performed her first play at the age of seven to welcome the Governor of Gibraltar. Lead roles include West Side Story, the Real Inspector Hound, The Beggars Opera and Antonio in gender reversed Twelfth Night. Lucy also wrote and performed cabaret at the Elephant Polo Ball, Sri Lanka, and for numerous private parties.

Born for the stage, penning and performing plays throughout childhood, Lucy spent half a day at Drama School and decided she would rather be a housewife. Prior to achieving this and with a desire to ‘save the world’ she joined a crisis response team but was side-lined to running election campaigns. So, after an interlude juggling political speech writing, five delightful babies and creating tantalisingly trivial cabaret she is making a long awaited return to theatre. 

David Boyden

After early promise during his primary school nativity play where he played a shepherd and delivered the unforgettable monologue of “Hark”, David rose to stardom when dancing at his school sixth form music and dance show. There was a period of ‘resting’ for a good 30 years or so during which he travelled the world flying helicopters and building things. Last year he returned to the stage to join his brother Mark in Graham Linehan’s ‘The Ladykillers’. He joins the cast as an enthusiastic amateur and will attempt to channel his brother’s comic genius!

Charlie Greenwood

Charlie has acted with multiple theatre companies in the South West, and is an events singer with two bands. Theatre credits include Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins, Robin Hood in Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood, Kitty in Taking Steps, Mrs Cherry Owen/Mrs Willy Nilly/Mrs Dai Bread Two in Under Milk Wood, Hermione in The Winter’s Tale, Sandy in Grease, Prince Charming in Cinderella, and Viola in Twelfth Night. She is currently touring an original show The Secret Diary of a Part-Time Diva with female vocal trio Belle Street.

Charlie runs a country house hotel and restaurant with her husband. Aside from a penchant for playing panto principal boys and pursuing an eclectic range of musical endeavours, she is partial to green tea, growing weird and wonderful vegetables, long walks and long sleeps.

“Mark was always there to brighten the day with a wicked laugh, kind word, and a bear hug. He wanted this production to define ‘labour of love’ – a group of friends coming together, doing what they love to do and putting on a brilliant show.“

Jerome Swan

Jerome first emerged on stage in The Government Inspector by Nicolai Gogol in 1967 and went on to appear in The Baccae and Waiting for Godot along with multiple roles as part of a drama society in York. He can regularly be seen at Shaftesbury Arts Centre, most notably as Prospero in The Tempest and Fagin in Oliver. Jerome is also producer and director of local productions. 

Jerome enjoys volunteering at Shaftesbury Arts Centre manning the bar, the box office and even the photocopier. His illustrious career outside of acting includes being a kitchen porter at a psychiatric hospital, a leprosy control project supervisor, an antiquarian book dealer, a radio DJ, a freelance journalist and a disastrously inept PR person. 

“I worked on several productions with Mark Boyden and, like everyone, was infected by his energy, enthusiasm and unrelentingly positive attitude. This was his project and I’m delighted we have continued with it.”

Rachel Sargent

Rachel’s first theatrical experience was as a pantomime dog called Battersea with the Nightingale Players in London. Since then she has played many leading roles including: Cecily – Importance of Being Ernest, Oscar Wilde; Elvira – Blithe Spirit, Noel Coward; Eliza – Pygmalion, Bernard Shaw; Margherita – Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay, Dario Fo; Brenda – Albert’s Brige, Stoppard (premier performance of the musical play); Miss Adelaide – Guys and Dolls, Loesser; Sonia – Uncle Vanya, Chekov; plus several Ayckbourn productions. 

Rachel is an artist, working from a converted cowshed at Child Okeford organic farm. She loves walking and exploring her surrounding landscape as well as occasionally taking herself off to remote places in Cornwall and Scotland. Her other love is for all things Greek and for the past two years she has been trying to learn the language. Unfortunately not many Greeks seem to be able to understand a word she says to date.

“I am so pleased to be part of this production to honour Mark’s memory. In starting this he has left us such a gift.”

Rupert Farrington

Rupert’s theatrical experience includes playing the Artful Dodger in Oliver Twist, Sizwe Bansi in Sizwe Bansi is Dead, Herbert Fowle in Dock Brief, Mark Boxer in Taking Steps and Madame Twanky in pantomime! He attended LAMDA from 1982-1986 and is a skilled stage manager and set creator as well as a dynamic actor. 

Rupert breathes a lot, has been married for 34 years, has four children between 32 and 19, practices acupuncture, makes things out of wood, designs spaces, organises plays, parties and events. He loves music and plays various instruments. But where he likes most to be is out on his boat, out at sea.

“Mark was a big hearted, funny, generous, wise and wonderful man and so much fun to be around, he brought warmth and laughter both on and off stage. We are still riding the wave of his extraordinary positive energy so along with Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy genius and a group of wonderful people, what could possibly go wrong?”

Nicki Porter

Nicki started out in production, backstage at Birmingham’s Crescent Theatre, in 1990. Some 20 years later, she took to the stage at Shaftesbury Arts Centre and since then has enjoyed leading roles including: Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd, Sally Smith in Me & My Girl, Lottie Ames in Mack & Mabel, Prince Charming in Cinderella and Maleficent in Beauty & the Beast. She also performs with Motcombe Players and Milborne Port Opera.

Nicki has been a marketer most of her working life with a few consulting and teaching jobs thrown in for good measure. She always has a project on the go, but her children prefer a quieter life – they are still recovering from last year’s backpacking in Europe! Together they love curling up with dog ‘Indy,’ squishy blankets and their favourite family movies. 

“I loved watching Mark on stage – it is an honour and privilege to be here for him and with his friends and family.”


 

Nov
23
Sat
The Miller’s Daughter
Nov 23 @ 18:30

The Miller’s Daughter – Unrest at the Mill 1830 by Sue Ashby and Tony Benge

The setting for this original play is Sturminster Mill, where it was first performed. It uses both real and fictional characters living through the huge social unrest of the 1830s.

It is now re-designed for performance indoors and presented with minimal scenery. After the hour long performance, there will be time, for those who wish, to discuss the play and its history with the writers and actors.

Taboo Theatre Company is a collective group of local actors formed in 2006 in association with The Martinsey Isle Trust. Taboo’s last production was ‘Rage, Tears and Cider’ in 2018.

the versatile and talented cast of Taboo Theatre…bringing this powerful and sadly still relevant story to vivid life”  (Fine Times Recorder)


 

Bedroom Farce Gala Performance
Nov 23 @ 19:30

Comedy Dysfunction Coming To A Stage Near You!

Alan Ayckbourn’s fast-paced, touching comedy ‘Bedroom Farce’ comes to the South West this winter as theatre group ‘Close to the Mark’ come out to play. 

With all proceeds going to The Stars Appeal and Ataxia UK, you are invited to join in the fun and bring some warmth and laughter to a dark winters evening as all sorts of antics play out on stage.

Capturing the true spirit of Ayckbourn’s work, this hilarious 1970s farce sees four couples navigate their relationships during one long night. Set in three bedrooms and focused around a young couple’s house warming party we see Kate and Malcolm play about losing clothes and failing at DIY, whilst their friend Jan gets stuck in between and underneath all sorts of bother with her partner Nick. Dysfunctional Trevor is in a disastrous partnership with Susannah, one highly-strung and intense woman, and their troubles spill out and impact everyone involved, including Trevor’s parents Ernest and Delia who wonder where their son went wrong in love. Ayckbourn’s timeless talent turns this calamity into a fast moving comedy that connects to anyone who has ever been in a relationship! 

With a cast boasting roles in TV and film ranging from Tomorrow Never Dies, Casualty and Midsomer Murders, and local and National Theatre leads in Coram Boy, Mary Poppins, The Winter’s Tale, West Side Story, Importance of Being Ernest, Oliver Twist plus many local pantomime shows, ‘Close to the Mark’ is guaranteed to treat you to a wonderful show. There will be five performances so get your tickets quick! Dates and ticket details below:

Shaftesbury Arts Centre, 13 Bell Street, Shaftesbury SP7 8AR. Tickets available directly from the venue for £10. http://www.shaftesburyartscentre.org.uk/events/bedroom-farce/

Saturday 23rd November Gala Performance at St Mary’s School, Shaftesbury, SP7 9LP. Tickets are £20 and include free drinks and canapés throughout the evening, available via http://www.thelittleboxoffice.com/cmp

Thursday 28th November at The Exchange, Old Market Hill, Sturminster Newton, DT10 1FH. Tickets available directly from the venue for £10. https://stur-exchange.co.uk/programme/bedroom-farce/

Friday 13th December at Godolphin School, Milford Hill, Salisbury SP1 2RA. Tickets are £10 and available via Little Box Office http://www.thelittleboxoffice.com/cmp

Saturday 14th December 7:30pm at East Knoyle Village Hall, Church Road, Salisbury SP3 6AE. Tickets are £10 and available from East Knoyle village shop.

Cash and card donations will be gratefully received at the end of every performance. The performance at Shaftesbury Arts Centre is in aid of Ataxia UK (https://www.ataxia.org.uk), all other monies will go to the Stars Appeal at Salisbury District Hospital (http://www.starsappeal.org).

‘Close to the Mark’ is a group of eclectic and talented professional and amateur actors, some of whom have played together on stage for years. Dedicated to creating fun, laughter and delight for their audience, this production is a particular labour of love for this group… 

The production honours the memory of Mark Boyden, a well-known local thespian, and much loved friend to the cast, none more so than his brother David Boyden who is playing Malcolm. Mark was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer earlier this year and passed away in March. The play was originally Mark’s idea and he was cast as Trevor. 

“Salisbury District hospital was fantastic in Mark’s diagnosis and palliative care. We all want to support the great work they do and say thank you. Even after he was given the prognosis he wanted the play to go on and hoped to recover enough to perform. Sadly that wasn’t to be but we will perform in his memory. 

Mark was known for his relentless positive spirit and love of not just theatre but of life. It’s a very funny play with a fantastic cast in memory of a lovely man and all for a great cause.” David Boyden, ‘Malcolm’.

A full cast list with acting bios and personal notes from the players follows.

Cast list:

Trevor  – William Scott-Masson

Susannah – Lucy Irwin

Malcolm – David Boyden

Kate – Charlie Greenwood

Ernest – Jerome Swan

Delia – Rachel Sargent

Nick – Rupert Farringdon

Jan – Nicki Porter

Bios:

William Scott-Masson

William was trained at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. He has enjoyed various roles in films which include Braveheart, Tomorrow Never Dies and Flawless; television roles in series such as Endeavour, Midsomer Murders, Casualty, Sherlock, Foyle’s War and Coupling. His theatre credits include Journey’s End, Dangerous Liaisons, The Dock Brief (Shaftesbury Arts Centre), Taking Steps (Lower Zeals Players), School for Scandal (English Touring Theatre) and two seasons at The National Theatre with Coram Boy. 

During his working life, William has spent four years in the Army (hilarious), sixteen years in hospitality (wonderful) and 8 months as a removal man (absolutely awful). Outside of acting he enjoys music, tinkling on the piano, taking epic walks and eating toasted tea cakes with an obscene amount of butter.

“I love acting. I love Ayckbourn. I love this play. I love this cast.  And Mark Boyden was a rare and beautiful being.”

Lucy Irwin

Lucy wrote, directed and performed her first play at the age of seven to welcome the Governor of Gibraltar. Lead roles include West Side Story, the Real Inspector Hound, The Beggars Opera and Antonio in gender reversed Twelfth Night. Lucy also wrote and performed cabaret at the Elephant Polo Ball, Sri Lanka, and for numerous private parties.

Born for the stage, penning and performing plays throughout childhood, Lucy spent half a day at Drama School and decided she would rather be a housewife. Prior to achieving this and with a desire to ‘save the world’ she joined a crisis response team but was side-lined to running election campaigns. So, after an interlude juggling political speech writing, five delightful babies and creating tantalisingly trivial cabaret she is making a long awaited return to theatre. 

David Boyden

After early promise during his primary school nativity play where he played a shepherd and delivered the unforgettable monologue of “Hark”, David rose to stardom when dancing at his school sixth form music and dance show. There was a period of ‘resting’ for a good 30 years or so during which he travelled the world flying helicopters and building things. Last year he returned to the stage to join his brother Mark in Graham Linehan’s ‘The Ladykillers’. He joins the cast as an enthusiastic amateur and will attempt to channel his brother’s comic genius!

Charlie Greenwood

Charlie has acted with multiple theatre companies in the South West, and is an events singer with two bands. Theatre credits include Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins, Robin Hood in Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood, Kitty in Taking Steps, Mrs Cherry Owen/Mrs Willy Nilly/Mrs Dai Bread Two in Under Milk Wood, Hermione in The Winter’s Tale, Sandy in Grease, Prince Charming in Cinderella, and Viola in Twelfth Night. She is currently touring an original show The Secret Diary of a Part-Time Diva with female vocal trio Belle Street.

Charlie runs a country house hotel and restaurant with her husband. Aside from a penchant for playing panto principal boys and pursuing an eclectic range of musical endeavours, she is partial to green tea, growing weird and wonderful vegetables, long walks and long sleeps.

“Mark was always there to brighten the day with a wicked laugh, kind word, and a bear hug. He wanted this production to define ‘labour of love’ – a group of friends coming together, doing what they love to do and putting on a brilliant show.“

Jerome Swan

Jerome first emerged on stage in The Government Inspector by Nicolai Gogol in 1967 and went on to appear in The Baccae and Waiting for Godot along with multiple roles as part of a drama society in York. He can regularly be seen at Shaftesbury Arts Centre, most notably as Prospero in The Tempest and Fagin in Oliver. Jerome is also producer and director of local productions. 

Jerome enjoys volunteering at Shaftesbury Arts Centre manning the bar, the box office and even the photocopier. His illustrious career outside of acting includes being a kitchen porter at a psychiatric hospital, a leprosy control project supervisor, an antiquarian book dealer, a radio DJ, a freelance journalist and a disastrously inept PR person. 

“I worked on several productions with Mark Boyden and, like everyone, was infected by his energy, enthusiasm and unrelentingly positive attitude. This was his project and I’m delighted we have continued with it.”

Rachel Sargent

Rachel’s first theatrical experience was as a pantomime dog called Battersea with the Nightingale Players in London. Since then she has played many leading roles including: Cecily – Importance of Being Ernest, Oscar Wilde; Elvira – Blithe Spirit, Noel Coward; Eliza – Pygmalion, Bernard Shaw; Margherita – Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay, Dario Fo; Brenda – Albert’s Brige, Stoppard (premier performance of the musical play); Miss Adelaide – Guys and Dolls, Loesser; Sonia – Uncle Vanya, Chekov; plus several Ayckbourn productions. 

Rachel is an artist, working from a converted cowshed at Child Okeford organic farm. She loves walking and exploring her surrounding landscape as well as occasionally taking herself off to remote places in Cornwall and Scotland. Her other love is for all things Greek and for the past two years she has been trying to learn the language. Unfortunately not many Greeks seem to be able to understand a word she says to date.

“I am so pleased to be part of this production to honour Mark’s memory. In starting this he has left us such a gift.”

Rupert Farrington

Rupert’s theatrical experience includes playing the Artful Dodger in Oliver Twist, Sizwe Bansi in Sizwe Bansi is Dead, Herbert Fowle in Dock Brief, Mark Boxer in Taking Steps and Madame Twanky in pantomime! He attended LAMDA from 1982-1986 and is a skilled stage manager and set creator as well as a dynamic actor. 

Rupert breathes a lot, has been married for 34 years, has four children between 32 and 19, practices acupuncture, makes things out of wood, designs spaces, organises plays, parties and events. He loves music and plays various instruments. But where he likes most to be is out on his boat, out at sea.

“Mark was a big hearted, funny, generous, wise and wonderful man and so much fun to be around, he brought warmth and laughter both on and off stage. We are still riding the wave of his extraordinary positive energy so along with Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy genius and a group of wonderful people, what could possibly go wrong?”

Nicki Porter

Nicki started out in production, backstage at Birmingham’s Crescent Theatre, in 1990. Some 20 years later, she took to the stage at Shaftesbury Arts Centre and since then has enjoyed leading roles including: Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd, Sally Smith in Me & My Girl, Lottie Ames in Mack & Mabel, Prince Charming in Cinderella and Maleficent in Beauty & the Beast. She also performs with Motcombe Players and Milborne Port Opera.

Nicki has been a marketer most of her working life with a few consulting and teaching jobs thrown in for good measure. She always has a project on the go, but her children prefer a quieter life – they are still recovering from last year’s backpacking in Europe! Together they love curling up with dog ‘Indy,’ squishy blankets and their favourite family movies. 

“I loved watching Mark on stage – it is an honour and privilege to be here for him and with his friends and family.”


 

Nov
28
Thu
Bedroom Farce
Nov 28 @ 19:30

Comedy Dysfunction Coming To A Stage Near You!

Alan Ayckbourn’s fast-paced, touching comedy ‘Bedroom Farce’ comes to the South West this winter as theatre group ‘Close to the Mark’ come out to play. 

With all proceeds going to The Stars Appeal and Ataxia UK, you are invited to join in the fun and bring some warmth and laughter to a dark winters evening as all sorts of antics play out on stage.

Capturing the true spirit of Ayckbourn’s work, this hilarious 1970s farce sees four couples navigate their relationships during one long night. Set in three bedrooms and focused around a young couple’s house warming party we see Kate and Malcolm play about losing clothes and failing at DIY, whilst their friend Jan gets stuck in between and underneath all sorts of bother with her partner Nick. Dysfunctional Trevor is in a disastrous partnership with Susannah, one highly-strung and intense woman, and their troubles spill out and impact everyone involved, including Trevor’s parents Ernest and Delia who wonder where their son went wrong in love. Ayckbourn’s timeless talent turns this calamity into a fast moving comedy that connects to anyone who has ever been in a relationship! 

With a cast boasting roles in TV and film ranging from Tomorrow Never Dies, Casualty and Midsomer Murders, and local and National Theatre leads in Coram Boy, Mary Poppins, The Winter’s Tale, West Side Story, Importance of Being Ernest, Oliver Twist plus many local pantomime shows, ‘Close to the Mark’ is guaranteed to treat you to a wonderful show. There will be five performances so get your tickets quick! Dates and ticket details below:

Shaftesbury Arts Centre, 13 Bell Street, Shaftesbury SP7 8AR. Tickets available directly from the venue for £10. http://www.shaftesburyartscentre.org.uk/events/bedroom-farce/

Saturday 23rd November Gala Performance at St Mary’s School, Shaftesbury, SP7 9LP. Tickets are £20 and include free drinks and canapés throughout the evening, available via http://www.thelittleboxoffice.com/cmp

Thursday 28th November at The Exchange, Old Market Hill, Sturminster Newton, DT10 1FH. Tickets available directly from the venue for £10. https://stur-exchange.co.uk/programme/bedroom-farce/

Friday 13th December at Godolphin School, Milford Hill, Salisbury SP1 2RA. Tickets are £10 and available via Little Box Office http://www.thelittleboxoffice.com/cmp

Saturday 14th December 7:30pm at East Knoyle Village Hall, Church Road, Salisbury SP3 6AE. Tickets are £10 and available from East Knoyle village shop.

Cash and card donations will be gratefully received at the end of every performance. The performance at Shaftesbury Arts Centre is in aid of Ataxia UK (https://www.ataxia.org.uk), all other monies will go to the Stars Appeal at Salisbury District Hospital (http://www.starsappeal.org).

‘Close to the Mark’ is a group of eclectic and talented professional and amateur actors, some of whom have played together on stage for years. Dedicated to creating fun, laughter and delight for their audience, this production is a particular labour of love for this group… 

The production honours the memory of Mark Boyden, a well-known local thespian, and much loved friend to the cast, none more so than his brother David Boyden who is playing Malcolm. Mark was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer earlier this year and passed away in March. The play was originally Mark’s idea and he was cast as Trevor. 

“Salisbury District hospital was fantastic in Mark’s diagnosis and palliative care. We all want to support the great work they do and say thank you. Even after he was given the prognosis he wanted the play to go on and hoped to recover enough to perform. Sadly that wasn’t to be but we will perform in his memory. 

Mark was known for his relentless positive spirit and love of not just theatre but of life. It’s a very funny play with a fantastic cast in memory of a lovely man and all for a great cause.” David Boyden, ‘Malcolm’.

A full cast list with acting bios and personal notes from the players follows.

Cast list:

Trevor  – William Scott-Masson

Susannah – Lucy Irwin

Malcolm – David Boyden

Kate – Charlie Greenwood

Ernest – Jerome Swan

Delia – Rachel Sargent

Nick – Rupert Farringdon

Jan – Nicki Porter

Bios:

William Scott-Masson

William was trained at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. He has enjoyed various roles in films which include Braveheart, Tomorrow Never Dies and Flawless; television roles in series such as Endeavour, Midsomer Murders, Casualty, Sherlock, Foyle’s War and Coupling. His theatre credits include Journey’s End, Dangerous Liaisons, The Dock Brief (Shaftesbury Arts Centre), Taking Steps (Lower Zeals Players), School for Scandal (English Touring Theatre) and two seasons at The National Theatre with Coram Boy. 

During his working life, William has spent four years in the Army (hilarious), sixteen years in hospitality (wonderful) and 8 months as a removal man (absolutely awful). Outside of acting he enjoys music, tinkling on the piano, taking epic walks and eating toasted tea cakes with an obscene amount of butter.

“I love acting. I love Ayckbourn. I love this play. I love this cast.  And Mark Boyden was a rare and beautiful being.”

Lucy Irwin

Lucy wrote, directed and performed her first play at the age of seven to welcome the Governor of Gibraltar. Lead roles include West Side Story, the Real Inspector Hound, The Beggars Opera and Antonio in gender reversed Twelfth Night. Lucy also wrote and performed cabaret at the Elephant Polo Ball, Sri Lanka, and for numerous private parties.

Born for the stage, penning and performing plays throughout childhood, Lucy spent half a day at Drama School and decided she would rather be a housewife. Prior to achieving this and with a desire to ‘save the world’ she joined a crisis response team but was side-lined to running election campaigns. So, after an interlude juggling political speech writing, five delightful babies and creating tantalisingly trivial cabaret she is making a long awaited return to theatre. 

David Boyden

After early promise during his primary school nativity play where he played a shepherd and delivered the unforgettable monologue of “Hark”, David rose to stardom when dancing at his school sixth form music and dance show. There was a period of ‘resting’ for a good 30 years or so during which he travelled the world flying helicopters and building things. Last year he returned to the stage to join his brother Mark in Graham Linehan’s ‘The Ladykillers’. He joins the cast as an enthusiastic amateur and will attempt to channel his brother’s comic genius!

Charlie Greenwood

Charlie has acted with multiple theatre companies in the South West, and is an events singer with two bands. Theatre credits include Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins, Robin Hood in Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood, Kitty in Taking Steps, Mrs Cherry Owen/Mrs Willy Nilly/Mrs Dai Bread Two in Under Milk Wood, Hermione in The Winter’s Tale, Sandy in Grease, Prince Charming in Cinderella, and Viola in Twelfth Night. She is currently touring an original show The Secret Diary of a Part-Time Diva with female vocal trio Belle Street.

Charlie runs a country house hotel and restaurant with her husband. Aside from a penchant for playing panto principal boys and pursuing an eclectic range of musical endeavours, she is partial to green tea, growing weird and wonderful vegetables, long walks and long sleeps.

“Mark was always there to brighten the day with a wicked laugh, kind word, and a bear hug. He wanted this production to define ‘labour of love’ – a group of friends coming together, doing what they love to do and putting on a brilliant show.“

Jerome Swan

Jerome first emerged on stage in The Government Inspector by Nicolai Gogol in 1967 and went on to appear in The Baccae and Waiting for Godot along with multiple roles as part of a drama society in York. He can regularly be seen at Shaftesbury Arts Centre, most notably as Prospero in The Tempest and Fagin in Oliver. Jerome is also producer and director of local productions. 

Jerome enjoys volunteering at Shaftesbury Arts Centre manning the bar, the box office and even the photocopier. His illustrious career outside of acting includes being a kitchen porter at a psychiatric hospital, a leprosy control project supervisor, an antiquarian book dealer, a radio DJ, a freelance journalist and a disastrously inept PR person. 

“I worked on several productions with Mark Boyden and, like everyone, was infected by his energy, enthusiasm and unrelentingly positive attitude. This was his project and I’m delighted we have continued with it.”

Rachel Sargent

Rachel’s first theatrical experience was as a pantomime dog called Battersea with the Nightingale Players in London. Since then she has played many leading roles including: Cecily – Importance of Being Ernest, Oscar Wilde; Elvira – Blithe Spirit, Noel Coward; Eliza – Pygmalion, Bernard Shaw; Margherita – Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay, Dario Fo; Brenda – Albert’s Brige, Stoppard (premier performance of the musical play); Miss Adelaide – Guys and Dolls, Loesser; Sonia – Uncle Vanya, Chekov; plus several Ayckbourn productions. 

Rachel is an artist, working from a converted cowshed at Child Okeford organic farm. She loves walking and exploring her surrounding landscape as well as occasionally taking herself off to remote places in Cornwall and Scotland. Her other love is for all things Greek and for the past two years she has been trying to learn the language. Unfortunately not many Greeks seem to be able to understand a word she says to date.

“I am so pleased to be part of this production to honour Mark’s memory. In starting this he has left us such a gift.”

Rupert Farrington

Rupert’s theatrical experience includes playing the Artful Dodger in Oliver Twist, Sizwe Bansi in Sizwe Bansi is Dead, Herbert Fowle in Dock Brief, Mark Boxer in Taking Steps and Madame Twanky in pantomime! He attended LAMDA from 1982-1986 and is a skilled stage manager and set creator as well as a dynamic actor. 

Rupert breathes a lot, has been married for 34 years, has four children between 32 and 19, practices acupuncture, makes things out of wood, designs spaces, organises plays, parties and events. He loves music and plays various instruments. But where he likes most to be is out on his boat, out at sea.

“Mark was a big hearted, funny, generous, wise and wonderful man and so much fun to be around, he brought warmth and laughter both on and off stage. We are still riding the wave of his extraordinary positive energy so along with Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy genius and a group of wonderful people, what could possibly go wrong?”

Nicki Porter

Nicki started out in production, backstage at Birmingham’s Crescent Theatre, in 1990. Some 20 years later, she took to the stage at Shaftesbury Arts Centre and since then has enjoyed leading roles including: Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd, Sally Smith in Me & My Girl, Lottie Ames in Mack & Mabel, Prince Charming in Cinderella and Maleficent in Beauty & the Beast. She also performs with Motcombe Players and Milborne Port Opera.

Nicki has been a marketer most of her working life with a few consulting and teaching jobs thrown in for good measure. She always has a project on the go, but her children prefer a quieter life – they are still recovering from last year’s backpacking in Europe! Together they love curling up with dog ‘Indy,’ squishy blankets and their favourite family movies. 

“I loved watching Mark on stage – it is an honour and privilege to be here for him and with his friends and family.”


 

Dec
13
Fri
Bedroom Farce
Dec 13 @ 19:30

Comedy Dysfunction Coming To A Stage Near You!

Alan Ayckbourn’s fast-paced, touching comedy ‘Bedroom Farce’ comes to the South West this winter as theatre group ‘Close to the Mark’ come out to play. 

With all proceeds going to The Stars Appeal and Ataxia UK, you are invited to join in the fun and bring some warmth and laughter to a dark winters evening as all sorts of antics play out on stage.

Capturing the true spirit of Ayckbourn’s work, this hilarious 1970s farce sees four couples navigate their relationships during one long night. Set in three bedrooms and focused around a young couple’s house warming party we see Kate and Malcolm play about losing clothes and failing at DIY, whilst their friend Jan gets stuck in between and underneath all sorts of bother with her partner Nick. Dysfunctional Trevor is in a disastrous partnership with Susannah, one highly-strung and intense woman, and their troubles spill out and impact everyone involved, including Trevor’s parents Ernest and Delia who wonder where their son went wrong in love. Ayckbourn’s timeless talent turns this calamity into a fast moving comedy that connects to anyone who has ever been in a relationship! 

With a cast boasting roles in TV and film ranging from Tomorrow Never Dies, Casualty and Midsomer Murders, and local and National Theatre leads in Coram Boy, Mary Poppins, The Winter’s Tale, West Side Story, Importance of Being Ernest, Oliver Twist plus many local pantomime shows, ‘Close to the Mark’ is guaranteed to treat you to a wonderful show. There will be five performances so get your tickets quick! Dates and ticket details below:

Shaftesbury Arts Centre, 13 Bell Street, Shaftesbury SP7 8AR. Tickets available directly from the venue for £10. http://www.shaftesburyartscentre.org.uk/events/bedroom-farce/

Saturday 23rd November Gala Performance at St Mary’s School, Shaftesbury, SP7 9LP. Tickets are £20 and include free drinks and canapés throughout the evening, available via http://www.thelittleboxoffice.com/cmp

Thursday 28th November at The Exchange, Old Market Hill, Sturminster Newton, DT10 1FH. Tickets available directly from the venue for £10. https://stur-exchange.co.uk/programme/bedroom-farce/

Friday 13th December at Godolphin School, Milford Hill, Salisbury SP1 2RA. Tickets are £10 and available via Little Box Office http://www.thelittleboxoffice.com/cmp

Saturday 14th December 7:30pm at East Knoyle Village Hall, Church Road, Salisbury SP3 6AE. Tickets are £10 and available from East Knoyle village shop.

Cash and card donations will be gratefully received at the end of every performance. The performance at Shaftesbury Arts Centre is in aid of Ataxia UK (https://www.ataxia.org.uk), all other monies will go to the Stars Appeal at Salisbury District Hospital (http://www.starsappeal.org).

‘Close to the Mark’ is a group of eclectic and talented professional and amateur actors, some of whom have played together on stage for years. Dedicated to creating fun, laughter and delight for their audience, this production is a particular labour of love for this group… 

The production honours the memory of Mark Boyden, a well-known local thespian, and much loved friend to the cast, none more so than his brother David Boyden who is playing Malcolm. Mark was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer earlier this year and passed away in March. The play was originally Mark’s idea and he was cast as Trevor. 

“Salisbury District hospital was fantastic in Mark’s diagnosis and palliative care. We all want to support the great work they do and say thank you. Even after he was given the prognosis he wanted the play to go on and hoped to recover enough to perform. Sadly that wasn’t to be but we will perform in his memory. 

Mark was known for his relentless positive spirit and love of not just theatre but of life. It’s a very funny play with a fantastic cast in memory of a lovely man and all for a great cause.” David Boyden, ‘Malcolm’.

A full cast list with acting bios and personal notes from the players follows.

Cast list:

Trevor  – William Scott-Masson

Susannah – Lucy Irwin

Malcolm – David Boyden

Kate – Charlie Greenwood

Ernest – Jerome Swan

Delia – Rachel Sargent

Nick – Rupert Farringdon

Jan – Nicki Porter

Bios:

William Scott-Masson

William was trained at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. He has enjoyed various roles in films which include Braveheart, Tomorrow Never Dies and Flawless; television roles in series such as Endeavour, Midsomer Murders, Casualty, Sherlock, Foyle’s War and Coupling. His theatre credits include Journey’s End, Dangerous Liaisons, The Dock Brief (Shaftesbury Arts Centre), Taking Steps (Lower Zeals Players), School for Scandal (English Touring Theatre) and two seasons at The National Theatre with Coram Boy. 

During his working life, William has spent four years in the Army (hilarious), sixteen years in hospitality (wonderful) and 8 months as a removal man (absolutely awful). Outside of acting he enjoys music, tinkling on the piano, taking epic walks and eating toasted tea cakes with an obscene amount of butter.

“I love acting. I love Ayckbourn. I love this play. I love this cast.  And Mark Boyden was a rare and beautiful being.”

Lucy Irwin

Lucy wrote, directed and performed her first play at the age of seven to welcome the Governor of Gibraltar. Lead roles include West Side Story, the Real Inspector Hound, The Beggars Opera and Antonio in gender reversed Twelfth Night. Lucy also wrote and performed cabaret at the Elephant Polo Ball, Sri Lanka, and for numerous private parties.

Born for the stage, penning and performing plays throughout childhood, Lucy spent half a day at Drama School and decided she would rather be a housewife. Prior to achieving this and with a desire to ‘save the world’ she joined a crisis response team but was side-lined to running election campaigns. So, after an interlude juggling political speech writing, five delightful babies and creating tantalisingly trivial cabaret she is making a long awaited return to theatre. 

David Boyden

After early promise during his primary school nativity play where he played a shepherd and delivered the unforgettable monologue of “Hark”, David rose to stardom when dancing at his school sixth form music and dance show. There was a period of ‘resting’ for a good 30 years or so during which he travelled the world flying helicopters and building things. Last year he returned to the stage to join his brother Mark in Graham Linehan’s ‘The Ladykillers’. He joins the cast as an enthusiastic amateur and will attempt to channel his brother’s comic genius!

Charlie Greenwood

Charlie has acted with multiple theatre companies in the South West, and is an events singer with two bands. Theatre credits include Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins, Robin Hood in Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood, Kitty in Taking Steps, Mrs Cherry Owen/Mrs Willy Nilly/Mrs Dai Bread Two in Under Milk Wood, Hermione in The Winter’s Tale, Sandy in Grease, Prince Charming in Cinderella, and Viola in Twelfth Night. She is currently touring an original show The Secret Diary of a Part-Time Diva with female vocal trio Belle Street.

Charlie runs a country house hotel and restaurant with her husband. Aside from a penchant for playing panto principal boys and pursuing an eclectic range of musical endeavours, she is partial to green tea, growing weird and wonderful vegetables, long walks and long sleeps.

“Mark was always there to brighten the day with a wicked laugh, kind word, and a bear hug. He wanted this production to define ‘labour of love’ – a group of friends coming together, doing what they love to do and putting on a brilliant show.“

Jerome Swan

Jerome first emerged on stage in The Government Inspector by Nicolai Gogol in 1967 and went on to appear in The Baccae and Waiting for Godot along with multiple roles as part of a drama society in York. He can regularly be seen at Shaftesbury Arts Centre, most notably as Prospero in The Tempest and Fagin in Oliver. Jerome is also producer and director of local productions. 

Jerome enjoys volunteering at Shaftesbury Arts Centre manning the bar, the box office and even the photocopier. His illustrious career outside of acting includes being a kitchen porter at a psychiatric hospital, a leprosy control project supervisor, an antiquarian book dealer, a radio DJ, a freelance journalist and a disastrously inept PR person. 

“I worked on several productions with Mark Boyden and, like everyone, was infected by his energy, enthusiasm and unrelentingly positive attitude. This was his project and I’m delighted we have continued with it.”

Rachel Sargent

Rachel’s first theatrical experience was as a pantomime dog called Battersea with the Nightingale Players in London. Since then she has played many leading roles including: Cecily – Importance of Being Ernest, Oscar Wilde; Elvira – Blithe Spirit, Noel Coward; Eliza – Pygmalion, Bernard Shaw; Margherita – Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay, Dario Fo; Brenda – Albert’s Brige, Stoppard (premier performance of the musical play); Miss Adelaide – Guys and Dolls, Loesser; Sonia – Uncle Vanya, Chekov; plus several Ayckbourn productions. 

Rachel is an artist, working from a converted cowshed at Child Okeford organic farm. She loves walking and exploring her surrounding landscape as well as occasionally taking herself off to remote places in Cornwall and Scotland. Her other love is for all things Greek and for the past two years she has been trying to learn the language. Unfortunately not many Greeks seem to be able to understand a word she says to date.

“I am so pleased to be part of this production to honour Mark’s memory. In starting this he has left us such a gift.”

Rupert Farrington

Rupert’s theatrical experience includes playing the Artful Dodger in Oliver Twist, Sizwe Bansi in Sizwe Bansi is Dead, Herbert Fowle in Dock Brief, Mark Boxer in Taking Steps and Madame Twanky in pantomime! He attended LAMDA from 1982-1986 and is a skilled stage manager and set creator as well as a dynamic actor. 

Rupert breathes a lot, has been married for 34 years, has four children between 32 and 19, practices acupuncture, makes things out of wood, designs spaces, organises plays, parties and events. He loves music and plays various instruments. But where he likes most to be is out on his boat, out at sea.

“Mark was a big hearted, funny, generous, wise and wonderful man and so much fun to be around, he brought warmth and laughter both on and off stage. We are still riding the wave of his extraordinary positive energy so along with Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy genius and a group of wonderful people, what could possibly go wrong?”

Nicki Porter

Nicki started out in production, backstage at Birmingham’s Crescent Theatre, in 1990. Some 20 years later, she took to the stage at Shaftesbury Arts Centre and since then has enjoyed leading roles including: Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd, Sally Smith in Me & My Girl, Lottie Ames in Mack & Mabel, Prince Charming in Cinderella and Maleficent in Beauty & the Beast. She also performs with Motcombe Players and Milborne Port Opera.

Nicki has been a marketer most of her working life with a few consulting and teaching jobs thrown in for good measure. She always has a project on the go, but her children prefer a quieter life – they are still recovering from last year’s backpacking in Europe! Together they love curling up with dog ‘Indy,’ squishy blankets and their favourite family movies. 

“I loved watching Mark on stage – it is an honour and privilege to be here for him and with his friends and family.”


 

Dec
14
Sat
Bedroom Farce
Dec 14 @ 19:30

Comedy Dysfunction Coming To A Stage Near You!

Alan Ayckbourn’s fast-paced, touching comedy ‘Bedroom Farce’ comes to the South West this winter as theatre group ‘Close to the Mark’ come out to play. 

With all proceeds going to The Stars Appeal and Ataxia UK, you are invited to join in the fun and bring some warmth and laughter to a dark winters evening as all sorts of antics play out on stage.

Capturing the true spirit of Ayckbourn’s work, this hilarious 1970s farce sees four couples navigate their relationships during one long night. Set in three bedrooms and focused around a young couple’s house warming party we see Kate and Malcolm play about losing clothes and failing at DIY, whilst their friend Jan gets stuck in between and underneath all sorts of bother with her partner Nick. Dysfunctional Trevor is in a disastrous partnership with Susannah, one highly-strung and intense woman, and their troubles spill out and impact everyone involved, including Trevor’s parents Ernest and Delia who wonder where their son went wrong in love. Ayckbourn’s timeless talent turns this calamity into a fast moving comedy that connects to anyone who has ever been in a relationship! 

With a cast boasting roles in TV and film ranging from Tomorrow Never Dies, Casualty and Midsomer Murders, and local and National Theatre leads in Coram Boy, Mary Poppins, The Winter’s Tale, West Side Story, Importance of Being Ernest, Oliver Twist plus many local pantomime shows, ‘Close to the Mark’ is guaranteed to treat you to a wonderful show. There will be five performances so get your tickets quick! Dates and ticket details below:

Shaftesbury Arts Centre, 13 Bell Street, Shaftesbury SP7 8AR. Tickets available directly from the venue for £10. http://www.shaftesburyartscentre.org.uk/events/bedroom-farce/

Saturday 23rd November Gala Performance at St Mary’s School, Shaftesbury, SP7 9LP. Tickets are £20 and include free drinks and canapés throughout the evening, available via http://www.thelittleboxoffice.com/cmp

Thursday 28th November at The Exchange, Old Market Hill, Sturminster Newton, DT10 1FH. Tickets available directly from the venue for £10. https://stur-exchange.co.uk/programme/bedroom-farce/

Friday 13th December at Godolphin School, Milford Hill, Salisbury SP1 2RA. Tickets are £10 and available via Little Box Office http://www.thelittleboxoffice.com/cmp

Saturday 14th December 7:30pm at East Knoyle Village Hall, Church Road, Salisbury SP3 6AE. Tickets are £10 and available from East Knoyle village shop.

Cash and card donations will be gratefully received at the end of every performance. The performance at Shaftesbury Arts Centre is in aid of Ataxia UK (https://www.ataxia.org.uk), all other monies will go to the Stars Appeal at Salisbury District Hospital (http://www.starsappeal.org).

‘Close to the Mark’ is a group of eclectic and talented professional and amateur actors, some of whom have played together on stage for years. Dedicated to creating fun, laughter and delight for their audience, this production is a particular labour of love for this group… 

The production honours the memory of Mark Boyden, a well-known local thespian, and much loved friend to the cast, none more so than his brother David Boyden who is playing Malcolm. Mark was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer earlier this year and passed away in March. The play was originally Mark’s idea and he was cast as Trevor. 

“Salisbury District hospital was fantastic in Mark’s diagnosis and palliative care. We all want to support the great work they do and say thank you. Even after he was given the prognosis he wanted the play to go on and hoped to recover enough to perform. Sadly that wasn’t to be but we will perform in his memory. 

Mark was known for his relentless positive spirit and love of not just theatre but of life. It’s a very funny play with a fantastic cast in memory of a lovely man and all for a great cause.” David Boyden, ‘Malcolm’.

A full cast list with acting bios and personal notes from the players follows.

Cast list:

Trevor  – William Scott-Masson

Susannah – Lucy Irwin

Malcolm – David Boyden

Kate – Charlie Greenwood

Ernest – Jerome Swan

Delia – Rachel Sargent

Nick – Rupert Farringdon

Jan – Nicki Porter

Bios:

William Scott-Masson

William was trained at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. He has enjoyed various roles in films which include Braveheart, Tomorrow Never Dies and Flawless; television roles in series such as Endeavour, Midsomer Murders, Casualty, Sherlock, Foyle’s War and Coupling. His theatre credits include Journey’s End, Dangerous Liaisons, The Dock Brief (Shaftesbury Arts Centre), Taking Steps (Lower Zeals Players), School for Scandal (English Touring Theatre) and two seasons at The National Theatre with Coram Boy. 

During his working life, William has spent four years in the Army (hilarious), sixteen years in hospitality (wonderful) and 8 months as a removal man (absolutely awful). Outside of acting he enjoys music, tinkling on the piano, taking epic walks and eating toasted tea cakes with an obscene amount of butter.

“I love acting. I love Ayckbourn. I love this play. I love this cast.  And Mark Boyden was a rare and beautiful being.”

Lucy Irwin

Lucy wrote, directed and performed her first play at the age of seven to welcome the Governor of Gibraltar. Lead roles include West Side Story, the Real Inspector Hound, The Beggars Opera and Antonio in gender reversed Twelfth Night. Lucy also wrote and performed cabaret at the Elephant Polo Ball, Sri Lanka, and for numerous private parties.

Born for the stage, penning and performing plays throughout childhood, Lucy spent half a day at Drama School and decided she would rather be a housewife. Prior to achieving this and with a desire to ‘save the world’ she joined a crisis response team but was side-lined to running election campaigns. So, after an interlude juggling political speech writing, five delightful babies and creating tantalisingly trivial cabaret she is making a long awaited return to theatre. 

David Boyden

After early promise during his primary school nativity play where he played a shepherd and delivered the unforgettable monologue of “Hark”, David rose to stardom when dancing at his school sixth form music and dance show. There was a period of ‘resting’ for a good 30 years or so during which he travelled the world flying helicopters and building things. Last year he returned to the stage to join his brother Mark in Graham Linehan’s ‘The Ladykillers’. He joins the cast as an enthusiastic amateur and will attempt to channel his brother’s comic genius!

Charlie Greenwood

Charlie has acted with multiple theatre companies in the South West, and is an events singer with two bands. Theatre credits include Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins, Robin Hood in Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood, Kitty in Taking Steps, Mrs Cherry Owen/Mrs Willy Nilly/Mrs Dai Bread Two in Under Milk Wood, Hermione in The Winter’s Tale, Sandy in Grease, Prince Charming in Cinderella, and Viola in Twelfth Night. She is currently touring an original show The Secret Diary of a Part-Time Diva with female vocal trio Belle Street.

Charlie runs a country house hotel and restaurant with her husband. Aside from a penchant for playing panto principal boys and pursuing an eclectic range of musical endeavours, she is partial to green tea, growing weird and wonderful vegetables, long walks and long sleeps.

“Mark was always there to brighten the day with a wicked laugh, kind word, and a bear hug. He wanted this production to define ‘labour of love’ – a group of friends coming together, doing what they love to do and putting on a brilliant show.“

Jerome Swan

Jerome first emerged on stage in The Government Inspector by Nicolai Gogol in 1967 and went on to appear in The Baccae and Waiting for Godot along with multiple roles as part of a drama society in York. He can regularly be seen at Shaftesbury Arts Centre, most notably as Prospero in The Tempest and Fagin in Oliver. Jerome is also producer and director of local productions. 

Jerome enjoys volunteering at Shaftesbury Arts Centre manning the bar, the box office and even the photocopier. His illustrious career outside of acting includes being a kitchen porter at a psychiatric hospital, a leprosy control project supervisor, an antiquarian book dealer, a radio DJ, a freelance journalist and a disastrously inept PR person. 

“I worked on several productions with Mark Boyden and, like everyone, was infected by his energy, enthusiasm and unrelentingly positive attitude. This was his project and I’m delighted we have continued with it.”

Rachel Sargent

Rachel’s first theatrical experience was as a pantomime dog called Battersea with the Nightingale Players in London. Since then she has played many leading roles including: Cecily – Importance of Being Ernest, Oscar Wilde; Elvira – Blithe Spirit, Noel Coward; Eliza – Pygmalion, Bernard Shaw; Margherita – Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay, Dario Fo; Brenda – Albert’s Brige, Stoppard (premier performance of the musical play); Miss Adelaide – Guys and Dolls, Loesser; Sonia – Uncle Vanya, Chekov; plus several Ayckbourn productions. 

Rachel is an artist, working from a converted cowshed at Child Okeford organic farm. She loves walking and exploring her surrounding landscape as well as occasionally taking herself off to remote places in Cornwall and Scotland. Her other love is for all things Greek and for the past two years she has been trying to learn the language. Unfortunately not many Greeks seem to be able to understand a word she says to date.

“I am so pleased to be part of this production to honour Mark’s memory. In starting this he has left us such a gift.”

Rupert Farrington

Rupert’s theatrical experience includes playing the Artful Dodger in Oliver Twist, Sizwe Bansi in Sizwe Bansi is Dead, Herbert Fowle in Dock Brief, Mark Boxer in Taking Steps and Madame Twanky in pantomime! He attended LAMDA from 1982-1986 and is a skilled stage manager and set creator as well as a dynamic actor. 

Rupert breathes a lot, has been married for 34 years, has four children between 32 and 19, practices acupuncture, makes things out of wood, designs spaces, organises plays, parties and events. He loves music and plays various instruments. But where he likes most to be is out on his boat, out at sea.

“Mark was a big hearted, funny, generous, wise and wonderful man and so much fun to be around, he brought warmth and laughter both on and off stage. We are still riding the wave of his extraordinary positive energy so along with Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy genius and a group of wonderful people, what could possibly go wrong?”

Nicki Porter

Nicki started out in production, backstage at Birmingham’s Crescent Theatre, in 1990. Some 20 years later, she took to the stage at Shaftesbury Arts Centre and since then has enjoyed leading roles including: Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd, Sally Smith in Me & My Girl, Lottie Ames in Mack & Mabel, Prince Charming in Cinderella and Maleficent in Beauty & the Beast. She also performs with Motcombe Players and Milborne Port Opera.

Nicki has been a marketer most of her working life with a few consulting and teaching jobs thrown in for good measure. She always has a project on the go, but her children prefer a quieter life – they are still recovering from last year’s backpacking in Europe! Together they love curling up with dog ‘Indy,’ squishy blankets and their favourite family movies. 

“I loved watching Mark on stage – it is an honour and privilege to be here for him and with his friends and family.”