In 2003, for the first time in 12 years, PVADS put on a youth theatre production called ‘NIGHT and DAY’. Under the direction of Nettie Brown, 24 new youth members of PVADS Youth Theatre (aka PVADYS) rehearsed and performed three one act plays (Rabbit, Shadows and A Dogs Life) some dramatised poetry (The Listeners + more) with dance and music too!
The two performances were a huge hit with our audiences and led to many more successful youth productions both in the Bouverie Hall, on tour and winning many awards in One Act Play competitions (A Dog’s Life won Best Actress/Best Youth/Best Dramatic endeavour in 2004). Many of these young actors have gone on to dramatic careers, some reappear in our adult productions, others live in far flung corners of the world – but they are all still part of the PVADS family!!
In 2013 PVADS put on a spectacular adaptation of Les Misérables as a stage play – not the musical!
Written by Nettie Brown from the novel by Victor Hugo, set in the June Rebellions of 1832 in Paris.
This was a truly professional production by both adult and youth members of PVADS. We had a stellar cast, an incredible set including a moving barricade, outstanding lighting (with pyrotechnics of course!) contemporary songs and music, video projections, period costumes from our own wardrobe – it was hard work but absolutely brilliant!
On the 14th July we also think of Bastille Day in France. The beginning of the French Revolution marked by the storming of the Bastille in 1789.
The pubs are opening soon – take care, as there is always the danger of a bit of DRAMA!!
Here’s a pub/play memory from 2007. DENIM by Jay Saunders directed by Martin Clifton and Nettie BrownJust a typical night down the local. Giles (Darren Little) has always known that he’s adopted, but now he’s terrified he could end up falling for an unknown sibling.
It’s going to take all of his friends efforts to get him out and dating. It might even need a little help from above (Jane Cuff as an angel) and maybe, below (Nick Mitchell-Briggs as the devil).Jay Saunders came to see our final night’s performance and was extremely impressed with the production. It was only after that we found out that this was based on his real-life story of dating as an adopted son.
Some old and new faces in the cast here:- John Lavis, David Owen, Kate Powell and Alexandra Cuff (who enjoyed their cat fight a little too much), Emma Preuss, Steve Clements, Kay Davis, Emma Harris and Brad Harris who was very brave on his debut acting role – as a stripper!!
A timely reminder of another fantastic production in 2012. Set at the solstice festival at Stonehenge starring PVADS own version of Spinal Tap’s Stonehenge song – A Midsummer Night’s Dream!! Happy Solstice PVADS!
PVADS received this lovely message from Gail Young, the author of Cheshire Cats, today. “Stunning shots of the PVADS – Pewsey Vale Amateur Dramatic Society production of Cheshire Cats 7 years ago. And they gave £1 from every ticket sold to charity – roll on live theatre post pandemic!”
We are very proud to have put on this production – raising several hundred pounds for Breast Cancer.
A little historical re-cap:- From that first play in 1930 to the present day, PVADS have performed at least one, usually two, plays a year including thrillers, dramas, farces and one act plays. In 1971 we performed our first Pantomime which has continued annually to ever increasing audiences.
That’s nearly 50 years of PVADS pantos!
Later in the 70’s and we also devised a series of carnival entertainments called ‘Tavern in the Town’ which raised money for carnival funds until 2008.In the early nineties PVADS continued to grow and entertained their audiences with spectacular musicals which continued to 2006
Since Autumn 2002 PVADS have entered annual ‘one act play’ competitions – competing against other amateur societies from the West – and winning many awards for both adult and youth productions. MEMORIES! Here are a few photos, from our archives (more to follow over the coming weeks too!!)Can you name the production? Were you in it? Can you name other cast members? Do you know the year?
Do leave comments on the photos on our Facebook page for all to see!
Let us know if you have any other photos or memories you would like us to share!!
90 years ago, Pewsey Vale Amateur Dramatics Society, PVADS, was formed.
Our first ever production performed in the old Bouverie Hall was:-THE THIRTEENTH CHAIR by Veiller Bayard directed by Mr J Billington.The cast requires ten men and seven women and is performed on a single but elaborate set, depicting a wealthy drawing room of the era. It is written in three acts, with an intermission between each act; there are no significant set changes, but the play (which involves a séance and medium) requires several “sleight of hand” props and gimmicks.
THE THIRTEENTH CHAIR presents wealthy Mr. and Mrs. Crosby on the verge of announcing their son’s engagement to Mrs. Crosby’s secretary, an attractive young woman of slightly mysterious antecedents. Their dinner guests include Edward Wales, a man preoccupied with discovering who murdered his best friend, killed in a surprise attack with a knife to his back. Wales has provided after-dinner entertainment in the form of Madame Rosalie, a spiritualist who conducts séances. He hopes to obtain some clue to his friend’s killer—but during the séance Wales himself is murdered in the same way. The windows and doors are locked and Madame Rosalie herself is tied to her chair. Whodunit?
What a THRILLING start to our wonderful theatrical history!!
Over the next few months – until we can perform again – we will look at productions since this first show in 1930 to the present day! We have quite a list – and lots of photos!!
In 2009 PVADS youth members researched to put together a play of WW2 memories. We visited grave memorials at local churches, the county school and events records at Trowbridge and also spoke to local residents including Dulcie Kunkler, Max Blackman and asked the children to find out family anecdotes.
The play – I Remember Pewsey at War – was very warmly received in Pewsey, won several awards in Swindon and went on to represent Wiltshire in the Five Counties Final.