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It seems hard to believe that the youngsters of Haddenham had their first moment of glory ten years ago in 2003 when they presented 'The Boy Who Fell Into The Book' by Alan Ayckbourn. That was Lynne Colley's first venture into Youth Theatre when she was the co-director of the play with me. The rest is history, as the saying goes! Lynne has taken the Haddenham Players Junior Group, as it was then known, on to success after success in the subsequent years.

It was a real pleasure to see the young actors, too many to name individually, and to recognise many of them from previous productions. Both the younger and older groups worked together as a team, supporting one another to make the two plays flow. Many in both plays played dual roles, no mean feat on one of the hottest days of the year and on the second night of the production.

The younger group performed 'Anyone For Bison?' by Bill Tordoff, a humorous take on the first encounters between the English settlers in America and Native Americans. Kyle Eldridge played his part as Hondo the Chief with aplomb, but it was the girls, both in the playscript and their own acting, who took the situation — and their menfolk — in hand with a lovely dig at modern day America at the end.

The second play, 'Mr Quigley's Revenge' by Simon Brett, performed by the older group, was a comedy which gathered pace until the frenetic ending in Act II. Several actors had their characterisations spot on and believable — as well as very funny. Haydn Feltham, playing the hapless vicar Rev Jim Elkin; Harry Parsons as the slimy womaniser Keith Horrobin; Tom Lovell as the obnoxious Lord Grevesham; and Will Russell playing the luvvy director of the amateur dramatics, Martyn ("with a 'y'!") Graves — all were excellent. A cameo role, played by Ricky Jefferies of Haddenham Players, was truly funny as he portrayed a children's party entertainer who hated children! The girls gave splendid support to the main characters and even the smallest parts, such as Charlotte Moore as Candida Horrobin and Celia Kessler as Joan, were played with gusto and assurance.

A thoroughly enjoyable evening. Here's to the next ten years!

Margaret Watkins
(Former Chairman of Haddenham Players)

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