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Wonderful Variety Entertainment!

by Bruce Alexander – 29th November 2021
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On Friday and Saturday of last week Haddenham celebrated the life of Margaret Watkins – actor, producer, director, playwright, committee member and Chair of Haddenham Players. Over the two nights a packed village hall experienced the wide range of Haddenham Players' talents. They did Margaret proud.

Haddenham's Youth Theatre presented a play "Call Of Duty". It had a deep resonance because of Margaret's interest as a playwright in the two World Wars.

The play skilfully addressed the preceived problem of us fully appreciating the tragedies of war in a culture obsessed with 'armchair' violence. The cast skilfully brought to life the trapped nightmare of war with Eddie McLoughlin standing out as an addictive gamer jolted into a new appreciation of reality. Hannah Austin directed this intricate piece with great clarity.

Next – with beer and wine glasses duly topped up – we sang along to old favourites songs led by Players stalwarts with hearty audience reditions of "Consider Yourself", "Leaning on the Lamp Post" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" to name just a few.

So we were all in a great frame of mind to enjoy "Easy Stages", a highly amusing play about stage-crew officiousness and incompetence – a subject upon which I couldn't possibly comment.

It was hilariously brought to life by a terrific ensemble. Why, anyone would think the actors drew on personal experience! The audience roared their appreciation.

The whole evening was a great tribute to the memory of Margaret, to Haddenham Players and indeed to the spirit of community in the village. She would have loved it. Gary McCarron deserves a roistering round of applause for having put the evening(s) together so successfully after an idea by Graham Stoney.

The total money raised from the two evening's presentations (including the raffle) was £2,614 and as a result, £1,282.26 will go to each of Margaret Watkins' favourite charitiers: Thames Valley Air Ambulance and Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity.

There are lots of photographs to enjoy in the Galleries section of this website.

Bruce Alexander
29 November 2021

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