It’s a Win at the Races for Us!


On 21st to 23rd November, Bocking Theatre Club put on a hugely successful performance of Ladies Day, a play by Amanda Whittington. It was a huge success, with the atmosphere of the races being brought to Bocking Village Hall for three nights. With all front of house team, plus technical crew dressed to the nines to go to the races, the hall was awash with swishing skirts and smart suits.

The play has been described as their best performance in years, with reviews on Facebook congratulating the cast for their performances. On the opening night, NODA judge, Hazel Hole came to review the play. She praised the adventurous layout of the play, which Director Margaret Surrey had decided to stage on the floor rather than up on the stage. Making use of the halls’ arches, the stage crew, led by Terry Surrey, built the fish factory and with clever use of props, created the enclosure at the racecourse for later in the play.

Hazel praised the strong cast, in particular the ‘tarty’ Alexandra Goodchild, who played Shelley and ‘downtrodden’ Jan, played by Joanna Heath. Hazel wrote in her report: “This was a sparkling and energetic production, with a good dose of comedy, played to a very appreciative audience. From talking to several cast and crew afterwards, the point was made that everyone felt fully involved in all aspects of the production.”

We can’t wait for our next production!


NETG Award Nominations Ali Baba!



Bocking Theatre Club are thrilled to have been recognised for their hard work with their February panto of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. The North Essex Theatre Guild have announced this years’ nominations for the Showcase Festival 2018-2019, naming the club a whopping 8 times. 33 productions were adjudicated this season, and the deserving nominees attended an awards ceremony at the Princes Theatre in Clacton.

Nominations for Bocking Theatre Club were:

– King Costume Award
– Adjudicator’s Award – John Hughes and Alexandra Lee for their comedy playing in Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
– Best Young Actor (21 and under) – Jack Gunn as Fab Rick
– Best Dame – John Ellson as Mum Baba
– Best Actor – Gareth Jordan-Burrows as Cassim
– Best Actress – Mystie Powell as Ali Baba
– Eric Dyster Cup for Best Pantomime/Children’s Play
– Jimmy James Memorial Award for Direction

The production, directed by Margaret Surrey, was a hit with local audiences, and is another success story for the club who have scooped awards for their pantos in previous years.

Whilst not lucky enough to win any awards this year, it is an honour to be nominated amongst so many other talented theatre groups. Well done to all the winners!

Success Again with Triple Gimson Win!

On Sunday 10th June, Bocking Theatre Club entered the annual Gimson Festival with 2 entries, this year hosted by the Wickham Bishops Drama Club.

The first entry was ‘It’s a Small World’ by Paul Johnson, a play set in the sitting room of a London boarding house for ladies only, on a morning late autumn before they second world war. The ladies eagerly wait to hear what happened at the party young Mrs Nevern attended the night before. Directed by Joanna Heath, it was well received by the judges, and Jacky Clarke received the ‘Best Actress’ award for her portrayal of Minnie, a repeat win for Jacky, having won this prize in previous years.

Bocking were also very proud to enter a Junior play this year. Gareth Jordan-Burrows, made his directorial debut with ‘Music Maybe’ by D M Larson, which centres around a young girl holding auditions in her garage to start an all girl rock band. It was a huge success. It won both Best Production, as well as bagging Best Junior Actress for Bocking regular, Autumn Jenner.

Variety is the Spice of Life…

Variety Spectacular 2017


On 16th and 17th November 2017, Bocking Theatre Club joined forces with local groups to put on an amazing spectacular to packed audiences. With the delight of a home cooked supper being served during the entertainment, the audiences were wowed with the performances on offer.

Performances came from Halstead Community Choir, Abigail’s Performing Arts, as well as regulars from the club, including musical comedy from John Page, and rock’n’roll from John Ellson, all of whom brought the stage alive in a non stop stream of brilliant entertainment.




Both cast and audience had an amazing time and the club looks forward to collaborating with local groups again in the future!

Mummers Play is a ‘Roaaaaring’ Success!


Last Sunday Bocking Theatre Club brought the tradition of the Mummers Play to life at Stisted Fete with their brilliant rendition of George and the Dragon. Mummers plays are a traditional, fun form of theatre dating back hundreds of years and this action-packed production was one of the highlights of the fete.

The enthusiastic and very colourful group of actors grabbed the audience’s attention from the beginning, who were encouraged to hiss, boo, and cheer as the action unfolded. The highlight of the show was the wonderful, colourful dragon, created by Carol and Doug Felton and Jean Baker, which swept through the audience before going into battle with George.



Open air theatre is very challenging for an actor as not only do the actors need to project their voices and physical gestures but timing is also of the utmost importance. The group achieved all of this and gave some fantastic character performances.

The only disappointment was the rain which prevented their second performance. Not only were the cast disappointed but a great many audience members who had missed the earlier performance. We are looking forward to revisiting this play at a later date!

Gimson One Act Play Festival – Winners!


For yet another year running, Bocking Theatre group have excelled themselves at the local Gimson One Act Play Festival. On Sunday 4th June, theatre groups from around Essex gathered at Notley Village Hall and performed to a packed audience as well as adjudicator, Mary Williamson.

Bocking scooped Best Production for their presentation of ‘World Premiere’ by Charles Mander. Best Actress went to Jean Baker and Best Supporting Actress went to Jan Peaston. The adjudicator praised the fast pace of the comedy, and the portrayal of the characters.

Bocking Theatre Club were the host club for the event this year and congratulations must be given to all the members of a great team who put together such a well organised and enjoyable Drama Festival.

The adjudicator, Mary Williamson said that she had very much enjoyed the entire Festival with the variety of plays and thought it was of an extremely high standard. She also said it was good to see the encouragement of young performers.


Well done to the whole cast and crew for their success!

NODA win for Snow White and the Seven Dwarves



On 9th April, the annual NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Association) Awards for the Eastern region took place at Burgess Hall in St Ives, Cambridge, and Bocking Theatre Club scooped , for the second season running, ‘Best Pantomime’ for the 2015-16 season for their production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs which was Produced and Directed by Margaret Surrey.

Presenting the award  the adjudicator, Ann Platten, congratulated Margaret and the entire cast and crew who had worked so hard on a production that was so ‘professional’ and ‘gave the audience a real Panto feel’.

She highlighted outstanding characters such as Queen Caligula ‘played brilliantly by Anne May’ and the Dame, played by John Ellson, for ‘instant rapport with the audience, both adults and children alike’ and described the costumes (Jean Baker) as ‘some of the best I have ever seen’ and that ‘pleasing choreography’ (Sam Conway) and ‘good company numbers’ (Sue Edwards) added to the overall excellence of the show.


Club Secretary, Pru Page, accepting the award


Terry Surrey, Club Chairman said ‘Bocking Theatre Club’ are delighted to accept this award for the second season running. It was a fantastic team effort, so much hard work goes into each production, from those on stage, the production team, backstage crew, the costumes department as well as front of house, and it is great for it to be acknowledged’.


Here’s to our next production in spring 2018!’

Home Grown Play wins at Gimson!


On Sunday 12th June, Bocking Theatre Club entered the annual Gimson Festival, this year hosted by the Kelvedon Junior Players at The Institute in Kelvedon.  The Gimson Festival was founded in 1982 by Wickham Bishops Drama Club in memory of their late President Brigadier Bill Gimson.  The Festival is held every year, and clubs from all over Essex come and enter a one act play, no longer than 45 minutes long.

This year, Bocking Theatre Club entered ‘Poetic Justice’ written by one of their members, John Hughes, a play about a group of merchant bankers whose greed causes their own downfall, in a series of hysterical events.

The play was well received, with lots of belly laughs from the audience, and the judge (Mike Poole) scored the club well. Speaking of the play, he said it was ‘a real gem, well written good story with well-defined characters’. He said that ‘The acting was consistent without a week link, some of the notable ones were Nigella the boss’ daughter, what a bitch! Monty, an older member of the trading team, who thought he could keep up his end by out drinking the younger members, but ending up the only one with a hangover, and Eric the computer whiz; lovely, laid back and full of dreadful jokes’

The club received four of the seven available awards, which was a huge achievement for the cast of 11.


Best Actress – Sam Conway (won jointly with Pauline Roast from Wickham Bishops Drama Club)

Best Actor – Richard Cooper

Best Supporting Actor – John Hughes

Best Stage Presentation – John Page (Director)

Bocking Variety Spectacular is a big win for Children in Need!


Last November, Bocking Theatre Club held “Bocking Variety Spectacular” to raise money for ‘Children In Need’.

Barclays Bank kindly agreed to match any funds raised on the night, which was a huge bonus for the charity. Thanks to the amazing generosity of the patrons and Barclays Bank, a huge £7375.16 was raised. This has been donated to the national ‘Children in Need’ appeal which is really changing and enhancing the lives of thousands of disadvantaged children and young people right here in the UK.

This month, Barclays presented the cheque to the club. In full costume were Anne May, John Ellson and Sam Conway, who are all preparing for their upcoming panto, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (running 17th-20th Feb at Bocking Village Hall). Also present were club members Pru Page and Jean Baker. Barclays staff Vanessa Mawdsley (Branch Manager), Jane Chimes (Assistant Manager) and Andy Homles (Business Manager) were delighted to be able to present such a substantial amount for such a worthwhile cause.

Bocking Theatre Club would like to thank Barclays Bank for their generosity and helping make the event such a huge success!