We wouldn’t be able to get our plays on the air without our producer: Hfm’s presenter Owen Brooks who has been promoting performing arts on his Thursday evening slot for five years.
Kate Gamble’s presentation of Lizzie Waldron was her first radio play. Kate is an active member of Wycliffe Drama Group and Last Minute Theatre Company and also sings in a choir. She has taken part in a number of plays and musicals and when not ‘on stage’ frequently helps out backstage or front of house.
Her previous acting roles include Maggie in ‘Outside Edge’, Mary Smith in ‘Run for your Wife’, Maggie Hobson in ‘Hobson’s Choice’, Clara Soppitt in ‘When we are Married’ and Cora in ‘Calendar Girls’. She also appeared briefly in a short film made by her son Jack as part of his University degree but the radio play will be a new experience for her.
David Quayle had always wanted to act but did little about it until, ten years ago, he took some evening classes in the town. Then he contacted the local theatre group. “I thought I would volunteer to be the ‘third spear carrier in the second row’ he says. In fact he has enjoyed many varied roles with Harborough Theatre. “Often on the comedy roles.” David told Hfm’s Owen Brooks, “When Malcolm got in touch about a radio play, I thought, ah, this is something that’s really interesting. Radio is a medium where the listener can use his imagination, it paints pictures without images and I think that’s fantastic. Radio has stood the test of time, in spite of the rise of lots of others forms of media. In particular, I think drama has been very strong on a lot of radio. It’s very exciting to have the chance to be involved in something happening in Harborough.”
Jack Gamble has played Roger, Lizzie’s patient boyfriend and will be taking the role of her ex in the second play. He tells us, “It sounds clichéd, but I got into acting when I was very young. Once I’d been diagnosed with the ‘dramatics’ as my dad liked to call it, I was enrolled into a Saturday morning theatre school where I began to learn the ins and outs of musical theatre. Recently, I graduated from Northumbria University with a 2.1 degree in Drama and Scriptwriting. As a writer I enjoy creating new material to develop and publish, and I always have something on the go in my mind. Last year I wrote and directed a short thriller called Lilly, which is nearly ready for release. As an actor I am always looking to take on new and interesting things; I have played many different types of role from pantomime hero, to musical lead, to Shakespearean drama and my most recent role has been in a television pilot playing an angel called Gabriel. Working on Lizzie Waldron’s Day Return will be interesting for me as I have done voice work before but not on live radio and I look forward to this new experience.
Chris Prior joins us to play Dr Dalton in Lizzie Waldron and the Dead Sittingroom. Chris has had may years experience with the Market Harborough Musical Theatre (previously the Operatic Society). Although she continues to perform at times, her main work these days is behind the scenes. Recently she has been particularly involved with the promotion of new productions.
Mary Orton joins us for Lizzie Waldron’s Bedside Murder. Mary is a member of Wycliffe Drama Group in Lutterworth and a founder member of Last Minute Theatre, Kibworth. .She loves ‘treading the boards’ but also enjoys helping with set build, front of house and backstage. She has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and for Michael Wood’s televised ‘Story of England’ when he requested a re-creation of an ‘Old Time Music hall’. She is currently in rehearsal for pantomime, The Snow Queen, at Kibworth.
Viv Crowther took on the role of Inspector Dainty in our first play and acted as the group’s announcer. In Lizzie Waldron and the Dead Sitting Room she will be interpreting Lizzie’s Mother. Viv’s love of acting began as a child when she took part in the York Cycle of Mystery Plays as one of Noah’s daughters. Since then she has participated in numerous Village plays and pantomimes. She appeared on stage at the Hinckley Concordia Theatre in Arthur Miller’s” A View from the Bridge” and Ray Cooney’s “Funny Money”. Viv then joined Market Harborough Drama Society in 2003 for JB Priestley’s “Dangerous Corner” since when she has appeared regularly playing a variety of serious and comedy roles. Her most memorable are as The Woman in Ira Levin’s gripping thriller “Veronica’s Room” and as Mrs Manahan/Anastasia in Royce Ryton’s “The Anastasia File”. Her favourite comedy role was as Connie in Gordon Steel’s hilarious comedy “Albert Nobbs” Her latest appearance on the Harborough Stage will be in December as the eccentric Madame Arcarti in Noel Coward’s “Blythe Spirit”.
Marilyn Osborn brought her unique experience to the role of Lizzie’s mother in Lizzie Waldron’s Day Return. She has worked in the theatre for over forty years. Qualified as a teacher by London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, she has been teaching Speech and Drama to Students of all ages since 1979. Directing, acting, stage management and her teaching roles have taken her to Zambia, Bahamas and Cayman Islands. “I haven’t had an acting role for a while,” she says but she keeps her interest in the theatre through her membership of the Harborough Theatre. “I now work as a complementary therapist, but that is not relevant to the moment .”
Alex Murray asked to film the broadcast of Lizzie Waldron’s Day Return as part of his development of Eyesight Productions, and we are happy to be part of that!
Alex also took the studio photos on these pages.
Classical composer Jonathan Harris provided a reader’s view of my work for the souvenir edition of Lizzie Waldron’s Day Return (paperback). Mr Harris’s latest composition has been two scenes for the international opera @skylightopera — a copy of which will be taken to the moon for the information of any passing aliens. (No, seriously, that’s true!) He is the Director of Music for St Mary’s Church Finedon, Head of Music at a Buckinghamshire school, and takes an active role in Northamptonshire Organists. He has collected my books since the early days so I am proud that he will be contributing to the posh edition