Dereham Theatre Company
 

 

Box Office now open for Fusion and Priscilla Queen of the Desert!

Telephone 01362 288 124

Bright & Beautiful Flowers
3A Wellington Road, Dereham
NR19 2BP
 
 

Dereham Memorial Hall, where most of our productions are performed

Dereham Theatre Company (formerly Dereham Operatic Society) is a charitable Trust and was formed in 1948 to offer the local community education and enlightenment in amateur dramatic arts. A very grand way of saying that we were formed to entertain the people of Dereham and Norfolk!

Our Shakespearian motto "Mere folk who give distraction are we" comes from Cole Porter's musical "Kiss Me Kate", which we first performed in 1970, and is based upon one of William Shakespeare's most famous plays "The Taming of the Shrew".

We stage three productions a year (not including the productions of our youth group) including a major musical in the autumn, a pantomime over the Christmas period and a play in the spring.  There is something for everyone!

If you are looking to join one of the premier operatic and dramatic societies in Norfolk as either a performer (we actively encourage all whatever your ability or experience, whether you are a singer, an actor, dancer, or just enjoy being on stage), backstage helper, front of house staff or just looking to purchase some tickets for our next show ........ you need look no further; Welcome to our website.

Quick Contacts

 

Rehearsal Studio
The Studio
Rear of Dereham Memorial Hall
62 Norwich Street
East Dereham
Norfolk, NR19 1AD
 
 
 
chairman at dosoc dot co dot uk
 
treasurer at dosoc dot co dot uk
 
website at dosoc dot co dot uk
Dereham Operatic Society - When We Are Married

Click image to see full poster

When We Are Married

Director - Tim Cara

Assistant Director - Val Lofthouse

 
Thursday 15th to Saturday 17th March 2012
at Dereham Memorial Hall.
 
 


 
CAST

RUBY - Katrina Porter
MRS NORTHROP - Jill Jarman
GERALD - James Crocker
NANCY - Morgan Creed
FRED DYSON - John Griffin
HENRY ORMONROYD - Doug Hartley
ALDERMAN JOSEPH HELLIWELL - Paul Gregory
MARIA HELLIWELL - Irma Fowler
COUNCILLOR ALBERT PARKER - Ian Sandell
HERBERT SOPPITT - Greg Reeve
CLARA SOPPITT - Leah Spencer
ANNIE PARKER - Sonia Sandell
LOTTIE GRADY - Marea Smithson
REV. CLEMENT MERCER - Mark Wells


 

Review by Stephen P. E. Hayter (N.O.D.A representative 4N)
 
Dereham Memorial Hall, 15th March 2012
 
"How good it was to be making a second visit to the beautifully renovated Memorial Hall Dereham having previously been a member of last year’s pantomime audience as the guest (without portfolio) of local NODA Representative Sue DuPont. She had predicted that it would be a rewarding experience and I had been promised more of the same as I took my seat (this time as reviewer) for J.B. Priestley’s much performed comedy “When We Are Married”.
You would struggle not to find this title listed amongst any society’s back catalogue and there were sharp intakes of breath when I finally had to confess that although I had read it, I had never actually seen a performance. The Hall was looking magnificent with a standard box set spread across the ample stage with the vision of set designer Kevin Jude and construction courtesy of Dave Filer, Peter Havis and Kevin Jude. The dressing and decoration worked well with lighting by Ashley Cashfield that was undemanding but perfectly appropriate all topped off with some outstanding costumes from Dereham Theatre Costumes and Viv Soddy.
Even though this was my first play at Dereham, many of the cast were known to me from The Westacre Theatre Company who (I later found out) have many shared members and what a cast it was with good supporting performances from Mark Wells as Rev Mercer; John Griffin as Fred Dyson; Morgan Creed as Nancy Holmes and James Crocker as Gerald Forbes and a wonderful caricature from Jill Jarman as interfering busybody and temporary housekeeper Mrs Northrop.
I enjoyed also Marea Smithson as “Woman of dubious motives” Lottie Grady who joined the fray at the point where you think the deteriorating situation just can’t get any worse and a special mention is also required for young (I have no idea how young) Katrina Porter as House Maid Ruby Birtles who although looking a little inexperienced at times provided a captivating performance with a consistent accent that she clearly had put a lot of work into and a sizable amount of dialogue delivered with complete confidence.
Of the three male leads there were powerful characterisations from Paul Gregory as Alderman Joseph Helliwell and Greg Reeve who gave a contrasting and wonderfully measured performance as submissive turned dominant husband Herbert Soppitt with top honours going to Ian Sandell as outspoken chauvinist Councillor Albert Parker who had many of the best lines and delivered them all with devastating effect. The three leading ladies had less to do but Leah Spencer as overbearing Clara Soppitt and Sonia Sandell as dutiful Annie Parker were excellent with the ever impressive Irma Fowler giving yet another professional standard performance even in a part that didn’t give her much to work with.
I often get annoyed when reviewers single out one of the more obvious performances for special praise but although the part of drunken newspaper photographer Henry Ormonroyd is the comic lead and his insertion is purely for laughs with only minor plot importance I was impressed with the way Doug Hartley went about the job. It may have been a caricature but he kept it under control with only his accent slipping as he slurred increasingly with each drink giving the take home performance of the show.
J.B. Priestly may have written this piece in gentler times but unlike so many Am Dram standard titles I think this one still stands up against its more modern competitors, even if the three act formula seems a little old fashioned especially when it makes the overall production feel a bit over long. Never the less, it certainly does have a good plot with plenty of characters that develop nicely as the action moves along at a worthwhile pace. It does however require a quality cast like this one (Only one prompt that I heard) and some competent direction, provided on this occasion by Tim Cara who demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of the piece and how to get maximum impact from an experienced group of performers and the dozen or so cracking one liners all of which hit the bulls eye.
My compliments to all concerned for a benchmark production that had only caused me concern when the housekeeper was paid One Pound with a coin, a brief visit to Wikipedia reminded me that a Sovereign was worth exactly that amount.
"
 

June 2017


Diary Dates


 
Fusion
14th - 15th July 2017
Dereham Memorial Hall
 

 
Priscilla: Queen of the Desert
3rd - 7th October 2017
Dereham Memorial Hall
 

 
Beauty and the Beast
27th December 2017 - 1st January 2018
Dereham Memorial Hall
 

 
A Passionate Woman
8th - 10th March 2018
Dereham Memorial Hall