Committee - London
Pam ArmstrongRegional Councillor / Councillor / NODA Ltd / Volunteer
What an honour it is to be representing NODA London Region as your Councillor. I have been involved with NODA London for a number of years primarily as their Treasurer and was also fortunate to serve Jacquie Stedman in the role of Event Treasurer for the Presidential Gala and AGM 2018 when Jacquie (then Councillor) became President of NODA. My own background and experience in the performing arts has been long, varied and joyous performing in principal roles, both singing and acting, as a dancer and in chorus and undertaking executive and administration roles encompassing Vice President, Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Social Secretary.
What a joy our common interest is to all of us, and it is no exaggeration to say, when I embraced it, it was life changing. I look forward to “embracing” you all once we are free of this dreaded virus and our lives and hobbies can return to a more familiar pattern and our beloved theatres re-open. We are living through an era which none of us have experienced – uncertain times abound, but remember, NODA London is here to help and serve you and together we will get through these choppy waters.
Annie Hertler-SmithRegional Secretary / Youth Coordinator / Youth / Volunteer
Annie trained as a dancer from the age of 3 focussing on classical ballet most of the time. However, her last 3 years of training were in jazz dance and tap as well as ballet at the London Dance Centre under Gillian Gregory and guest teachers such as Arlene Phillips and Matt Mattox. After many years as a performer Annie turned to Directing and Choreographing and has since then worked on over 150 shows. In addition, Annie attended the Ripon Summer School for 25 years both as a student and Director/Choreographer. Annie has also run ROS StageWorks and Summer School for 13 years teaching Musical Theatre to children aged from 7-19 years old. Annie's Summer School productions have won several NODA London awards. In 2009, Annie joined the NODA London Regional Committee as Youth Advisor and really enjoys going to Youth productions around the region. She is now also the Secretary.
Margaret PartridgeRegional Treasurer / Volunteer
Matt BentleyRegional Representative / Regional Representative / Volunteer (District L01)
Originally from New Zealand, Matt moved to London in 2014. He has a BA in Theatre (alongside a Law Degree) and has been acting and directing for as long as he can remember. In his home country, Matt was involved in producing/performing in/directing/helping backstage for a wide range of shows from small, self-funded 3-handers to mega-musicals in 1200 seat theatres. A highlight was adapting, producing and directing a sell-out season of The Breakfast Club. Other shows included tick, tick… BOOM!, Les Miserables, [title of show], Beauty and the Beast, Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Cat’s Meow, Hairspray, Curtains, Seussical, Chicago and Proof.
Since moving to London, Matt has become a fairly familiar face around several societies, particularly spending a lot of time at the Bridewell, and most recently (since theatres reopened) has either performed in or directed productions of The Tempest, Ophelia Thinks Harder, American Idiot and The Merry Wives of Windsor, with productions of Young Frankenstein and Curtains on the horizon (at the time of writing). Outside of theatre, Matt works as a Business Manager for a train company, and sits on the members council of Mayhem Theatre Company in District 5.
Matt is sure his expertise and experience in theatre will be of great value in his role of Regional Representative for District 1.
Mike SmithRegional Representative / Volunteer (District L02)
Stuart JamesRegional Representative / Volunteer (District L03)
New Zealand born Stuart is a queer identifying actor, director and reviewer working predominantly in musical theatre with a passion for authentic storytelling, reimagined classics and queer representation within theatre.
Stuart studied at the National Academy of Singing and Drama Arts (NASDA) and his professional acting credits include roles in television's The Strip, Seven Periods with Mr. Gormsby and UK-Hit The Tribe as well as on stage as Brad in The Rocky Horror Show, Mark in Rent and Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch among others. He owned and operated his own theatre company Speakeasy Theatre Ltd. that saw multiple hit productions and conceptualised a Beatles concert production that has now played around the world. Moving to the UK in 2014, Stuart joined Centre Stage London in 2016 and directed their sell-out productions of Fame: The Musical and Grease The Musical. Recently Stuart directed the four star production of cult favourite The Toxic Avenger The Musical for Festoon Theatre Company. This production was voted best amateur production of 2022 by MusicalTheatreMusings. Other directing credits include The Witches of Eastwick, Jonathan Larson's Rent, Litlle Shop of Horrors (twice) and Love Happens Here: AN LGBTQIA+ Cabaret among others. He is a West End critic, reviewing for West End Wilma and directs for various professional and amateur companies around London.
Robin KellyRegional Representative / Volunteer (District L04)
Starting his amateur career in his native Manchester in 1967, Robin trained at the Central School of Speech & Drama after which he taught Drama for a number of years, working in both Youth and Adult settings. After years of performing, directing, writing, lighting, managing ticket sales, front of house management and society committee membership, he was keen to offer his services at regional level. He is particularly interested in finding ways to improve standards of performance & production in amateur theatre.
Phil WilcoxRegional Representative / Volunteer (District L05)
Paul DaynesRegional Representative / Volunteer (District L06)
My first introduction to amateur theatre was via my parents’ church drama group in Norwich. In the early 1980's I moved to Woodford, Essex and joined a new drama workshop, Studio 80. Here I directed in musicals, pantomimes and plays including Grease, Chicago, Bugsy Malone, Godspell and Charley’s Aunt. I also performed and directed for other local societies directing Chicago for Thistles at the KMT at the age of 20 and Yeoman of the Guard for Loughton Operatic Society Centenary Production. I really enjoy drama and have taken roles in plays by Shakespeare, Wilde, Ayckbourn and Joe Orton. More recently I have directed for Theydon Bois directing The 39 Steps and Wind in the Willows. I enjoy working back stage and have held Chairman and Treasurer roles. I am delighted to be taking on to role as the NODA Representative for District 6 and looking forward to meeting and getting to know the people that have a love and a shared passion for local theatre.
Thomas LennonRegional Representative / Volunteer (District L07)
Originally from the West Coast of Ireland, Thomas performed on stage and as a choir soloist from a young age. His interest in musical theatre developed when performing within secondary education and continued with various local societies during his late teens and early twenties. Productions have included HUCKLEBERRY FINN, MY FAIR LADY, GREASE, GUYS AND DOLLS, THE BOY FRIEND, OKLAHOMA!, ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY and WEST SIDE STORY.
Thomas has also performed as a member of the Corps de Ballet for the Association of Irish Musical Societies in two concerts, ‘21st Anniversary Concert’ and ‘SHOWTIME’, both staged at The National Concert Hall in Dublin.
He has worked as a choreographer on a pantomime, GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS and musicals GUYS AND DOLLS, OKLAHOMA! and FINIAN’S RAINBOW and has received a creativity award for his choreographic work on a variety show in local competition.
In August 1988, he moved to London and his initial introduction to NODA was as a volunteer on their Summer School that year at Central School of Speech and Drama on WEST SIDE STORY. He later joined Stock Exchange Dramatic & Operatic Society and performed as Ephraim in their production of SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS and then performed with Lloyds Dramatic, Operatic & Musical Society in CABARET.
Due to work commitments, he has not been actively involved with any individual society for an extended period however, he has been an avid theatre goer seeing hundreds of amateur, touring and West End productions through the years. He has also kept involved indirectly through his contacts within amateur societies in both the UK and Ireland.
Carole BaynesRegional Representative / Volunteer (District L09)
Iain FowlesRegional Representative / Volunteer (District L10)
Iain is now celebrating more than 40 years in the Am Dram world – I know he doesn’t look old enough!
Starting at the tender age of ten in his school’s pantomime, progressing through the ranks, enjoying performing and directing with societies across Hertfordshire and North London. Iain is a member of many local societies and is now Chairman of Hemel Hempstead Theatre Company.
Over the years Iain has had to balance ‘real life’ with the demands of am dram, but still managed to continue performing, and directing plays and musicals - some even being recognised with NODA awards!
As a performer, Iain has had the joy to play many fabulous parts, favourites include – Bobby in ‘Company’, Billy in ‘42nd Street’ and Nicky in ‘Avenue Q’ – quite a diverse collection! As a director, projects have ranged from Pantomime to ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, with a good selection of Broadway Musicals and the odd G & S. Play wise, ‘Blithe Spirit’ will always be a favourite, with ‘Noises Off’ coming a close second!
Iain is delighted to be the NODA Rep for District 10 and of course, if you need any advice or help, please don’t hesitate to contact him.
Judith WatshamRegional Representative / Volunteer (District L11A)
I got involved with amateur theatre many, many years ago through my late husband, rather on the basis of the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" principle. My main interests lie on the technical side rather than the performing side of productions and I have ‘propped' a wide variety of shows ranging from opera to one act plays via concerts, drama, musicals and compilation affairs. I have also directed several times and stage managed on a couple of occasions. I love the genuine enthusiasm to be found in amateur groups and the way people of varying ages, abilities and backgrounds work together to present what is often top-class entertainment.
Andrew WalterRegional Representative / Volunteer (District L12)
Andrew first appeared on stage exactly 50 years ago, singing Little Buttercup in a concert performance of HMS Pinafore. Since then he has played a wide selection of roles from the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, including appearances on the Oxford Playhouse stage as The Judge in Trial by Jury and as a last minute understudy for Inez in The Gondoliers. His involvement in musical theatre has primarily been as a Director, and his work for Oxford Operatic Society includes The Sound of Music, Guys and Dolls and Cabaret. Since 2006 he has directed shows for Abingdon Operatic Society where his work includes Kiss Me, Kate, The Wizard of Oz, Top Hat, and The Gondoliers, which won the Dorothy Lawson award in 2013. He has also worked with various schools, youth groups and village players, taking roles including Musical Director, Deputy Stage Manager and Set Designer.
Andrew started reviewing productions when working for “Daily Information” in Oxford, and freelanced for “The Oxford Times” before its arts coverage was brought in house. He hopes to be able to draw on this experience to support and encourage operatic and dramatic societies in Oxfordshire.
Cate NaylorRegional Representative / Volunteer (District L13)
Nick HumbyRegional Representative / Volunteer (District L14)
Nick is a retired qualified Accountant (working in TV, Sport and Theatre) with a lifelong passion for Theatre since working on his first amateur productions in the nineteen seventies.He has had an active involvement in all aspects of producing and staging a play with societies in Romsey, Southampton, Byfleet and Reading. His personal highlights are designing the sets and staging productions of Oliver, My Fair Lady and the Importance of Being Earnest (which was written up in a 4 page article in the Guardian weekend supplement) as well as many pantomimes (one of which he wrote). He has worked on over 40 amateur productions and seen over 1000 professional productions. In recent years he has reviewed professional shows for Pocket Sized Theatre and West End Wilma and been a judge for GB Pantomime Awards. He served as a Non Executive Director on the Board of The Ambassadors Theatre Group from 2000 to 2009 and the Arts Council audit committee from 2011-2015. His father was a NODA rep for Surrey for many years.
Frances ChalkwrightMembership Secretary / Volunteer
Paul M HolgateWebsite Editor / Volunteer
Paul joined the London Committee in 2003 as Regional Representative for L07
His stage debut should have been as a shepherd in a school nativity at the age of six, but illness prevented him from appearing and North London had to wait a further three years to see him take to the boards as a hen-pecked husband in a school play.
As a lifelong fan of the Savoy Operas, he joined the North London Savoy Operatic company when it was formed in 1982. Though the company was short-lived, it put him in touch with a number of like-minded people, many of whom are still friends
During a long association with Waltham Abbey Musical Theatre Company, he was able to develop his skills in singing, stagecraft and direction.
He has played roles in most of the extant G&S operas (the only one that has eluded him so far is The Sorcerer).
Jackie LackAwards Secretary / Volunteer
Jackie’s association with the amateur stage began when she joined Willesden Operatic Society (latterly Brent Opera),in 1966.Following her time at college training to be a teacher she joined Wembley Operatic Society (now WOS Productions),in 1978.
During her long association with WOS she progressed from chorus to playing many leading roles. Amongst her favourites, Annie In ‘Annie Get Your Gun’, Ann in’ Half a Sixpence’, Sally Durrant Plummer in ‘Follies’ and Sarah Brown in ‘Guys and Dolls.’ Jackie was also Chairperson of WOS Productions for a number of years.
Jackie joined the NODA London Regional Committee in 2020 as the Long Service Awards Secretary. She is very happy to be supporting NODA and the amateur stage-after all it has given her a lifetime of fun and friendship.
Jacquie StedmanCouncillor / Magazine Editor / Past President / Volunteer
I am privileged to have served the London Region on Council for the last 11 years and during that time the standard of amateur theatre has risen out of all recognition.
Having served my time on the stage performing in both musicals and plays, and then donning the director's mantle, I had to stand down due to pressure of work and came to NODA to continue that involvement which is at the heart of all we do. Having been 'promoted' from being a Regional Rep for seven years to the post of Regional Councillor eleven years ago, I became the Chairman of the NODA Theatre Summer School seven years ago. Having been a performer and director over the years I advocate amateur theatre as a life skill for all walks of life - especially for young people.