Curtain Up April 2020


Coronavirus and NODA London

Councillor news

Keep theatrical during self isolation

What’s On Listing



From the Councillor

Welcome to the April Issue of Curtain Up!

Well, there really is only one big item of news right now – and a smaller one which I will come to.

Coronavirus or Covid 19 has caused huge disruption to all our lives – let alone major issues for those unlucky to have contracted the virus, and their loved ones, and has pushed so many of us into self-isolation and social distancing. I hope you are all staying healthy and following the “rules” to help beat the infection as soon as possible.

Lots of hard work and energy has gone into so many productions which have now had to be postponed – if you are lucky – or cancelled. This has led to all sorts of issues over insurance and what, if anything, can be claimed. There are so many different stories from societies who can postpone, have understanding venues and suppliers – and NODA insurance - and can still put on their productions in the future at minimal costs, through to those who have had problems with venues and insurance, leading to them making huge losses.

If you have NODA insurance and are having problems, please go to the website for more information:

If your society needs any more support from NODA please contact your Rep or visit the website or National Facebook page:

The impact on NODA countrywide has been significant. All Regional AGM’s going forwards have been cancelled as has our National AGM in September. As I’m sure you’ve seen from the email to our mailing list, or on our Facebook page, our own Festival in June has been cancelled as a physical event.

However, we will still hold a virtual AGM – details of which are being worked on – and will still award District winners and judge and announce Regional winners. Watch out for further details.

Your Regional Rep will be in touch with you to see how you are doing and how NODA can help.

In this issue: Councillor news, some thoughts for how to keep theatrical during social distancing and how to keep your society healthy in these worrying times.

The next issue of Curtain Up! will be released in June, featuring our virtual Festival! Please send me articles for inclusion by the end of May. I would love to hear your story of how your society fared during this current emergency. Please send me a paragraph and I’ll use as many as possible.

We are happy to still publish show details on our What’s On listing – issued in the middle of each month – or to post flyers on the Facebook page, so if you have dates (rearranged maybe) of your forthcoming production please send it to me. Of course, if you have something different to tell the Region, please send me an article; are you celebrating an anniversary, doing a newly released show or presenting a different staging? Tell London all about it.

Andrew Rogers


Councillor News

It is with sadness that I have to announce that I am stepping down as Councillor when my year ends in September. Due to family and work commitments I am unable to give the role the time and engagement it needs. The process is well under way to fill the role and I hope to be able to have news for the Region shortly.

I’d like to thank the Regional Committee, Reps and Officers and especially the Events Steering Sub-Committee for their support. It has been great fun and an honour to be your Councillor, even for this short period. I have enjoyed meeting you and seeing your productions; I hope to have a chance to see again once this current public health emergency is over.



Photo by Viva Photography

Keep your theatrical mind ticking over and your body moving

In this period of social distancing and self-isolation, there are ways of trying to keep as theatrically active as possible.

NODA will be launching some online training sessions. Check out the National Facebook page for more details:


Nick Hern Books are launching a play-reading group. Check out their website at:


See also our Top Ten tips for keeping your society healthy.


Long Service Awards

Celebrate your time in amateur theatre with one of NODA’s Long Service Awards or honour your Societies’ long serving and hardworking members by presenting them with an award.

Don’t forget, to qualify the length of service does not have to be with the same society or even – in earlier years – with a NODA society.

All we need is a form completed, validated by the current society, giving details of the length of service.

For those for whom medals may seem a little old-fashioned there are now badges, indicating the length of service.

Please contact London’s Long Service Awards Secretary, Jackie Lack, at: or go to:





1. It is important, in these uncertain times, to keep everyone (members, audiences etc.) up to date with future plans. It is therefore important to keep websites and social media up to date with regular posts. Now might even be a good time to look at a website refresh to ensure it is still fit for purpose. Does it show your contact details, where you rehearse and perform, pictures of your last show – nothing puts prospective new people off more than an out of date website and a picture tells a thousand words.


2. As well as your own website now is a good opportunity to make sure your contact details and society information is up to date on the NODA website. If you need help to do this simply contact NODA head office. If you would like to speak to someone at NODA you can call on 01733 374 790. They are available 9am to 5pm Monday - Thursday and 9am - 4pm on Friday. Alternatively please email


3. Attracting audiences, once shows are back to normal, will be even more important so why not think about reviewing your marketing plan. This will give you a chance to look at marketing with a fresh perspective. Do you make the most of the NODA Facebook page, NODA website, your own Facebook, twitter?


4. Many of you will have had to make claims on your NODA insurance policy to recover costs of shows that have been cancelled. No matter what circumstances you find yourself in it is important that levels of insurance cover is reviewed on a regular basis. If you have not done that for a period of time we would urge you to review as a matter of urgency.


5.If you have other insurance other than through NODA, review your policy and compare it to NODA’s. It may be a little heartless to say so now, but it is responsible planning on behalf of your society; in insurance – as in so many things – one gets what one pays for. A few more pounds spent on a more inclusive policy may well reap benefits in the future. Please go to:


6.Whilst some shows are being rescheduled others sadly are having to be cancelled. Now is a good time to research shows that may be suitable productions over the next couple of years. Remain in regular contact with rights holders to keep up to date on current availability. If you have been lucky enough to reschedule don't forget to re-invite your Regional Rep/NODA Councillor and update the listing on the NODA website or the monthly show listings on the NODA London Facebook page. Please contact Andrew with your show details.


7. Thinking ahead to the winter, if you have not already selected your pantomime, go to the Panto section of the NODA website. Form a panto reading team within your society and try something new.


8. Review your legal structure and constitution. Linked to this is a review of policies and procedures including child protection, grievance, membership and social media.

9. While we’re on the more mundane, but essential, tasks review your society’s health and safety procedures. Remember when Bill fell off that ladder, thankfully without serious injury, or when Margaret let the tea urn boil dry (or vice versa in these more enlightened times – and I don’t mean the tea urn let Margaret boil dry – a joke in case you’re still with us). Please go to the revamped Health and Safety section of the NODA website for loads of useful tips, including downloadable documents. On the subject of which, check out the many other factsheets at


10. Finally, there are a great many websites that allow you to arrange online meetings via video conference. They can also be used simply to keep in touch. Consider having a weekly meeting to keep members in touch with each other and offer support whilst not being able to meet in person.


We hope these might prove useful tasks to keep your Society in the best of health and ready for the opportunities and challenges ahead.



Send us your news.

This is your newsletter. Put your news in it.

Are you putting on a new or rarely performed show? Have you celebrated an anniversary? Have you overcome great technical challenges? Tell London about it.



What's On In NODA London

We list upcoming shows from NODA London Societies on the NODA London Facebook page.

In addition, you can download a list of all the shows coming up by clicking the link below. The list includes all the shows that we are aware matter how far in the future that may be!

If you have a show coming up and you don't see it listed, then simply contact Andrew.

What's On


The NODA London Committee

Below you can find the details of all of the NODA London Committee and District Representatives.

London Committee


Andrew Rogers
020 8508 9635


Annie Hertler-Smith
01923 267604


Pam Armstrong
020 8587 1015

Membership Secretary

Frances Chalkwright 020 8926 7413

Membership (Website)

Paul Holgate
020 8804 9553

Youth Representative

Annie Hertler-Smith
01923 267604


Vacancy – please contact Councillor

Long Service Awards Secretary

Jackie Lack
020 8429 1130


London District Representatives

District 1

Carly Hilts
07940 589685

Simon Jones
07812 014493

District 2

Mike Smith
07767 741639

District 3

Des Wilby
07786 117635

District 4

Robin Kelly
020 8859 1354

District 5

Phil Wilcox
020 8949 5879
07964 808522

District 6

Vacancy – refer to Councillor

District 7

Vacancy - refer to Councillor

District 8

Tony Austin
01895 634288

District 9

Carole Baynes
07958 427707

District 10

Mike Monk (Musicals) 07792 784455

Gilli Morris-Monk (Drama)
07930 100771

District 11 & 11A

Judith Watsham
01494 774557

District 12

Rob Bertwistle
07731 642907

District 13

Jeanette Maskell
07974 299028

District 14

Vacancy – refer to Councillor