Curtain Up February 2020


NODA London Youth Day launch                                    Reading Theatre Forum combat workshop

Society self-nominating awards                                     Training grants for workshops

February What’s On Listing


From the Councillor

Welcome to the February Issue of Curtain Up! This is a newsletter for all members of NODA London so, if you are the recipient of this email:


Our big news this issue is the launch of our Youth Day. As I said in the last issue (November 2019) our Theatre Festival this year, is going back to being a two day event on 13th and 14th June at the Radlett Centre, Hertfordshire. The Saturday will be an all-day youth workshop with a presentation to Parents/Guardians in the afternoon. Full details in this issue.

NODA London were delighted to recently give a training grant to Reading Theatre Forum for their combat workshop. Read about the workshop in this issue and how your society can apply for similar funding.

At the NODA London Festival, on 14th June, we will present our annual awards. Three of those awards are self-nominated by societies. Details of those awards are to be found in this issue.


We welcome new members Wiz Productions.

Please continue to invite Karen and me to your productions and we will endeavour to make as many as we can.

The next issue of Curtain Up! will be released in mid-April. Please send me articles for inclusion by the end of March. We are happy to publish show details on our What’s On listing – issued in the middle of each month – or to post flyers on the Facebook page, but 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


Photo by Viva PhotographyReading Theatre Forum – Stage Combat Workshop

Photo by Viva Photography

Performing arts groups across Reading have come together to investigate ways of joining forces for everyone’s benefit under an initiative named the Reading Theatre Forum. One way of finding economies of scale is through training and as such the Reading Theatre Forum organised its first joint training event, a stage combat workshop, in December 2019. The workshop was organised by Reading Between the Lines, one of the participant groups, and subsidised by NODA London so that the places could be offered at the lower price of £10 per participant.

The feedback from those attending was that the session was well-paced, fun and worthwhile and that it gave everyone a good sense of achievement. Participants learned a number of stage-fighting moves and techniques and also had the opportunity to get to know members of performing arts groups they wouldn’t normally interact with. Everyone was satisfied with the event.

There were some challenges with the organisation of the workshop as the booking page was not clear and a late venue change was only communicated through Facebook, which caused some confusion for those who don’t use that platform. The workshop also did not fill all its spaces but anecdotal feedback suggested this was due to the time of year rather than the content or course provider. These are all lessons learned and improvements can be made for future events.

On the whole, the Reading Theatre Forum was very satisfied with this first foray into joint initiatives across all its participating groups. From an extensive member survey carried out in the summer, the highest demand seems to be for acting training, about which the Forum has started making enquiries, including with the RSC. It hopes to have a calendar of training and other events published on its public Facebook page in the coming months.

Further initiatives from the Forum include, among others, a new WhatsApp group for the wardrobe managers of the different groups to communicate with each other and offer a wider range of costumes and accessories to everyone at affordable prices. Groups are also joining up to look for a single, common venue, as venue prices become prohibitive in the area so that some are no longer able to perform in Reading itself. Watch this space!

Marie French  Progress Theatre


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:


NODA London Youth Day – Page to Stage 13th June

As part of the NODA London Festival weekend, the London Region is sponsoring a Youth event. We will be producing a Page to Stage in a day, featuring numbers from the popular show Seussical.

Under the watchful eye of trained and experienced tutors, kids from 8 to 16 will develop their performing skills, make new friends and have fun in the safe environment of the Radlett Centre, Hertfordshire.

The NODA London Festival 2020 is on 13th and 14th June and the Saturday will be set aside for this exciting new event. Open to all youngsters in the London Region, between the ages of 8 and 16 inclusive, to book please go to: or for more details please email:

We welcome you to come and join in and have fun with the Cat in the Hat, Jo Jo, Mayzie, Horton and Gertrude!

Registration will open at 9.00am on Saturday 13th and participants will need to have booked in advance. The workshops will start promptly at 9.30am and will conclude with a performance to which parents/guardians are invited at 4.30pm. Tutors have many years of experience of working with children in the sphere of musical theatre.

The Radlett Centre is located at Aldenham Avenue, Radlett, WD7 8HL, close to the M25 and with good rail links.

This Page to Stage is by arrangement with MTI and NODA London are grateful for their support.



NODA London Training Grants for workshops

You will have read about Reading Theatre Forum’s combat workshop in this issue.

NODA London were delighted to provide a training grant towards the cost of this workshop. Any NODA London Society can apply for a training grant. For more details and the application form, please go to the NODA London website:

I look forward to receiving your applications.


Andrew Rogers


NODA London Awards 2020 – Society Self Nominated Awards

Don’t forget there are three awards that NODA London presents which are self-nominated. These are:

The Louise English award is for a young person under 30 who has made an outstanding contribution to his/her Society in any capacity whatsoever. The expectation is that this is not solely for performance.

The Shelley Lemesh Unsung Hero award is for members or helpers of a Society who without payment and when not appearing on stage has made an exceptional contribution in the last year to their Society's production(s), whether backstage, in the fields of props, costumes, sound, lighting or other fields as the Society may specify. 

The Sylvia Rawlings award is for a person who has made a long term outstanding contribution to Amateur Theatre. Their contribution may be in any form whatsoever but the expectation is that this award is for truly a lifetime in Amateur Theatre.

Please go to the NODA website to download the nomination forms:




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

Robert Murray

07903 955543

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

John Woodward-Roberts

01344 890093