From the Councillor

Welcome to the latest edition of Curtain Up! This is NODA London’s newsletter and it is for all members of every London Society and Individual members. So please:


In the interactive session at the recent NODA London Theatre Festival, the most common phrases – when people were asked to say what they thought of Curtain Up! - were “never seen it”, “never heard of it” or “never read it”. We are evaluating how we can continue to make our communications relevant to all of the London amateur theatre world and to help with that, we need to make sure our communications reach as many people as possible.

Our mailing list contains over 700 email addresses, at least one for every society (and many more) but this must be only a fraction of the total membership of all societies. If you would like to receive information directly to you, rather than coming via your society’s NODA contact or secretary, please email me and I will add you to our mailing list.

In this issue – amongst other things - we look back at our NODA London Theatre Festival, welcome the new Rep for District 14 and carry the link to our What’s On listing, for forthcoming shows.

Our communications team is going through a revamp right now but in the meantime, and as ever, we make an appeal for content for this newsletter. Please send me your articles for the next issue of Curtain Up! We aim to publish it in mid-September, so articles to me by August 31st. Is your society doing something different? Celebrating a memorable anniversary? Putting on a new or rarely performed piece? I’m sure London would love to hear your news so don’t hesitate to drop me a line – and send a photo.

Invitations are starting to come in for me to visit your summer and autumn shows – I’ve even had the first panto invite! Karen and I will try to visit as many of you as possible and we are looking forward to it – so please send me an invite.

All the best for your forthcoming productions.

Andrew Rogers


NODA London Theatre Festival – Interactive session feedback

Attendees at this year’s Theatre Festival took part in an interactive question and answer session. We asked four questions and we give below the top answers and some other interesting feedback.

1. Give up to 3 good words to describe NODA London

This first question elicited the following top answers:

Encouraging       Inclusive        Friendly       Supportive

Close behind those came: exciting, passionate, fun, helpful and welcoming.

Obviously, we are delighted to see those answers and this gives us a real boost, as your NODA London team, to know that we are appreciated.

However, we know that everything does not always work; there is always another side….

2. Give up to 3 bad words to describe NODA London

This question elicited the following top answers:

Biased        Dated        Old

Other common responses were: old fashioned, inconsistent and out of touch. Interestingly when asked for bad words, a common answer was “nothing”. However, as nice as that is, we are more interested in where there is criticism.

The committee takes on board these comments and we will discuss at our next meeting. There was an invite for those giving negative comments to discuss at the end of the Festival or to email the Councillor. Unfortunately no-one spoke to him at the Festival and no emails have been received. This is a shame as we would like to understand the reasons behind some of those words.

We presume “biased” refers to the awards. We note this but would respond that in the awards we look to reward excellence but that that assessment can only ever be subjective. We are pleased that the awards are keenly contested and that people care about the outcome. Those attending the Festival were typically all District Winners and that is, in itself, a high accolade. Unfortunately, there can only be one winner of the Regional Trophy. We know that everyone believes their production was the best – and that is absolutely how everyone should feel. The judges work very hard to identify the “best of the best” but we know that those not fortunate to receive the Regional Trophy will always be disappointed.

We very much take to heart the feedback of “dated, “old” and “out of touch”. There is no doubt that those involved in the committee do tend to be those with more life experience, as typically they have more time to be Regional Reps and Officers. However, we work hard to be “young at heart” and to be open to new productions and new ways of producing theatre as much as the established formats. There is also an open invite for any adult of whatever age, to get involved with the committee or put themselves up as a Regional Rep. We are currently seeking a Communications manager to takeover maintaining Facebook and other social media, the website and this newsletter. That is a role that someone of any age can take on.

3. Talking of this newsletter we asked: What is your opinion of Curtain Up!?

Here, the top answers were:

Never read it        Never seen it        Never heard of it

However, other answers were: useful, informative and even “cool”. As we said, at the Festival, Curtain Up! is emailed to some 600 addresses – with at least one from every society. It is down to the person within the society who gets Curtain Up! to simply forward the email to their members.

It does appear that those who do receive it, value it.

4. Finally, we asked the following question: What do you think of your Regional Rep’s report?

The top answers for this question were:

Constructive       Informative        Helpful        Honest

These are very pleasing responses – and there were many more positive comments - but there is always another side. Some responses were: not constructive, basic, slow to come out and inconsistent. Again despite offering an opportunity for a more in-depth feedback, nothing has been forthcoming.

We will take all these responses on board and work to improve the service we provide to you – our members.


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 Theatre Festival 2019

On 9th June 2019, we gathered at the Radlett Centre for our AGM and Awards Day. The Festival started with a morning of masterclasses. Accents, Acting and Makeup were on the schedule this year and each was much enjoyed by those taking part. Gemma Wright returned with her huge palette of accents to bring us regional British sounds. Janet Harrison delved into how we say things when performing, not just what we say, focusing on pauses and inner meanings. Sue Robb-King showed us everything from a basic pan to frighteningly real scars.

After lunch and networking in the lobby café, where an excited buzz grew, the afternoon events in the auditorium began with a presentation from last year’s Youngstars Trophy winners, Musical Youth Company of Oxford. This was followed by the AGM and then an interactive session with the auditorium answering questions electronically - results and feedback below. During the AGM we said goodbye and thank you to Rosemary Roberts, leaving us as Editor, having served on the Committee for 9 years.

The day ended with the Awards presentation. Twenty-five trophies and the District Flames were presented by President Jacquie Stedman, making a poignant return to us – being up until last year, London Councillor. A full list of Trophy winners is on the NODA London website at

Next year the Festival is June 13th / 14th so please make a note in your diary. The steering committee has already started planning the 2020 Festival so watch out for exciting news and announcements.

From left to right - Charles Sumner Award Winner - Elliott Campion, Jacquie Stedman addressing the audience, Joe Putnam Award Winner - Nomads Musical Theatre, Malcolm Rose Award Female Winner - Rebecca de Coverly Veale, MYCO Performance


Peter Prosser took photographs throughout the NODA London Theatre Festival.

A CD containing photos of all Regional winners receiving their certificates, plus images from the various masterclasses and Youth Presentation, is available for purchase at £3.50 including postage.

If you would like a copy of this CD please contact Peter on 01923 228077, 07977 220978 or You may use images for your own personal use but they may not be used for commercial purposes without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Any images may be used for future publicity by NODA London. If you would prefer that your image is not used, please speak to a member of the team.


Situations Vacant - The NODA London Committee is looking for the following roles:

Communications Manager

This voluntary role would take responsibility for all communications for NODA London, whether that be Social media or in print form. Joining the London Committee, the successful applicant would be expected to manage all communications of the committee reporting to the Councillor. The successful applicant will:

  • be well versed with Facebook and Twitter and able to post regular updates,
  • be able to edit and manage the London pages of the NODA website,
  • be able to source, edit and publish articles for Curtain Up!, NODA London's newsletter,
  • be able to produce articles for NODA Today, the National magazine, liaising with Head Office.

The committee meets three times a year and the Communications Manager would be expected to attend committee meetings and to report on their activities. All Committee members are also expected to attend the Regional Conference which is held in June each year.

Working to pre-set deadlines, accuracy and reliability, and an ability to work independently - whilst always being accountable to the Councillor and the committee - as well as offering new ideas and concepts, are pre-requisites of the role.

Anyone interested should contact the NODA London Regional Councillor with a brief summary of their suitability for the role:

Regional Reps for District 6 and District 7

Regional reps are the “lucky person” who is invited to attend your shows and report. They are also the first point of contact for societies seeking advice or help with all matters to do with their societies or productions.

We are currently seeking Regional Reps for Districts 6 and 7. District 6 is North-East London and part of Essex and District 7 covers Part of North London and SW Hertfordshire.

The most obvious responsibility of the Rep is to visit shows and write reports. This does require some time to be set aside in order to fulfil the obligation and provide the service. Depending on the District a Rep might see up to 30 shows a year, sometimes twice a week. Reports do take a few hours to construct. They also need a certain experience of amateur theatre, whether as a performer or backstage, in order to be able to offer constructive criticism. There are also a handful of committee meetings to attend – typically Sundays – as well as the annual Theatre Festival.

Yes, the role can be time-consuming but it is also great fun and a chance to put something back into amateur theatre.

If anyone is interested in joining the team, please contact:


New Regional Rep for District 14

We welcome John Woodward-Roberts as the new Rep for District 14.  John has been involved in performing in amateur drama and musical theatre for the last 40 years extending his reach in the last 20 years into directing and writing. He has performed many of the tenor and patter leads in G&S plus leading roles in Rodgers and Hammerstein (Curly in Oklahoma) and Lerner and Lowe (Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady) and other musicals. His rewrite of Orpheus in the Underworld was a finalist at the regional NODA awards and his reimagining of Princess Ida has recently been performed. He started a musical theatre group in Ascot nearly 30 years ago and served as its Chairman until very recently.

District 14 societies should contact John to request show reports and for anything else NODA can help with:



New Society Contacts

Don’t forget, if you are holding your society’s AGM over the coming weeks and you have a new Treasurer, Chairman, Secretary or NODA contact, please let your Regional Rep know and update your entry on the NODA London website. It really helps us to provide you with the best service, if your details are up to date.

It might be a good idea to take a look at your entry on the website anyway. We believe quite a few are out of date or could be enhanced with more information, all of which will help you get more prominence for your society and its productions.


Send us your news.

This is your newsletter. Put your news in it.

Deadline for articles for the next issue August 31st.

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 here. 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.

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

John Woodward-Roberts

01344 890093