Committee - North East
Leslie SmithRegional Councillor / Volunteer
I have been involved with Noda societies for almost 50 years, during that time I have worked with many societies in both South and West Yorkshire plus understudying for one North Yorkshire society.
I have been a Regional Rep. for Noda North East for 6 years until becoming Noda North East Councillor in September 2017.
Judy McMurrayRegional Secretary / Volunteer
Judy started in amateur theatre at the very early age of 5, attending dancing classes. She also accompanied her parents to rehearsals with Sheffield Teachers Operatic Society (now known as STOS Theatre Co.) as they were both members, her dad often taking a lead part. Judy moved away from Sheffield for 3 years, got married and started a family.
She used to help backstage with props for a few years with Croft Musical Theatre Co.
Judy decided to audition for the ensemble for STOS in 1981 for 'White Horse Inn' and has never looked back She has been Secretary of STOS since 1992.
Her love of the Theatre grows and she never misses an opportunity to support the other amateur groups in Sheffield by watching their productions.
Judy is also very proud to have been Regional Secretary of NODA North East for the last ten years.
David StreeterRegional Treasurer / Volunteer
In 1983 David moved from London to Sheffield. That was when his amateur theatre experience started. He dived in head first and joined three Sheffield musical societies. Two were as a playing member and the third as a non playing member.
He became Treasurer for STOS Theatre Company (previously known as Sheffield Teachers Operatic Society) in 1989 and has just retired from that role after 32 years.
Within the NODA North East Region, he has enjoyed the positions of Regional Secretary and Regional Councillor. After a couple of years rest, he was appointed to the position of Regional Treasurer.
David worked in IT most of his professional life and enjoys watching musical theatre productions – especially Stephen Sondheim material.
He looks forward to meeting everyone during North East Gala Weekends at Bridlington. Please tap him on the shoulder, say hello and discuss how NODA funding might be available for district workshops and NODA Summer School training.
Terry HarrisonRegional Representative / Volunteer (District NE01)
After making his stage debut at the New Theatre, Hull, Terry has been a member of Harrogate Operatic Players and Harrogate Gilbert and Sullivan Society for more than 40 years. He has served on the committee of the latter for many years, including several as either Treasurer or Chairman. Although usually to be found in the chorus, Terry has played some minor principal roles for both Societies, including that of the beggar in “Fiddler on the Roof”, a part considered somewhat appropriate in view of his 35 year career in banking! He enjoys seeing productions, both amateur and professional, in many parts of the U.K. Away from the stage, Terry enjoys watching county cricket.
Geoffrey HaywoodRegional Representative / Volunteer (District NE02)
Geoff has been associated with the stage from the age of five and has played many roles from leads to back row of the chorus in the last 77 years. He joined the Wakefield West Riding operatic society in November 1961 and is now a Society Life Member.
Since then he has served on their committee, directed, choreographed and been musical director also taking roles for other societies at short notice
In 2008 Geoff was elected as Regional representative for district 13 and two years later was appointed treasurer for the North East a position he held for 10 years. Having since moved to Bempton he took on the role of regional rep for district 2 which is a drama area.
Tony HarrisRegional Representative / Magazine Editor / Volunteer (District NE03)
Tony started his life of amateur theatre involvement with The Kentainers Revue Society in Tunbridge Wells having taken part in a number of school and youth productions. He performed with them, and was Chairman for a number of years, until he moved north at the end of the 1980s and joined what is now Hessle Theatre Company.
Work then took him around the country and he performed in, or directed, shows in Knutsford, Hexham, Ipswich, Grayshott and, more recently, Driffield, Beverley and Bridlington.
Tony was elected as a NODA Representative in 2012.
John ParsonsRegional Representative / Membership Secretary / Volunteer (District NE04)
John has been involved with NODA and amateur theatre for 47 years in Scunthorpe and Birmingham.
During this time he has actively been involved in both plays and musicals, performing principal roles and also ensemble (chorus as most like to call it).
John is the Regional Representative for Region 4 and also Subscriptions Secretary for the North East.
Ashley BookerRegional Representative / Volunteer (District NE05)
Ashley has been performing with Dinnington Operatic Society in South Yorkshire for 24 years. His first show was The King and I back in 1997 and has never looked back.
Ashley studied dance with Adele’s School of Dance from an early age and studied singing with the University of West London. In 2003, Ashley was male vocalist for Burnham On Sea Holiday Village working alongside The Four Tops, The Krankies and Bucks Fizz to name a few.
As well as Dinnington, Ashley has performed with Rotherham Musical Theatre Company, RTSA, Wickersley Musical Theatre Comoany, Wales Community Theatre Company, CAOS Musical Theatre Company and Wakefield West Riding Musical Theatre Company.
Ashley has played many and varied roles during his time on stage including; Miss Hannigan in Annie, Tony in Copacabana , Billy Bigelow in Carousel, Scarecrow and TinMan in The Wizard of Oz, Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music plus many others. His favourite role however is Bernadette in Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
In 2013, Ashley decided he would give directing a go, after being the Assitant Director for many years. His directing credits include; Thoroughly Modern Millie, Acorn Antiques the Musical, Sister Act, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, 9 to 5, Crazy For You, Babes In The Wood, Sleeping Beauty and Around the World in 80 DOS which was presented at the NODA North East Gala Weekend in 2016.
Philip SmithRegional Representative / Volunteer (District NE06)
Philip has been involved in amateur theatre in Sheffield for over twenty years, with musical theatre societies and theatre companies.
He assists in the running of a youth theatre society and has a full chaperone licence.
He has worked on both amateur and professional productions, at the Crucible and other theatres in Sheffield.
Philip had the privilege of chaperoning for a few days on “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie”, the movie.
Noel RiggRegional Representative / Volunteer (District NE07)
I was involved in the textile trade for most of my working life. I am married to Dorothy who I met on the stage during a performance of Rose Marie, we have 2 daughters and a son and six grandchildren 4 boys and 2 girls. My mother and father were both involved with the Operatic Society at our local congregational chapel. I became involved with amateur operatics when my father became President of Dewsbury Collegians A.O.S. in 1957 where I have now been a member for about 60 years and have been awarded the NODA 50 year long service medal. I have been a NODA Rep for 29 years and am now an Honorary Life Member of NODA.
Christine CastleRegional Representative / Volunteer (District NE09)
Christine has a wealth of experience in amateur theatre, covering six decades both in her home city of Ealing, London and then West Yorkshire.
She began as a dancer from the age of three and wished to take her talents on to the professional stage. Wise parents advised a ‘proper job’ to maybe fall back on – and thus her dual career started – hairdresser/beautician and subsequent television make-up artist/designer in the day, amateur theatre at night.
Theatre credits are long and varied – principal roles in many musicals, favourites being Rose in ‘Gypsy’, Golde in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’(5 times!), Dolly in ’Hello Dolly’ ....... the list goes on! Now, content to play a selection of award-winning mature ladies, both comedy and serious, Christine still gets a thrill from ‘being involved’. Last name-drop – she played Jacqueline in ‘La Cage Aux Folles’ with Danny La Rue at the Leeds City Varieties – and thereby hangs a very long tale........ She has also directed, choreographed and lectured on theatre make-up – in fact, there is only one job in theatre she has never done – that was on follow-spot – she has been told she would rather be in the spot light than working it!
Jane MarescauxRegional Representative / Volunteer (District NE10)
I have so many wonderful memories of my life in amateur theatre, not that I intend to pack away my rehearsal gear just yet, there is always more to share, learn and experience.
My amazing parents introduced me to this treasured world we inhabit; from early days watching them in the likes of Student Prince and Merry England, to taking my first major role in a dance show at the age of seven as the Blue Rabbit, I was soon hooked and loving every moment.
I’ve been fortunate to be involved with a number of societies over the years, whether performing, choreographing, leading summer schools or in project and stage management and I’ve met some very talented people along the way who have shaped the way I see and value what we love about theatre.
My ‘real life’ took me abroad teaching dance and then into arts development across the regions here in the UK. I have worked with many arts organisations in my time, both professionally and via community arts, and nowadays I love to see the progression of members of local societies, whether on stage or behind the scenes.
Theatre gives us a place to be part of a glorious jigsaw. It can take us out of ourselves and help us find who we are, givingus a huge buzz and allowing us to develop new friendships with people we wouldn’t ordinarily meet.
Theatre is so exhilarating on so many levels.
Long may it continue.
Sally HolmesRegional Representative / Volunteer (District NE11)
Sally’s first real recollection of Amateur Operatics was in 1973 - when she was 9 years old!
After helping out ‘front of house’ and backstage for many years, she started ‘treading the boards’ in 1980, appearing in the chorus and taking a few minor principal roles initially.
She was also proud to perform in the NODA Cabaret at Bridlington’s’ Spa Theatre in 2001 and then twice in 2018 - probably the most nerve wracking moments of her life…to date!
Having always been interested in the administration side of Society life she has also served on Society Executive and Social Committees
She received the 35 year NODA Long Service Award for services to Amateur Theatre in 2015, and her 40 year award is now a little overdue!
Sally has attended the NODA North East Gala weekend, at the Spa Complex in Bridlington, for many years – a weekend which she looks forward to immensely.
Sally is also on the sub committee for the NODA Summer School bursary awards.
Giles AtkinsonRegional Representative / Volunteer (District NE12)
I have been involved in amateur and professional theatre for over 30 years and after training and working in the profession I went into teaching. I am, at present, Head of Department for Creative and Digital Industries at Craven College in Skipton but I still worked as a freelance producer and director.
I have been on The NODA NE Committee since 2008 firstly as Youth Advisor till 2014 and then as the NODA NE Weekend Co-Ordinator a position I still hold today.
As a director and choreographer my work has included Oklahoma, Pyjama Game, West Side Story, Vackees, The King and I, Dick Whittington, Boogie Nights, Mack and Mabel, 42nd Street, Little Shop of Horrors, Jesus Christ Superstar, We Will Rock You, High School Musical, Rent, Annie, Guys and Dolls and The Full Monty working with a wide range of companies in a broad range of venues from a Working Mens Club and a cattle auction to a 2000 seater theatre in London’s West End. I havealso worked as Production Manager for productions such as “Blind Faith”, “Find Me” and “Between a Rock and a Hard Place”. Television work includes work for the BBC, YTV and Granada Tees Television in productions such as “Emmerdale”, “Heartbeat”, “Love and Reason”, “Scarlett and Black” and “Coronation Street”. I made my “West End” debut as a director on “The Long and Winding Road” at the Dominion Theatre London and then at the Manchester Palace Theatre in Manchester. I appeared in Jesus Christ Superstar at Bradford Alhambra Theatre playing the part of Judas and has also directed “The King and I” and “West Side Story” at the Edinburgh Festival. In 2003 I won the “Best Actor in a Leading Role” for my performance in “Annie” in the role as Daddy Warbucks. Recent productions have included Calamity Jane, Rent and Evita for which I was awarded “Best Director” at the Wharfedale Festival of Theatre. Probably the highlight of my directing career has been to take two shows to the NE NODA Weekend in Bridlington, “Shout the Musical” and “Fifty Years at Brid!”
Sue CoxRegional Representative / Awards Secretary / Volunteer (District NE14)
Since first treading the boards at the tender age of six as Baby Snow in Carousel, Sue reckons she has appeared or been involved with over 120 musicals and plays either as a dancer, chorus member or in principal roles. She qualified as an IDTA dance teacher and has choreographed several musicals at the Lyceum, Montgomery and Crucible Theatres in Sheffield. Sue has been involved with STOS Theatre Company (Sheffield Teachers) for a number of years, both on and off stage. Sue is also a member of Denys Edwards Players and Stannington Players in Sheffield, and has been involved in many productions, either directing, back-stage work as well as taking on a number of acting roles. She has been fortunate to take roles in When We are Married, Night Must Fall, Blythe Sprit, just to name a few, and recently Say It with Flowers, so her love of gardening was very helpful.
In April 2018 Sue became Regional Representative for Drama, in Area 14, and is looking forward very much to visiting drama groups in the area and encouraging other groups in the area to join NODA. Sue is also a holder of the long service NODA award for 50 years, and loves visiting the theatre, plays, musicals, and not forgetting her dancing years the ballet.
Sue recently become the Long Service Awards Secretary for the Region.
Bryan CravenRegional Representative / Website Editor / Volunteer (District NE15)
Bryan has been involved in all aspects of amateur theatre for almost 33 years.
He is an honorary Life Member of both LIDOS and Cosmopolitan Players, having been Chairman of the former from 1990 to 2000 and of the latter from 2007 to 2015.
Bryan has been a staunch supporter of NODA for many years and has been managing the NODA NE website and their Facebook page for the last 3 years. He is looking forward to the challenges of being a regional representative, and keeping the “D” in NODA.
Bryan has directed plays, pantomimes and musicals, including Gypsy, Dad’s Army and the award winning Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
Bryan has played leading roles in plays, pantomimes and musicals with various local societies. Hehas received acting awards from both the Leeds Civic Arts Guild and the Wharfedale Festival.
Bryan’s TV credits include Touch of Frost, Emmerdale and the forthcoming Victoria. He also performs regularly as part of a professional murder mystery company.
Joanne SykesYouth Coordinator / Youth / Volunteer
Jo has been a performing member in a Pantomime Society in District 7 for nearly 40 years, serving 23 years as Secretary until she became the Societies Director/Producer 5 years ago. Jo was honoured to be made a Society Life Member in 2015. She is a member of two other local Musical Theatre Groups and enjoys performing in their summer musicals. She also recently secured a part in a play with a Drama Group. Jo is passionate about youth involvement in amateur theatre and has been the Noda NE Youth Cordinator since 2015.
As Youth Coordinator Jo is committed to supporting societies to offer opportunities to young members and is keen to get to know more youth societies and those societies with youth membership in the North East. She feels that the opportunities presented by amateur theatre are far wide than just the chance to ‘be on stage’ and develop theatre craft – team work, negotiation, commitment, confidence and hard work are all part of the skill set needed to be involved in amateur societies and these are attributes which can be used across daily lives and in careers.
Professionally Jo works in youth criminal justice across South and West Yorkshire. She lives in Wakefield with her husband and teenage daughter who are both involved in amateur theatre and enjoy accompanying her on show visits.