North - Committee
Gordon RichardsonRegional Councillor / WEBSITE EDITOR / COUNCILLOR
Gordon has been involved with amateur theatre since before he was born - his mother taking him to shows and his local society rehearsals whilst she was pregnant - it was a matter of assumption rather than informed choice that once he become old enough to take to the stage he did so - his first experience being as a young prince in 'King and I' at the age of 8. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since those first steps onto the stage and now some almost 60 years later he has just received his 45 year LSA.
In those years he has appeared in more musicals than he cares to mention and a multitude of plays. He is the first to admit that given his singing voice (somewhere between the cracks of the keys...) his first love is drama and loves nothing better than to act.
His other love, somewhat masochistically, is the politics of amateur theatre and hence the role of Regional Councillor is such a great fit for him as he loves the 'cut and thrust' of committee discussion and decision making. Although Gordon has been interested in NODA since he joined his local society over forty odd years since it is only in 2010 when he was elected as a regional rep (having twice lost out to other opposition). In 2012 in Cardiff at the national AGM he was honoured to receive the 'Presidents Cup' by then retiring president Fred Piggford. This inspired and motivated him to standing for election to the Regional Councillor position in 2013, a role he was proud to be elevated to. He continues to love the friendships he has made through visiting societies and will continue as long as he is able.
Fun Fact - he once shook hands with the, then, President of the USA.
Pauline SwannREGIONAL SECRETARY
Derek ColemanREGIONAL TREASURER
Became associated with NODA in 1969, becoming a member of West End Operatic Society and performing around Tyneside with several other Societies, until retiring from the stage 5 years ago. With WEOS held the positions of Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Business Manager for over 10 years. Elected NODA Regional Representative in 2001 and Treasurer in 2012. I spent most of my professional career in the NHS in Human Relations/Personnel and retired as a Justice of the Peace after 19 years service last year. Am currently Chairman of the Ramblers Northumbria Short Circuits Walking Group. Have recently developed an interest in photography.
Ken AllanREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District N01 - North Tyneside)
Ken is a retired Finance Controller and has over 50 years experience on the amateur stage as actor singer and director.
Previously as a member of Beaconsfield Operatic Society, The Phoenix Theatre Company, Tynemouth AOS and currently Newcastle Musical Theatre Company as principal tenor/baritone he has played virtually all of the popular musical theatre roles for men as well as plays, pantomime, concerts and oratorio.
He retired from the stage following his portrayal of 'Old Deuteronomy' in CATS in 2018 at Newcastle Theatre Royal.
Foster JohnsonREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District N02 - South Tyneside)
Michelle CoulsonREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE / YOUTH ADVISER / Youth (District N03 - North West co.Durham)
I have been a performer in amateur theatre since 1979, have been directing for the last 14 years and I have also served on society committees including the roles of Secretary, Chairman and Charity Board member. Being a Noda Representative gives an opportunity to meet a wide variety of people who share our wonderful hobby and I look forward to extending the role of the Youth Adviser in the region and supporting all aspects of youth theatre.
Peter OliverREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District N04 - East and South Durham)
I have from a very young age loved musical theatre, from a young age I performed in school shows and concerts but it was not until my own family had grown up did I take to performing more seriously. I am an active member of Sunderland Theatre Company and a committee member of Murton Musical Theatre Group which I thoroughly enjoy. I am passionate about our Noda Family and have a particular passion about ensuring the youth members in my District are encouraged and promoted to develop their skills and talent.
Michael L. AveryREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District N05 - Tyne Valley)
I have been involved with amateur musical theatre since 1984 when I volunteered to act as Members’ Ticket Secretary for Newcastle upon Tyne Musical Theatre Company (NMTC), then known as Newcastle upon Tyne Operatic Society. Somehow, I became the Secretary, then Business Manager was added, later Vice Chairman and, ultimately, Chairman of NMTC. I am really a paper-pusher, having been a Solicitor (now retired) and have never performed onstage. I did, for a few years, become a supernumerary (extra) for several performances by the RSC at Newcastle Theatre Royal, where NMTC mount their productions. I also “walked the lights” for the Really Useful Group before they brought their travelling version of Jesus Christ Superstar to the Royal. Always well hidden by quite a large number of friends from NMTC and a lot of others, primarily men, I dragged in to swell the din. So that’s my onstage career. For NMTC my first show was Call Me Madam, my last was The Producers, a gradual move from standard musicals to more adventurous productions. I retired as Chairman of NMTC in 2009 and, thereafter, managed to get myself elected as a Regional Rep. for Area 5, NODA North which covers Newcastle and the Tyne Valley. I still work front of house for NMTC during their annual show at the Theatre Royal
Rhoda FraserREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District N06 - North Yorkshire)
Rhoda was brought up in a musical family, and taken to see Richmond Operatic Society perform musicals and pantomime as a child. Nearly forty years ago she joined the group, and it has been a huge part of her life ever since.
She started singing in the chorus, and since has played lead and supporting roles. She also worked backstage, in costumes and props, and eventually attended a NODA director’s course, and since has directed two shows, “Toad of Toad Hall” and “Oklahoma”. A third is now in the planning stage.
She loves the old shows such as “The New Moon” and “Gypsy Love” for their romantic tuneful songs, and she is a bit of a Gilbert and Sullivan fan. The favourite role she has played was Mable in “Pirates”. She is now catching up with more modern shows and excited that young people are keen to be involved.
In her twenties she also joined Richmond Amateur Dramatic Society, and took part in about fifteen productions. Her most memorable was ”Somethings Afoot” a spoof murder mystery, which involved a full costume change in two seconds at the top of a staircase on the space of a doormat.
I am passionate about all theatre and the excitement and joy it brings to so many.
Jean Scarlett-CarrREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District N08 - Teesside)
I have been involved in Amateur theatre since 1987 as a performer, backstage crew, stage manager, committee member and sec, and youth leader, involved mainly in musical societies but also plays. As I am currently still involved with several of the groups in our area I am unable to complete those society's reports and so have enlisted the help of my co- partner Jean Dunn to be able to serve those, and we hope together to be available for you. We have not had much experience directly with NODA and am taking this opportunity to learn and broaden our knowledge. I am looking forward to meeting with area members in the near future. I work full time as a metallurgist in the new British Steel company, and have a daughter Holly, who may on occasions attend with me to review shows.
Kathryn CurryREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District N09 - Northumberland and Borders)
Whilst at school I went to see my first 'Musical Theatre' production, it was 'West Side Story'. I was hooked from then on. I have been involved in amateur theatre for 32 years, both performing and directing and loved every minute. I love playing character roles and the latest one being Aunt Eller in Oklahoma....3rd time but this was by far the best at Duns Operatic Society. Travel far and wide to see both amateur and professional theatre. I have made so many new friends in my district so being a NODA rep has been a wonderful experience for me.
Jo-Anne SmithREGIONAL COMMITTEE MEMBER / Assistant Regional Rep (District N08 - Teesside)
Jo trained in dance and musical theatre and has been performing since the age of 6. She has been a member of the Nunthorpe Players since childhood and has also worked with Middlesbrough Amateur Operatic Society, Redcar Operatic Society, Guisborough Theatre Company, North Ormesby Minstrels and Middlesbrough Little Theatre. She has appeared in many musicals, pantomimes, plays, festivals, short films and on radio. Jo particularly enjoys playing challenging roles that you would not expect an actress to play. Her favourite roles include the "Beast" in Beauty and the Beast and "Frankenstein" in Frankenstein the Panto! Jo is Head of Dietetics for a local NHS Trust and is passionate about nutrition and mental health. When she is not performing, she loves to surf at Saltburn-by-the-Sea.
Fred PiggfordAWARDS SECRETARY / Previous Council Member / PAST PRESIDENT / NODA Ltd
Fred's first major involvement with NODA began in about 1992 when, the then Northern Area Councillor, Ian Wells asked him to take over the position of treasurer from the Past Councillor Harry Low. Fred continued in that post until 1999 when Ian became National President and Fred was elected as Councillor. He served as North Regional Councillor and became a member of the NODA Management Committee until 2011 when he was elected as National President. At the completion of his year as President and subsequently IPP he was elected to remain on Council as an Life Member and subsequently elected as Chairman of Trustees in 2015 but reluctantly resigned in 2016. Fred is now on the Board of NODA Ltd as an Independent Director, thus continuing his involvement with NODA.
Emma ScottMagazine Editor
I have been involved in amateur theatre since I was eleven years old, after being brought up watching my Mum on and off stage amongst a theatre group which I now consider family. I’m mainly on the stage myself, and have been lucky enough to play some incredible roles in musicals, pantomimes and plays over the years, but I’ve also worked as stage crew, front of house, and a chaperone for various theatre groups and schools. I’m a current Member’s Representative on my home theatre group’s committee, also undertaking the tasks of creating branding, posters and programmes, designing and running our website, and managing social media. I’m fiercely passionate about amateur dramatics and all that it brings to those involved, and look forward to sharing that through this opportunity with NODA.