South West - Committee
Graham LivertonRegional Councillor / COUNCILLOR
Born in Sidmouth, Devonshire, and proud of it, Graham became interested in drama and performance while at school from singing in choirs to acting. "Let's make an Opera" by Benjamin Britten was his first show, taking the part of The Little Sweep aged 11!
Graham began his working life as a trainee chef and worked in London for a while but changed to the largely 9 to 5 life in the retail busiess. This gave him time to pursue his hobby of treading the boards - acting and singing in many musicals, plays and pantomimes (usually the Dame role) and directing on the odd occasion (including producing a potted panto at his chulrch with a completely untried cast!)
Tony PomeroyREGIONAL TREASURER
Tony first performed for Bridgwater AOS in their production of Brigadoon in April 1965. He then took a back seat for a few years as marriage to Sue, and a young family, intervened. He was plucked from the back row of the chorus to act as MD for Oklahoma in 1975 and from then until his retirement in May 2017 was more often to be seen 'in the pit' than on the stage. He has undertaken many committee roles for the Society - he is currently secretary - and has also been active in the design and construction of 'the set' for many shows.
Outside the operatic field, Tony was a music teacher in Bridgwater for 35 years, where he introduced countless young teenagers into the joys of performing in the musical theatre, before retiring. A couple of years later he could not resist returning to the profession - teaching maths at a public school for a further six years. He also spent many years working as a freelance rugby journalist and latterly, has returned to another part-time post as a Church Organist.
On the sports field, Tony has refereed rugby football and played cricket - both to a high level, and is still playing and umpiring cricket - albeit at a much lower level! He is also a very active playing member and treasurer of the Senior Section at his local golf club. He is very proud to be a Life Member of the Somerset Rugby Referees Society, Bridgwater & Albion RFC and Bridgwater Operatic Society, commemorating his service to those organisations.
In his spare time, he enjoys watching his grandchildren's sporting activities, working as Sue's 'under-gardener' and acting as Sue's chauffer for her role as District Rep, as well as relaxing - and playing golf - in warmer climes during foreign holidays.
Oriel BennettREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District SW01)
Oriel has spent over 35 years as a professional fitness trainer, giving classes in different exercise disciplines and training teachers to do the same. This started after a successful recording and cabaret career touring nationally and internationally with Rivendell, the winners of their season of Opportunity Knocks. AmDram roles have included the eponymous Jean Brodie, and leads in The Lion In Winter, Dangerous Liaisons and The Ladykillers, to name but a few, and backstage work as Stage Manager, and on props and costume before moving to directing, with Stepping Out and the more recent The Vicar of Dibley as highlights. For 10 years she was an adjudicator for the Calor Gas Pantomime Competition and has for the last ten years attended the NODA Summer School, taking courses on acting, directing, comedy and make up and would recommend the annual week of indulgence in all things luvvie to all those aspiring to develop their talents.
Kathy WestREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District SW02)
I have been a Rep for about 5 years, I think (I've lost count!) My district covers the eastern half of Cornwall, from the Devon border down to the Truro area. I have a lot of Pantomime groups in my area, so January and February are my busiest months as far as NODA is concerned.
I live in a small hamlet near Wadebridge, Cornwall, with my partner Malcolm, a dog, 2 rabbits, 3 ducks and 4 hens. I enjoy gardening, particularly growing vegetables, plus making jams and chutneys with the garden produce.
I have been involved with amateur theatre since childhood. I have danced, sung, acted, and directed (musicals and plays), although these days I am more often found directing than performing.
I have played many lovely roles over the years. My favourite role was probably Charity in Sweet Charity. My favourite musicals are Guys and Dolls and West Side Story, and my favourite play is usually the one I am directing at any time!
Every year I attend Noda Summer School to further my skills. I cannot speak highly enough about this amazing event – a real jewel in Noda’s crown.
My ‘day’ job is running Stage Presence, a mail order/internet retail business, providing cards and gifts to people involved in amateur theatre, music and dance – a business which was inspired by my love for all things theatrical! I am also a certified laughter yoga leader.
Gareth DaviesREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District SW03)
Gareth’s own credits include a range of roles encompassing Don Giovanni, Alexander Molokov, Tonio, Dulcamara, The Lord Chancellor, Benoit/Alcindoro, Doctor Grenvil, The Learned Judge, Captain Corcoran, Major-General Stanley, Sergeant of Police, Professor Henry Higgins, Don Alhambra, Creon, Oberon, Sergeant Meryll, and over the last year the Earl of Mountararat (Iolanthe), Caiaphas (Jesus Christ Superstar) and Colonel Calverley (Patience). He sang for British Youth Opera at Covent Garden and appeared in many seasons with the National G&S Opera Company. His work as a director has included ‘The Yeomen of the Guard’, Verdi’s ‘Macbeth’, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, ‘Orpheus in the Underworld’, ‘The Bartered Bride’, ‘Mack & Mabel’, ‘Othello’ and ‘Richard III’. Gareth read English Literature and Theatre Studies at the University of Warwick and he currently teaches Drama and English at a college in South Devon. Stage work this year includes singing the title role in ‘The Mikado’, Malcolm (Macbeth) and Colonel Pickering (My Fair Lady) for Sterts Theatre Company and the Duke of Plaza-Toro (The Gondoliers) in Exeter. Beyond the stage and teaching, Gareth is Chairman of PGS Productions, Plymouth G&S Fellowship and a very proud father of two beautiful daughters!
Iain DouglasREGIONAL SECRETARY / REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District SW04)
Joyce PomeroyREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District SW05)
For many years I have been involved with plays and musicals, whether on stage, backstage, painting scenery, front of house or in the audience. This has happily consumed much of my spare time. I also enjoy singing with a choral society.
I am now retired, having run a shop for some years selling many things to do with music, theatre and dance. I met so many interesting people, but I would struggle to find time to work now !
Each year I attend the fabulous Noda Summer School. A wonderful experience that I recommend to anyone who loves theatre. The quality of the tutors, the friendship and support of fellow students, cannot be over stated. I am very happy to share my experience of Summer School, so please do ask me.
I am delighted to be the Regional Representative for District 5 and look forward to visiting your productions and meeting yet more people for whom being involved with theatre is their passion.
Patricia BarclayREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District SW06)
Dianne ffitchREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District SW07)
I freely admit to being a bit of a theatrical glutton for punishment! I first appeared on stage at the tender age of 5 as a Fairy in Jack and the Beanstalk. And no, I have no idea how they wrote that in! That was 50 years ago, and todate, I have been involved with over 80 productions, variously on stage or backstage, directing 31 of these.
Training as a dancer, and ultimately becoming a Dance Lecturer and Theatre Manager at UCS, I have worked on both the amateur and professional stage. I am currently Secretary of Tavonians Theatre Company and a member of Courtenay Players in Okehampton. To pay the bills, my husband and I run a small B&B.
Jo Wilson-HuntREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District SW08A)
Jo studied at Croydon College of Arts & Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance (BA Hons Theatre Studies). She has worked as a Costumer, Production Manager, Director, Performer, as well as Choreographer for both professional and amateur theatre. After a time in Manchester working for SB Watts Costumers and a spell in wardrobes of the West End (The Really Useful Group, Croydon Dance Theatre) she returned to the South West. While running Taunton Are You Peoples Theatre she worked on a number of youth theatre projects with the National Theatre and RSC. She now teaches Performing Arts at Bridgwater and Taunton College, is Director of the McMillan Youth Theatre and dance teacher at Willow Tree Dance and Theatre Arts.
Leigh ConleyREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE / YOUTH ADVISER (District SW08)
Hi my name is Leigh, I am a Noda rep for SW District 8. I have now been a rep for, just over, one year and it is one of the best things I have done. I really enjoy it, as it gives me the opportunity to see shows; visit venues and meet people that I wouldn’t normally.
I have been involved in amateur dramatics for 15 years and have been lucky to star in some great shows. My favourite roles have been as Herod in JCS and Francis in One Man, Two Guvnors. I am also very proud to have won a Noda Award for Best Comedy Production, when I directed Cash on Delivery in 2015. As I write this, I am one day away from opening night on my next directorial effort, Monty Python's Spamalot. We still need to work on lines; songs; dances and set but I'm sure we will be ok!!!!!
Sue PomeroyREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District SW09)
Delia LeeREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District SW10)
I started dancing at the age of 3 and have been involved in Theatre ever since. I am a qualified dancing teacher, specialising in tap, and trained at the Arts Educational Schools in London, completing the 3 year musical theatre course. I have belonged to several amateur groups in the south west and have been in many, many shows over the years, from plays to opera, as a dancer, singer and principal.
At the end of the 90s I moved behind the scenes and became the choreographer for a youth group and a Gilbert and Sullivan society, both of which I love.
I work for a local firm of solicitors, am married to Nick (who I met on stage) and have two sons who like Maths and Science and not Musicals!
Sylvia CoatesREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District SW11)
Sylvia loves being NODA Rep for West Dorset and has seen some amazing shows in the past year.
Sylvia loves to have a show on the boil (and loves Directing and DSM roles in particular) and is happy to get involved in any production, so if you need a hand, please get in touch.
Sylvia has been lucky enough to work at Chichester Festival Theatre, with the brilliant Dale Rooks and Andy Brereton and was DSM on Roger Redfarn's 'Barchester Chronicles' at the turn of the century! She can also turn her hand to props-making.
Sylvia's theatrical interests particularly revolve around the roots of theatre: Pantomime; Shakespeare; Classics and Comedy. She has taught LAMDA Acting courses to all ages and offers voice-coaching and text-work.
Sylvia is a particular fan of NODA Summer School, where she has found professional tuition, lots of fun, hard work and great friendships.
Brian OliverREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District SW12)
In 1979 Brian was persuaded join Rotherham Teachers Operatic Society, and found that it was a good way to work up a thirst and meet lovely girls at the same time. Over the past 30 odd years he has taken part in well over 100 productions. Musicals, Operettas, Plays, Pantomimes, Variety shows, Concerts and one Grand Opera. He has also been involved in many other productions as Treasurer, Stage Manager, Stage Crew, Wardrobe, and Front of house.
He became NODA regional rep for Bournemouth & the New Forest in 2001 which was then part of the Southern Area. With the boundary changes of 2006 he became part of the NODA South West Region committee as rep for Region 12 East Dorset
With a fine tenor voice he has played leading men, comedy roles, baddies, dames and he has even had to appear naked on stage.
Favourite roles include, Georges- La Cage Aux Folles, Cpl Len Bonny - Privates on Parade, The Pirate King- Pirates of Penzance. Francois Villon – The Vagabond King, Price Hargreaves – Big Bad Mouse - The King in The King And I, Isador Strauss – Titanic and John Rutherford – Rutherford and Son.
Both he and his wife Sarah, an award winning director, are long term members of Christchurch G&S Society.
Tony WinstoneREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District SW13)
Dee WayREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District SW14)
My mother would say I have acted all my life, but I admit to having acted on stage for well over 50 years, starting in secondary school and moving to amateur groups everywhere I have lived. As a child, I took dancing lessons for several years, eventually auditioning at the Royal School of Ballet and learning tap as an adult, so I love to see good dancing. I also have a deep interest in singing as I trained as a singer and ran a singing group for 15 years.
I have had several jobs, including being a shop assistant, a secretary, a PA to two professors, an editorial assistant for an academic journal, a research administrator and a lecturer in Psychology. I like the academic setting, so I took my BSc and PhD in Psychology while working.
Now that I am retired, I am busy volunteering in three roles: as well as my NODA role, I am volunteer at the Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon, and I running a café there once a month for people with Parkinson’s Disease and their carers.
My other active interest is in gardening, as I love growing food!
Frankie TelfordREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE / AWARDS SECRETARY (District SW15)
After training as a Primary School Teacher, with Drama as my main subject, studying all aspects of Theatre, I directed school productions, but did not become involved with ‘grown up’ Theatre until my local Society discovered that my husband, Andrew, had an excellent tenor voice. I have been a member of my Society for over 35 years, I began helping with costumes, put in a few brief appearances on stage, and then turned to directing. I have served on Committee for many years, with two stints as Chairman; as Andrew was Treasurer for 25 years I have a good understanding of many of the problems facing Societies.
I have represented SW District 15 for eight years and SW Long Service Awards Secretary for 5 years. I am interested in bringing live performance to as many people as possible. I continue to enjoy meeting new people on my visits.
Stuart DarkREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District SW16)
Janet ElworthyREGIONAL COMMITTEE MEMBER
Sarah L HallWEBSITE EDITOR
Sarah has been a volunteer webmaster for NODA Theatre Summer School for several years and is now helping with this within the South West Region.
Sarah is occasionally found on-stage with Redruth Amateur Operatic Society Trust, but more often than not hides away in blacks.
Matthew HeatonWEBSITE EDITOR
Nick LawrenceMEMBERSHIP SECRETARY / COUNCILLOR / PRESIDENT / Previous Council Member
Nick started working for NODA in1987 when he took over from Harold Masding. He served as a Regional Representative covering Siuth Devon from Brixham to Tiverton. When he gave up as a Rep Mary Hobbs talked him into being Regional Editor. He produced magazines until they were moved entirely online when Gerry Branton persuaded him to become Membership Secretary. When Gerry was elevated to the Presidency Nick became Councillor travelling all over the South West in support of amateur theatre. Currently he is serving as National President but continues to be our Membership Secretary
Stuart LyddonWEBSITE EDITOR