Committee - West Midlands
Andy BrownRegional Councillor / Councillor / Volunteer
Having served for five years as Regional Representative for district five I was delighted to become the Regional Councillor for the West Midland in September 2021. This followed our former Councillor Ian G Cox becoming Chairman of NODA.
During the last 35 years, I have worked with several amateur societies within Worcestershire. I have taken part in about 140 productions as well as directed many plays, pantomimes, two musicals and a concert. I am delighted to currently be working with a number of socities within the West Midlands carrying out a range of roles.
It is pleasing to have seen the return to 'normal' and seeing more and more groups starting up again after the years of covid-19 with ever increasing standards in the quality of productions.
Each member of the committee looks forward to sharing the rewards of your hard work within their respective districts or other roles they hold upon the committee.
I along with my wife Melanie hope to be able to visit each society in time and would welcome invites to attend shows or other events you hold.
I look forward to meeting as many people as possible at the next Regional Conference and AGM after the sucess of the event held on 14th May 2023. It was wonderful to be able to celebrate and to be truely inspired by amateur theatre within the West Midlands.
Our 2024 event which will include the Awards for 2023 productions will take place on Sunday 14 April at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall. Further details will be announced soon.
Wendy WinterburnRegional Secretary / Regional Treasurer / Volunteer
When Wendy is not working her day job as a Receptionist at a small firm of Accountants in Hereford she is an active member of the Hereford Gilbert & Sullivan Operatic Society and has been for 20 years. Besides being an active member she has also held the positions of Secretary, Membership Secretary and Treasurer. She is currently Editor of the Society Newsletter.
Wendy was NODA West Midlands Regional Secretary for a few years before also taking on the mantle of Regional Treasurer from Michael Hastilow and has held the positions jointly since.
When Wendy is not working or performing on stage she enjoys dance classes and also her singing lessons.
Michelle CooperRegional Representative / Volunteer (District WM01)
Michelle has been involved in amateur dramatics for over 20 years. She is experienced in all aspects of theatre from backstage right through to performance and has recently taken on the challenge of directing and producing shows.
Her love of theatre came from her grandparents, who were big fans of Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals. Together they would spend their Sunday afternoons watching these timeless classics and musicals became a big part of family life.
When a local group (The Larruperz Light Opera) advertised open auditions for their upcoming production of Oklahoma, Michelle was there like a shot. She was only 14 at the time and although she was too young to play one of the leads, the audition panel were so impressed with her audition that they gave her a solo line in Laurey’s song Out of My Dreams. From then on out Michelle had caught the theatre bug and she hasn’t really been off stage since!
She later joined X-entricity Youth Theatre and then as an adult she joined The Phoenix Theatre Company in Ross On Wye, where she has performed for the last 14 years. She became Publicity Officer for The Phoenix Theatre in 2015 and still holds that role today. She has performed with a number of other local groups including Monmouth Music Society and The Courtyard Theatre, Hereford. She has recently been elected as a Board Member at The Courtyard, where she works with the Youth team.
Michelle has a real passion for the arts and is looking forward to becoming a fully fledged NODA representative for District 1. Long live am-dram!
Robin CooperRegional Representative / Volunteer (District WM02)
Some of you may already know Robin Cooper who, for more than 35 years, has been involved in local amateur theatre in Shropshire. His vast experience has been gained as an actor, singer and dancer onstage but also stage crew, lighting designer, director and set designer behind the scenes. Robin has performed with Telford, Bridgnorth, Donnington, Horsehay and Shrewsbury societies. Robin has taken on nearly every Committee role so has a comprehensive wealth of knowledge and understanding of staging all types of performance. Robin looks forward to working with you all over the next coming months.
Alan BruceRegional Representative / Volunteer (District WM03)
For those of you who don't know Alan, you may recognise his name. Alan has been writing theatre reviews for the Staffordshire Sentinel for over five years now, which in a roundabout way has led to this appointment, filling the void my predecessors created by standing down from the role.
Alan is a singer, songwriter, musician, actor, a cancer survivor, musical/comedy play-write, Staffordshire Sentinel Theatre reviewer.
Alan's theatrical history began with Gordon Alcock's Studio One group in 1983, playing Kenickie in Grease, this lead to a string of shows with the group, including their award-winning drama festivals.
Alan's wife Jan, a dancer and choreographer, also with Studio One, Newcastle Amateur Operatic Society, got the theatre bug into him shortly after meeting her in 1980. They both spent over Twenty-Five years with Stone Little Theatre, performing, writing, the odd bit of directing, choreography.
From Alan's association with Chris Bell at Stone, he began writing theatre reviews for the Sentinel since 2011, as part of a collective of reviewers covering both amateur and professional shows in the Stoke and surrounding areas initially.
Alan has written show scripts and has several in production at the moment. Alan has also penned and acted in a feature-length parody movie of the music business called The FocknRollers, check it out on Youtube.
Alan's main passion since the age of twelve has been performing live with bands. This came to a standstill on being diagnosed with cancer of the tongue in 2004 three weeks before Stone Little Theatre's 1980s review show 'Simply The Best', in the best theatre tradition Alan did the show before starting any treatment.
Alison SmithRegional Representative / Volunteer (District WM04)
Alison has been involved in theatre for 15 years. Currently, Alison is a member of Bedworth Theatre Company, where she took the lead role of “Anne” in “A Tomb with a View” which pushed her to explore new roles.
During Alison's time within the Theatre, she has been involved in working all aspects of backstage. She has Stage-managed for “Bad Girls the Musical” which was hard work but enjoyable.
Alison has also directed 2 “Farndale Avenue” plays and “Tempest-Tossed”. These were complicated productions which used different stage types to help enhance the performance of the play. From producing these plays and the challenges they posed, Alison has learnt many new aspects of theatre that she will be using in an upcoming production of Farndale Avenue play which promises to be the most challenging yet.
As a NODA rep Alison attends various shows, meets with a wide variety of people and sees a range of diverse theatre productions, which have only increased her personal skill level as well as the appreciation for all the skills displaced within a theatrical performance.
Chris DaviesRegional Representative (District WM05 )
Chris Davies has been involved with amateur dramatics for going on thirty years, for most of that time with Alvechurch Dramatic Society. He has performed in all sorts of roles, from Boxer the horse in Animal Farm, through Jack Worthing in The Importance of Being Earnest and Miss Kitty in The Good the Bad and the Panto, to - most recently - Sherlock Holmes. He's even tried a bit of singing on stage, but perhaps it's best if we don't dwell on that! As well as acting, he has directed numerous plays, and also ticked most of the backstage and front of house boxes. He has co-written several plays, murder mysteries, and an (in)famous series of pantomimes, all of which have been performed by his Society. Alongside the amdram stuff, he also finds time for a bit of morris dancing and storytelling!
Joyce EyreRegional Representative / Volunteer (District WM06)
Joyce has been actively involved in amateur dramatics for over 25 years and has done everything, from backstage right through to performing and out of the other side culminating in directing for the last 10 years.
In the past Joyce was elected chairman and still now serve on the committee that said she has been told her strengths lie primarily in the organisation, ideas and development of cast members and she feel much happier partaking in the production process. Joyce also enjoys being a wardrobe mistress and doing hair.
Where productions are concerned Joyce love most musical theatre, you can't beat a good play especially a comedy!
Ann EscrittRegional Representative / Awards Secretary / Volunteer (District WM07)
Ann was brought up by parents who had an active, lifelong involvement with musical theatre in Wolverhampton. She trained as a dancer from the age of three when she first experienced performing on the stage. At school Ann took roles including Hermia in Midsummer Night’s Dream and Elizabeth Procter in The Crucible. At university she directed students in The Pirates of Penzance.
After qualifying as a Drama teacher in 1978 from Birmingham University, she returned to Wolverhampton and joined Wton Musical Comedy Company as a dancer. She has been greatly involved in amateur theatre ever since.
For a period of over 40 years Ann has taken lead roles in both musicals and plays. Her greatest achievements include the role of Ado Annie in Oklahoma, Maxine in Stepping Out and Pearl in Ladies Down Under ;and directing Blithe Spirit. In recent years, as a member of Codsall Dramatic Society, where she is a member of the committee, Ann has directed several plays.
Ann retired as an Assistant Headteacher in 2016 though still works part time in an advisory capacity in different schools in Staffordshire.
Ann has three children, six grandchildren and a husband, Pete. Spare time is spent walking in the countryside where she lives, listening to show music through earpods!
Ian ThompsonRegional Representative / Volunteer (District WM08)
Ian is currently Chairman of Oldbury Rep and has a long background in amateur theatre which began performing in school plays and musicals which has led to a lifelong passion for live entertainment and has afforded me tremendous enjoyment for over 50 years. I have appeared in over 70 musicals, plays and pantomimes with 12 different societies including playing Bud Flanagan in ‘Underneath the Arches’ (twice), Captain Mainwaring in ‘Dad’s Army’ and 9 Pantomime Dames; directing over 50 productions with 9 companies – ranging from the Midland premieres of Acorn Antiques -The Musical and the 8 ½ hour, two part adaptation of Dickens’ ‘The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby’ plus an outdoor production of ‘West Side Story’! I am also an experienced Stage Manager and have written several pantomimes.
I have served as Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary, Drama Director, Business Manager and Operations Director with various organisations.
Leisure time is mainly taken up by appreciating the many inspiring productions across the wider region and around the country and abroad. I look forward to meeting friends old and new across District 8.
Paul DouglassRegional Representative / Membership Secretary / Volunteer (District WM09)
Paul has been a member of the NODA West Regional Committee for over 11 years and is currently the regional representative for district 9 and also the West Midlands Regional membership secretar (Paul blames Jean Beard, and John Richards for getting him started in this). With three of his colleagues, he helped to organise the NODA West Midlands Regional Conference in 2016 had the pleasure in co-arranging the NODA National conference at the NEC Birmingham.
Paul became involved with amateur theatre over 25 years ago when he was invited to look after the props for a production of ‘My Fair Lady’ and has remained with the company for 21 years in the capacity of secretary and treasurer.
Four years ago Paul became Business Manager for Birmingham Youth Theatre, and he's also a director of the limited company. Birmingham Youth Theatre is just one big happy family, and he's so lucky to be involved with so many talented under 18’s.
Outside of NODA in Pauls spare time (What spare time), He enjoys to travelling (being a travel agent does help) and watching his favourite television programme – ‘Dr Who’.
Bruce WyattRegional Representative / Volunteer (District WM10)
Bruce was delighted to have been invited to succeed Trevor Guest as NODA Representative in 2016 and honoured to continue the long connection with NODA that his Society WODS has had over many years.
Bruce retired from WODS main committee in April 2016 after 40 years’ service, including 9 years as Treasurer, during which period the Society purchased it's own premises and most recently 11 years as Secretary.
Bruce is very proud to have served as President of WODS, and he is now a Life Member. Bruce still performs, occasionally on stage (if the age of the role permits!).
Bruce and his wife Jenny have been thrilled to receive invitations and meet with local societies are look forward to many more opportunities to support the societies in District 10.
John NichollsRegional Representative / Volunteer (District WM11)
I am a founder member of Cannock Wood and Gentleshaw Musical Society (CWAGMS), starting out as Musical Director back in 1977. I moved onto stage performing many leading roles with the society whilst still advising on anything musical.
As a teacher, I have also tried my hand at producing shows within the schools I have worked in. I also play in the orchestra for other societies in the district from time to time.
More recently I have moved back into the Pit with CWAGMS, directing the music and conducting the orchestra for productions.
Ann PollardAssistant Regional Rep / Volunteer (District WM08)
I have been a member of Brierley Hill Musical Theatre Company for the last 35 years.
Been a member of the Committee for 15 years and being Vice-Chair and then Chair., resigning from the role of Chair 2 years ago. I have attended District 8 meetings on behalf of the company where we have had numerous items for discussion and how useful it is to have varied opinions.
Taken on several roles within the company, Front of House and Cashier (which I am still doing).
Taken part in several productions over the years a couple of memorable ones being Camelot, Some Like it Hot and Scrooge. Also numerous concerts and one pantomime. Have also helped back stage in the past mainly with pantomimes.
Theatre is ideal for members of all ages to gather socially and to enjoy their love of the stage and all its areas, there is something for everyone whatever their talents.
Brian HirstAssistant Regional Rep / Volunteer (District WM11)
Brian has been involved with amateur theatre for over 50 years. Throughout Brians experience within the amateur theatre, he has been in many roles whether these be as a chorus member or a principle. Brian has also had the pleasure of being the President, Chairman and Secretary of his own society. He also has been the musical director and guest conductor for several shows over this time. Brian looks forward to you welcoming him at your next production.
Carl CookYouth Coordinator / Volunteer
I have been involved in Youth theatre throughout my adult life, having wanted to give the next generation the same life changing experience that greeted a shy young lad at Cradley Heath Youth in 1990.
Not only have I seen my own kids progress through the Amateur Theatrical system, I have been a registered professional chaperone looking after young people on national tours. I am a musician, playing bass guitar, guitar and vocals to various bands and artists and I am Chairman of Quarry Bank Musical Theatre Society/QBMTS Youth being fortunate to have been involved in all areas of the theatre performing, producing, directing, and working on crews and technical teams.