Welcome Welcome to the Co-operative Theatre for another night of radio mystery. We hope you enjoy the performance. If you wish to be kept up to date with happenings at the Wheatsheaf then please speak to a member of staff and ask to be put on our mailing list. For the safety and enjoyment of yourself and others while you are in the theatre, we kindly ask that you abide by a few simple rules.
Wheatsheaf Players Committee Secretary
Artistic Director Technical Director Front Of House Manager Publicity Manager Member Relations Manager Bar Manager
Heather Evans Stephen Hocking Joanne Crawley Roni Tillman Ruth Carver-Smith Chris Evans
Director’s Cut A view from director Heather Evans The ‘Medium-wave Murders’ have come about mainly due to my husband. Chris (bar manager extraordinaire here at the Wheatsheaf) is an avid fan of 1950s radio plays, listening to them in the car on his way to work. He suggested we put some together for an evenings entertainment, and given the success of ‘The Holmes Service’ a couple of years ago, it seemed like a good plan. The four plays we have chosen are all quite different, but are linked with a common theme – ‘Suspense’. They have been fun to perform too. Some of the actors play several parts in a single play, so they are all trying different voices and accents – this has led to quite a few fits of the giggles during rehearsals! Visually it has been quite amusing too. Radio is one area where the person doesn’t have to look right to play the part. I am not saying anyone in the cast has a face fit for radio, but we have enjoyed mixing some of the parts round for visual effect! The Foley (sound effects) for the plays are pretty demanding too. Jo and Steve have devised and built several contraptions to achieve the required noises and effects as well as utilising many of our usual props and Jo has had great fun working them all. We really hope you enjoy this production. It is a little different to the norm for the theatre but hopefully you will enjoy it all the more for that! Heather
Cast Profile Alan Wales – plays Cecil Davidson-Smythe Alan has been a member of the Wheatsheaf for many years. He has performed in and directed all sorts of plays over the years, and done quite a few professional roles too – including appearances on ‘The Bill’ and ‘Casualty’. His vocal talents are amazing and he brings such energy to every performance. Also a fan of radio plays; he has taken his roles in tonight’s show very seriously even that of the cat…
Joanne Crawley – plays Ellie Evans Jo reprises her role from ‘The Holmes Service’ when she also played the Foley artist. Not only is she playing the part, Jo has had fun devising and creating the equipment required for making the many sound effects within the plays. We have had some amusing moments during rehearsals when, before the all the equipment had been assembled, with Jo shouting the odd ‘thud’, ‘bang’ and ‘crash’ for the sounds of thunder. Hopefully she has got all the effects now…
Nicolas James – plays David Johnson Nic has enjoyed taking part in the radio plays, his natural vocal talent has helped with the many roles he is playing during the course of the evening. However, It is a bit of a departure for Nic, who usually performs (or directs) very serious plays. In particular, he helped to bring both ‘Two’ and ‘Tape’ to the Wheatsheaf, and we are hoping that he will be doing something similar early next year – watch this space!
Cast Profile Dai Rees – plays Gwynffor Jones Dai is a very busy chap! He spends a lot of time over the summer months in particular re-enacting fights and scenes from history at Castles and other venues around the UK and beyond. This is all well and good until we need him to play a part and find him unavailable! Luckily, he was able to fit the ‘Medium wave Murders’ into his busy schedule, and the Black Prince’s beard looks perfect for his character tonight! Darren Bradshaw – plays Will Perry This is Darren’s first performance on stage, although many of you will know him as a Wheatsheaf regular as he is often behind the bar. Daz started coming along to see how the rehearsal process went when we were rehearsing Blithe Spirit and decided he would like a go. We hope that he will enjoy the experience and will be prepared to get on stage again in the near future. Roni Tillman – plays Daisy Peters Roni is enjoying taking part in ‘Medium-wave Murders’ although she has admitted that she finds some of the accents a challenge! She was somewhat relieved after listening to some of the original productions of these plays and has stated ‘our versions are better’. Let’s hope you agree!
Heather Evans – plays Alice Watkins Heather is in her element with the radio plays as she just loves doing accents! She is also thrilled to be back on stage as, although she is enjoying her directing role, for her, being in the limelight is what it is all about.
Programme Medium-Wave Murder Directed by Heather Evans Act 1 Strange Bonfire On A country road
Interval Act 2 Black Cat Sorry, Wrong Number
Programme Cast Alice Watkins
Daisy Peters Gwynffor Jones William Perry Cecil Davidson-Smythe David Johnson
Roni Tillman Dai Rees Darren Bradshaw Alan Wales Nicolas James
Crew Lighting Operation Sound Operation Stage Manager Set Construction Graphic Design
Lewis Sykes Richard Taylor Ethan Flynn Wheatsheaf Wednesday Chris Evans
On the Radio The Foley Artist Foley artists are so called after Jack Foley, one of the first practitioners of the art. A Foley artist adds sounds effects such as footsteps and environmental sounds to radio plays, films, television programmes and, nowadays, video games. Sound effects were used for two distinct purposes; moving the story along or setting a mood. The original Foley artists had no training â€“ they used whatever they could find to make their sound-effects, sometimes to great effect, others times not so convincingly. Even in the early days recorded sounds were used as well as manually produced ones. No matter how talented the Foley artist, it is often easier (and takes up less room) to play a tape of wind than to have a wind machine in the corner of the studio. Having said that, many good soundmen used their voices to imitate cats, dogs, horses and so forth. Footsteps would be produced by the artist walking on different surfaces, banging a piece of wood could be a gunshot and miniature doors would be opened, closed and locked. Small changes to a standard sound can make a huge difference to a setting. The sounds of crockery and the chink of glasses could create a dining room, but the addition of chamber music leads the listener into a posh restaurant, where a jukebox would suggest a bar or cafĂŠ. Simply produced sounds would be preferred to using recorded sounds as there was more control that way â€“ it is easier to knock hesitantly than to slow down a tape or record. Other easily produced sounds include: twisting cellophane (crackling fire) blowing through a straw into water (boiling water) rubbing strips of metal together (skating on ice) pulling a wet cork from any bottle and pricking a balloon (opening champagne) squeezing folded sandpaper (breaking eggs) rattling used flash bulbs in a can of water (cocktail shaker) shaking length of inner tube, cut in inch-wide strips (wet dog shaking himself) pulling a large can or bucket from tub of water (body falling into water) twisting knob of combination padlock (Geiger counter or dial of safe) plunging knife into cabbage or melon (body being stabbed) dropping metal washers (sound of coins) scratching rough paper with unbent paper clip (writing with pen)
On the Radio The Foley Artist (continued) In the early days there were very few women Foley artists, but that does not mean that many women were not included in publicity pictures of sound effects personnel in action. These photos were "staged" by posing attractive secretaries and production assistants with assorted sound equipment, together with the actual sound men. This was often because a publicity shot of a pretty girl waving a sword around is more visually appealing than an aging actor speaking into a microphone!
Happy Birthday to you... The Wheatsheaf Players are celebrating their 80th Anniversary year and 30 years in the Co-operative theatre. To mark this momentous occasion we held a party for our members, past and present, on Saturday 4th September. It was a wonderful night. There was entertainment - a spoof play based on so many of the murder mysteries performed here over the years, as well as a look back at the history of the people and the place and a musical montage from our plays. It was a time to rekindle old friendships and make some new ones as theatre people from at least the past 40 years got together to reminisce about the Wheatsheaf and the many friends they have made here. It was also Fred Walton's 80 birthday - and we helped him to celebrate in style! The displays on the walls of the auditorium show just some of the work we have done over the years. We are still working on collating a full list of productions that The Wheatsheaf Players have done since their start in 1930, if you have any information on any plays from the 1980s or before then please let us know. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the theatre over the years - from watching plays to being centre stage. Every role is an important one and helps to make The Wheatsheaf a wonderful group to be part of.
The Godiva Awards Autumn is almost upon us and the Coventry and Warwickshire Godiva award voting is almost complete. Coventry and Warwickshire, a star studded region with shining examples of inspirational businesses demonstrating creativity, flair, ingenuity, endeavour, passion and commitment. The Godiva Awards is the leading business and lifestyle event in the Midlands, created to showcase, highlight and celebrate the regions' finest businesses. Now in its 7th year the prestigious awards will be held at the stunning Ricoh Arena where the crème de la crème will descend to compete for an esteemed Godiva Award. The Wheatsheaf Players are previous winners of the Godiva Award for Best Theatre and have been highly commended on 3 other occasions. This year each vote you cast also enters you into a prize draw for £1000, so please vote for us every day by visiting www.godivaawards.com and look out for features on the awards in the local press.
Coming Soon September is the start of a new year at the Wheatsheaf and our summer of planning is now over. We have an autumn and winter of treats lined up for you starting with a new venture for us - Wheatsheaf Weekenders. The Weekenders are four concerts held over the first two weekends in October. There will be a wide range of music on offer so we hope you can find one or two that you like. Following on from that, in November, will be ‘A Twist in the Tale’, two one act plays from our youth theatre, The Wheatsheaf Crew. Our usual Christmas Extravaganza will be here in December bringing you songs, poems and sketches all designed to get you in the festive spirit To end our winter season, and to help cure the January blues, we have our family pantomime. To be kept up to date on all these events please join our mailing list or look on our website www.wheatsheafplayers.com