I’m a founding member of ACT and am proud of what we have achieved over the past 30 years. Over 100 plays have been performed ranging from drama to comedy, pantomimes to thrillers. I enjoy all aspects of the activities of the group from stage management to directing plays, from making the tea to acting on stage. There is such a strong commitment and friendliness amongst so many members.
For some reason I’m often cast as the villain, (I can’t think why!), but my favourite roles have been as the Inspector in An Inspector Calls, as the director of The Importance of Being Earnest, and as an Inspector again in Busybody.
I like to think that we put on as professional a production as possible from the moment the patrons arrive.
I was at the inaugural meeting in 1983 when Derek proposed forming a drama group at Abbey Road. We hoped that it would be a way of raising funds for the proposed moving of the Baptist church into a new housing area – as well as giving pleasure to the group and the audiences. It was my daughter Anita Hale who was actually interested in acting and I went to support, with no intention of acting! Anita was in the first play and it was only when I watched her on stage that I thought that I wouldn’t mind having a go. I was in the second play Suddenly at Home and have been involved ever since.
I am a retired primary school teacher. My favourite acting role was in Busybody – a comedy thriller by Jack Popplewell. Otherwise I have taken part in a variety of performances, including our 2013 panto Cinderella in which I played the fairy godmother.
I joined ACT in 2014 because I decided that I would like to become a professional actor and I wanted to gain experience. Since then I have been in several plays as well as doing stage management. My favourite play so far is the panto Sleeping Badly which was written and directed by the talented Ellie Baldwin. I played the Mad Hatter in a Scottish accent, which I particularly enjoyed! I also liked playing Leslie Boothroyd, partly because it was my first ever role but also because of the humour involved and the accent again (Yorkshire this time). I love performing in different accents! I’m currently trying voice-over work to build more experience (and also make a bit of money!)
ACT is great to be part of because even though we work hard, we have a good laugh and everyone is really laid back. My dream role would be to play the phantom in The Phantom of the Opera. It’s my favourite musical and I already know the songs almost by heart. Not sure if my singing voice would be up to the task though!
I graduated in 2014 from the University of Greenwich with a 1st class honours in BA (Hons) Drama. When I moved back home to Northampton my grandma, Dee Hale (who has been in ACT for many years), asked if I would be interested in acting in a play called Midnight Raiders with them. Of course I was interested! We performed it in 2015 and I thoroughly enjoyed my first role with ACT.
Since then I have taken on the role of writer and director for the 2015 Pantomime. ACT is a friendly and encouraging environment. I don’t know of any other theatre company that would enable and encourage young writer/directors as much as ACT has done with me.
I joined in September 2015 because I was interested in doing something creative in my spare time. Although I had never acted before, I had worked on other projects that involved public speaking which I enjoyed. I signed-up to the group on the premise of looking after the website and then perhaps slowly exploring the performance aspect. That plan was foiled when I somehow immediately found myself rehearsing for the Christmas panto that same year! I thoroughly enjoyed it and wanted more!
The group is very friendly and I would recommend it to anyone. I feel very lucky to be having so much fun with such talented people! My favourite role so far is Quentin Danesworth in Prepare to Meet Thy Tomb. He was such a fun character to play because there was a lot of freedom in how he moved. I love the process of taking a collection of words on a page and building a character in to flesh and blood – and for poor old Quentin there was certainly a lot of blood!
I had wanted to give acting a try for years before I was introduced to ACT in 1997 by my then girlfriend. What I enjoy most about acting is when you are on stage and the audience is really enjoying the performance. There is a real electricity and it’s a great feeling to be part of it. My favourite play is probably The Unexpected Guest when I played an anti-hero – a challenging but very rewarding role. I have directed several plays – the most recent being Murder, Mystery & Suspenders in 2014.
As for other hobbies I am heavily involved with Northants County Cricket Supporters Club. I also like watching rugby, country walking, playing tennis (badly), visiting historic sites, reading and real ale! If I could choose I role to play it would definitely be Captain Hook in Peter Pan – licence to overact! The favourite play that I’ve seen is probably Charlie’s Aunt – I would love ACT to perform this old favourite!
I started as a member of ACT back in 1998 in a play called Madam Tic-Tac. There’s a good mixture within the group and we all get along no matter what age, sex or religion. Although part of the Baptist Church this is never part of the group activities. I work as a National Sales Manager for a Pharmaceutical company and I find that the acting helps as a good release from my working life, although some would say that all sales people are actors!
Since joining the group I have been in 30 productions and also helped out as Stage Manager on a further ten. We started doing Pantomimes back in 2007 and due to the time, effort and commitment by all involved we only do a pantomime every other year and so far I have always played the part of the Dame. I thoroughly enjoy this type of role because you can get away with so much onstage!
Outside of ACT I enjoy gardening, travelling and being a Grandfather!
I joined ACT in 2009 and from the first meeting everyone was so friendly and welcoming. Not one rehearsal or meeting goes by without laughter and fun. I love the buzz I get from being on stage even if learning the lines can be challenging! Acting in comedies can be very entertaining and allow you to be hilarious, over the top characters. However, by far my favourites have been the pantomimes. In past pantos I’ve been principal girl, a boy and a witch twice (hopefully not typecast!) Belonging to a group based out of the Abbey Centre has also given me access to other organisations such as The Gala Group and led to me also joining the singing group Musicality.
I joined the group in 1987 because I wanted to do some acting and some more socialising. What I like about ACT is being part of a friendly group and also learning my lines – which doesn’t take me long! I have been in more than 20 plays during my time here and my favourite was Vacuues. That is when I played my favourite character – Alan A’Dale.
Other than acting, I can be seen working Front of House and I also enjoy watching crickets, rugby and playing indoor bowls. If I could play any role it would be something in Hobson’s Choice. My favourite all-time play that I have seen is Panto at the OK Corral!
My first role was challenging and quite an eye opener as I had no previous experience, as a prompt in Prepare To Meet Thy Tomb.
The members are friendly, quirky, charismatic individuals who are most supportive. They made me feel at ease and I’ve learned a lot from them. My first acting role with the group was the part of Miss Simmins in the production of Dying To Meet You. It’s an exhilarating experience and a great way to spend an evening or two with like-minded people.
In my other spare time I squeeze in as much singing (rock choir), and dancing (salsa and tango) as possible!
I came to ACT in 2006 after being asked along to a play reading by Bill. I thought it was a one off but at the end of the evening I had a part in the play and I am still here. I was amazed at how friendly and welcoming everybody was. I have been involved in amateur dramatics, both on and off stage but primarily in singing, since I was nineteen years old. I have a keen interest in costume and costume design and usually make or source them for our pantomimes and costume dramas. Recently, I co-directed the Autumn 2016 play Dying to Meet You and I am a member of the committee, currently the secretary.
I got into performing during my time at school and took it further by taking part in pantomimes over a course of 4 years. Since moving to Northampton I had taken a break but really wanted to start getting involved again as it always has been not only a passion but an enjoyment as well to my life. My partner found ACT online and I was very interested in the company so decided to check it out. With it being very local and how friendly and welcoming everybody was, there was no doubt this was the place I wanted to be. I feel very privileged and excited now to be getting back involved in something I have loved since I was young.
Deciding to reignite my passion for theatre and acting, I found ACT was the one for me. I quickly became settled and was welcomed with open arms in my first session and was given a part in the current show at the time (easy as my character is called Jack too!) I have been acting since I was very young and have loved it since my school play days. I studied Drama whilst doing theatre as a hobby on the side throughout school. At University, I quickly got involved in the theatre society and enjoyed every moment.
My favourite roles throughout my years have been Gaston in Beauty and The Beast and more recently in my final year of university directing The Great Gatsby, in which I also played the villainous role of Tom Buchanan. One of my other loves throughout my time has been doing voice acting, working with many companies and theatres to perform many different voices, my favourites being Gollum and Sméagol from The Lord of The Rings and Kermit the Frog.
At the start of 2020 I decided to do something that I have been wanting to do for some time – get back into performing! Having recently moved near the area, ACT was the perfect group for me to join.
I come from a creative background, having studied theatre and drama throughout college and taking part in my university’s drama society. I have performed in many musicals and Shakespeare plays (which I love!), both acting wise as well as costume, set design and writing.
I am excited to take part in ACT’s upcoming pantomimes with all the fabulous and supportive members.
My love for acting started when I took Drama as a GCSE and then later as an A Level at school. I particularly enjoyed acting the title role in comedy Educating Rita where I got to put my Liverpudlian accent to the test! I also love performing in pantomimes as they are light-hearted and great for engaging with audiences. What I love about acting is that I can tap into my imagination and fully immerse myself into different roles – I think it’s fun and liberating.
I am grateful to fellow member Kathryn for introducing me to ACT in the first place and I hope that I will be in many more performances to come.