Make a date for Calendar Girls

Round & About

Abingdon Drama Club

Kevin Thomson invites us to laugh, cry, be elated, despair, feel uplifted (pun intended), and shout, “put ’em back on!” at Abingdon Drama Club’s new production of Calendar Girls

Middle aged Chris Harper and Annie Clarke are best friends. They spend much of their time at their local WI, whose motto is “enlightenment, fun, and friendship”.

Although they like most of the women at the Knapely group and in particular the flaky Chris, they think the way the local President, Marie runs the chapter, a tad dull. They find much of what goes on banal and devoid of fun.

After Annie’s husband John dies from cancer, Chris wants the WI to provide a memorial in his memory: a new sofa for the family room at the hospital. The one she wants is expensive and so she proposes to raise the money with a fundraising calendar featuring tasteful photographs of nude Knapely WI members. Annie likes the idea. But will the rest of the WI members? What about Marie? What about the husbands? Who will be the photographer?

The new of the women’s charitable venture spreads like wildfire, and hordes of press soon descend on Knapely. The calendar is a success, but Chris and Annie’s friendship is put to the test under the strain of their new-found fame.

ADC is never frightened when it comes to performing controversial material… even when it is such great fun!

Director Alex Jenkins’ deft handling of Tim Firth’s hilarious play, ably assisted by, what we have to call, a stand-out cast, is nothing short of brilliant. She explains: “I like to direct plays that have lots of layers and emotion. Calendar Girls takes you on a rollercoaster of emotion, from laughing out loud to ugly crying on the same page. It has a strong female cast and is empowering.”

Based on the true story of 11 WI members who posed nude for a calendar to raise money for the Leukaemia Research Fund, since Calendar Girls opened, it has become the fastest selling play in British theatre history!

A fabulous evening’s entertainment awaits us.

Tickets: £12, £10 concessions (60+, Under 12s, students, ADC members). Group bookings: Groups of 10 and over – All tickets £10 (£10.60 when booked online – just select the concession rate ticket and choose the number you require). Please let us know if you have any problems with your booking.

Tickets available from: The Bookstore, The Abingdon Precinct (15 Bury Street), Abingdon or online at

Email: [email protected]

All the world’s a stage…

Round & About

Abingdon Drama Club

Abingdon Drama Club is celebrating its 75th anniversary

In December 1944, during the Second World War, a group of Abingdon folk decided to start a new drama group and 75 years later, Abingdon Drama Club is going from strength to strength.

It is one of the oldest drama clubs in the country and since its inception has presented more than 300 productions from the first in 1945, London Wall by John Van Druten in the Corn Exchange in the Market Place to its upcoming production of Amadeus at the end of September.

The first club meetings took place at the Old Carpet Factory near Abingdon Bridge before moving to the Friends’ Meeting House on the Vineyard. The current club house in Marcham Road has been their home since 1960 and features rehearsal space, a green room, set workshop and costume and prop stores.

The venue is also home to the junior drama classes which have been teaching and guiding the next generation of young actors and putting on their own productions for more than 35 years.

Most of Abingdon Drama Club’s plays are performed at the Unicorn Theatre which was created in 1953. ADC was asked to stage the first play performed at the atmospheric and intimate theatre in the medieval Abbey buildings, choosing Henry Porter’s The Two Angry Women of Abingdon. Since then they have gone on to stage a variety of work from tragedy to farce, by well-known names and some home-grown talent.

Over the years, the club’s work has received many accolades including the Daily Mail in 1947 which wrote there are “…many amateur companies whose productions, within their necessary limitations, are quite brilliant. I will name the Abingdon Drama Club for a start”.

The 2013 production of Peter Shaffer’s Equus was deemed “absolutely outstanding” and cited as “probably the best performance of any play by an amateur group that we have ever seen”. It went on to say: “The quality of acting by all the cast was exceptional and certainly every bit as good as one would expect from a professional company.”
The plaudits continued with the most recent offering Allo Allo earlier this year, when it was praised for being well-staged and described as “tres bien!”

For many members though it’s about more than just drama – the club has a lively social scene with many activities planned outside the rehearsal room which has included quiz nights, Aunt Sally and the now legendary Annual Thames Walk!

They are always looking for new members to join them.

Abingdon Drama Club

The next production is Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus on 25th to 28th September. The fictionalised version of the relationship between Salieri and Mozart pitches the established composer against the genius whom Salieri believes to be a vulgar, arrogant monster, but did Salieri murder Mozart?

Tickets £10, £8 concessions, from the website or The Bookstore in Bury Street. Find out more below or email [email protected]