Following yesterday’s meeting please find a copy of the Chair’s Report submitted by Annie:


AGM – SUNDAY 11 January 2015


Friends of The Matchbox Theatre, ladies and gentlemen, fellow thespians! – once again a warm welcome to this our 33rd AGM.

Before I embark on a review of 2014, we must recognise the loss of John Williams who passed away on the 30 September.   As Pat’s husband he had always been a great supporter of the Matchbox and, of course, an integral part of the Normanhurst Festival over many years.  We are grateful and appreciative of the ways in which John touched all our lives and remember him with love and affection.

Looking back at previous annual reports, I always seem to be saying the same things – no doubt you’ve noticed!  But once again last year saw three very diverse productions. Our emphasis was to include as many players as possible particularly since we have quite a few new young, talented and enthusiastic members of the group.

So……last March saw Mike Savill’s production of The Government Inspector which involved a very large and diverse cast.  Performed on the stage as well as the floor of the hall, it gave scope for an engaging, amusing and entertaining evening.   Very different from anything we had previously performed, it was much enjoyed by our audience.

In the summer for our July production, we had the wonderful opportunity to celebrate Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday!  – with a miscellany of short pieces from or referencing Shakespeare, including Pat’s 15 minute Hamlet and a new piece on Anthony and Cleopatra written by Vicky. Once again we were able to involve a large ensemble cast.  This was an informal evening, arranged with tables around the hall and supper was provided.  It went down very well with our audience,  the diversity of the pieces providing something for everyone to enjoy!

Last, but by no means least, Vicky was able to fulfill her long held wish to produce The Winslow Boy in December, a slightly smaller cast – but still 11 players – this was extremely well received by our audience with many very enthusiastic commendations for the cast, the set and the costumes.

It really was another great year – for the plays produced, the performances, the staging and all that entails – and the costumes.   It’s always very encouraging to be at the door as people leave and hear their comments, not just to me but to each other – people always like the variety of productions that we do quite apart from the excellent performances, staging etc.

We always have a ‘post play’ gathering at which we can congratulate and thank all those involved in whatever capacity – because everyone is such an integral part of a successful production.   So I would just like to add the group’s appreciation to Mike and Mavis for all they do to facilitate the smooth running of the box office – and to Gill for organising the refreshments for each performance – we don’t take these things for granted  – so a big thank you from us all.

However, Mike and Mavis have decided that they need to relinquish the running of the box office after the March production.   So an extra thank you for ALL you have done over the years, the box office has always been run so smoothly and we are very grateful for all the time and effort you have both put in and the support you have given us.  Let us show our appreciation……………

Following on from this Mike Downing has decided to pass the baton of Stage Manager to Clive, Mike will still be involved in the set design and advise where necessary – so we thank Mike for taking over from Grahame and doing such a wonderful job – and we thank Clive for so willingly stepping in.  Clive has been involved with the set construction for years, so none of the requirements will surprise him!  And he can still act as well if he wants to!

Mike Downing will take over the Box Office after March, so we’re grateful to him for taking over, it’s great to know it will continue to run smoothly in safe hands.

We are already working on our March production which is Mary Stuart, directed by Mike Savill.   Auditions and casting took place before Christmas, so rehearsals are underway.  We haven’t performed an historical piece for a while, so we are enjoying another intriguing play with strong character parts to develop.

An additional item to mention – of some importance!  As some, but definitely not enough, of you know – Mike Savill has been putting out a regular Matchblog, regarding the current productions at the time of writing, reflecting on past triumphs, delving into the archives for copious numbers of photographs, even finding some ‘backstage’ cartoons to laud our much appreciated stage management and all things technical!  As you can imagine, as Mike is writing it, it is both entertaining and interactive – your opportunity to answer back!!! So, we would love it if you would all sign up – all you have to do is enter your email address and it will come directly into your Inbox – you won’t regret it!

On a personal level, as always, I would like to thank the committee members for all that that they do and their support for me as well as the group.   I also want to thank all members of The Matchbox Theatre for their contributions, encouragement and support, we have seen some magnificent performances last year – long may it continue and I am sure that 2015 will see more excellent and varied productions.

That is definitely more than enough from me! – we hope you will stay at the end of the meeting and enjoy some refreshment and the chance to catch up with everybody.