Northern Area Branch Amateur Dramatic Society (NABADS)
By Reg Walker
The first mention of NABADS to be found in our set of SO Review is in the edition dated August 1951, where ‘Mancunian’ writes that “Although the roses in our newly laid out flower–beds are fast losing pride of place to the more autumnal dahlias, and although the posters for the NABADS new production of My Sister Eileen give warning that, alas, that if autumn comes winter cannot be far behind, at the moment Manchester is clinging strongly to its outdoor activities.”
The October 1951 edition contained a review of My Sister Eileen by ‘HW’: “In an auspicious opening to the new season the NABADS production was rated an overwhelming success and packed houses on the four nights of presentation gave visible evidence of the fact that all previous records for attendances had been broken … after the final curtain members of the cast were entertained by the Director, Mr Glasscock, and given the opportunity of meeting Mr Welch (HGG Welch CBE, Controller of HMSO) in a warmly informal atmosphere and of showing their earnest appreciation of his thoughtful gesture in making the visit … The cast embraced no less than 29 characters. Principal parts of the two sisters were played by Joan Hales and Joyce Lancaster, and the Producer was Paddy Cochrane.”
We had to wait more than two years for the next report, from ‘AT’ in January 1954: “NABADS have struck another winner in their latest production, Moonshine, which is a brand new comedy by John Coates…..Harvey Wild, who also played the part of Michael in the play, is to be congratulated on this his first production. Mavis Schofield as Aunt Daisy gave an admirable performance. The Lucy of newcomer Jayne Carruthers was charmingly portrayed, and Marian Kitchen as Anne gave us a most sophisticated performance. The parts of Mr and Mrs Ransom were in the capable hands of Sam Garwood and Jessie Metcalfe. Others taking part were Jean Benson and Jack Payne. The excellent modern setting carried out by Ron Heywood and Colin Chadwick deserves high praise.”
November 1954 saw the production of Haul for the Shore which featured Don Ogden, Roy Ogden (‘a guest player’), Doreen Chadderton, Sam Garwood, Jessie Metcalf, Mavis Schofield, Pat Vincent, Harry Wolfenden, Arthur Leach, Roy Wilson and Joe Duffy. Production was by Eva Rollins.
Any recollections from those who appeared in these and other productions, or even from members of the audience, would be most welcome.