In the audience for the Matinee performance of the Railway Children was the former Secretary of State for Transport, Sir George Young.
"The Burdock Players put on a great production in Upper Clatford Village Hall, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The interaction between the children and the adults was marvellous - as was the interaction between the two families."
"The Hall was ingeniously adapted to cope with the different scenes in the original E Nesbitt story, and there was a marvellous range of noises off. I also liked the way the audience sat at tables to watch, instead of sitting in formal rows. This was local amateur dramatics at its best, and top marks to Lyn Woods for masterminding it, and for writing additional scenes."
Sir George was told of plans to raise funds for a new stage
"The Burdock Players are hoping to get a grant towards their staging, either with the Lottery (which is very difficult for a rural club) or with the local Arts Council. I said I would be delighted to act as their referee."
"At the moment, the blocks they use are a variety of home-made wooden constructions, which takes a team of men a long time to bolt together. Most of the fellow users of the hall are happy to live with the extension for the duration of the show, but it would be so much more useful if they could rehearse on the complete stage, earlier, from both the actors point
of view and the backstage, as all the heavy props have by necessity to be very 'last minute'. Eight of the blocks are really at the end of their life and will very soon be un-useable. Also, the noise of feet over hollow blocks spoils the production, and sometimes interfers with being able to hear the performers."
"The staging they have in mind is used extensively by schools, is of metal construction, with a rubber surface. It stacks conveniently and one person could easily erect it."
"As the Village Hall Committe sometimes borrow the staging, lights and sound equipment for the acts they have booked, it would be convenient for them as well."
Sir George promised to help with any appeal for funds.