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Avonmill Players - The group was founded in December 2008 by T.C. Peppercorn, and Richard Walter, with a view to producing original works in heritage locations, Avoncroft Museum Bromsgrove, and Forge Mill Museum Redditch. Starting with empty coffers and nothing but the goodwill of friends, and fellow ‘amdrammers’ the group has gone from strength to strength, having produced T.C.’s Mayhem at the Museum, Richard’s Titanic Tales, Vanessa Morgan’s Dr Wilmore’s Revenge, the first two episodes of the MPoD trilogy, and a certain Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Avonmill Players are recognised as producers of high quality amateur theatre, and as being really quite modest.
The following few have performed in every show to date of the MPoD trilogy. They are more to be pitied than scolded…
Graham Forbes: Holly Noel - MPoD’s leading man, resident musician, composer, radio series producer, and website creator (though to clarify, not writer
of the content! Well not all of it). Graham has been involved with Avonmill from the beginning, and for the past year has been the group’s treasurer. Whilst his performance as the Reverend Canon Chasuble in The Importance of Being Earnest remains memorable, his Holly Noel is definitive, with a wryness that truly makes the character. Graham is also a member of All & Sundry, and has recently performed in Death on the Nile, No Sex Please We’re British, Fawlty Towers, and performed in the title role in Hobson’s Choice at the Crescent Theatre, Birmingham. His writing debut with a short play Unresolved premiered in October.
Cathy Stokes: Ginny Pinny - They say every great hero needs a sidekick, and Holly Noel is no exception. Indeed, the colourful character of Ginny Pinny is truly brought to life by Cathy Stokes. She brings an energy and outstanding comic timing to her role which speaks volumes, and her relationship with Noel on stage in many respects makes the piece, and will have you crying with laughter. Cathy is another Avonmill original, and the group’s secretary. Roles include Cecily Cardew in Importance of Being Earnest, and Emily in Titanic Tales. Cathy also featured with All & Sundry, in Comedy of Errors.
Sheila Proudfoot: Auntie Freeze - Our answer to Judi Dench, Sheila has been a feature in local amdram for a number of years. She has performed with RATS, MADS, and Avonmill among others, notably as Lady Bracknell (twice) in The Importance of Being Earnest and Madam Arcati in Blithe Spirit. Sheila brings a sinister subtlety to our resident villainess Auntie Freeze, that both draws you in and brings a true menace, along with a wit and understanding of what the character is about. Sheila is working on a production of Shakespeare scenes for 2012, entitled Shakespeare on Love for charity.
Andrew Corcoran: Tiny the Elf - I don’t think any of us will forget the first time we saw Andy in his Elf costume, wearing his green tights. Or his rendition of Cliff Richards’ Living Doll. Nobody else could have given us the Tiny that Andy gave us, and the show is better for it. This year, Andy not only recreated this verdant character, he also took the role of our Assistant Director - which kept him very busy! Having performed with a number of groups, Andy never shirks from a challenge, and has had notable roles in Out of Order, Death on the Nile and Hobson’s Choice to name a few.
Simon Baker - Performer of numerous parts in the show including Fred Bear and Herr Nick, responsible for many of the best gags, and the inspiration behind the TURDIS, it is safe to say the MPoD trilogy would not
be the same without Simon Baker. Involved in local amdram for many years, principally with RATS, Simon has made notable performances in comedies from Laurel & Hardy, Fawlty Towers and The Importance of Being Earnest, to dramas such as Blithe Spirit, Gaslight, and An Inspector Calls. Noted director, Simon will be responsible for bringing Attack of the Christmas Puddings! to the stage. In his hands we can safety guarantee laughs, and plenty of ‘em!
Richard Walter - Writer of The Murder at the Mill Trilogy, and co-writer of the MPoD trilogy, it is safe to say that Richard likes doing things in threes. Unfortunately he felt this impossible for his piece Titanic Tales. Richard began life in amdram in 2003, performing in The Importance of Being Earnest, with RATS. Since, he
has performed in numerous plays, most notably in leading roles in An Inspector Calls, Comedy of Errors, and Laurel & Hardy. He recently directed Forget-Me-Not and returned to the stage for the first time this year in MPoD2 as Brigadier Bullocks. The joke he is most proud of is
“Crepe? No thanks, I’ve already