Spring Show 2024 – “And We’re Off Air”

A massive thank you to the cast, crew, volunteers and audience for their help and support during the TOADS Spring Show 2024!

As always, putting on a show this time of year came with some challenges in terms of cast availability and selling tickets, but after the disappointment of last Spring and not being able to put on a show at all, we were delighted to be able to put on three great shows which were well received by those who came.

If you weren’t able to make it, don’t worry because we recorded the “broadcast” of our radio play for you to enjoy, recorded in front of a live audience at The Christy Hall on the evening of Friday 17th May 2024.

Just go to https://payhip.com/toads, where you can download “Act 1 – The Big Snooze” and “Act 2 – Bite Me” in MP3 format to play on your chosen device. The download is free but you can optionally choose to pay a donation. All profits from these downloads will be donated to our chosen charity for 2024, The Alresford Pigs.

We would like to make some special “thank yous” to the following people:

  • Peter Wilde, our production manager, who did sound and lighting, and hosted, during the shows and, with Peter Stokes, set up all the lights.
  • Sue Thomas, who (as ever) did an amazing job of designing and distributing our poster around town.
  • Steve Patey, who built the stage, dismantled it and also took our cast photos.
  • Box Office manager Garry Abraham, for managing ticket sales and reallocating bookings.
  • Beth Morton and her Front of House team for receiving our audience and manning the bar.
  • Simon Evans from The Naked Grape for supplying our “refreshments”.
  • And of course, our brilliant cast, especially Donna Lipton for stepping into Carol’s shoes to cover Carol on our Saturday performance.

TOADS isn’t possible without our incredible supporters, so we can’t thank you enough!

Ewan Gardner & Tony Bevan (Directors and Producers, TOADS Spring Show 2024)

Happy 2023!

TOADS would like to wish all our members and supporters a very happy new year as we start a new season!

The TOADS 2022 panto, Mother Goose, was another roaring success with (nearly) sell out crowds! Photos of the cast and crew are available here: https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjAirrE

For 2023 we are starting a new production process where we’re seeking the knowledge, experience and ideas of the TOADS family to help us come up with ideas for our Spring and Christmas shows.

Firstly, we are seeking ideas for a Spring Show, and to that end we are having an “Ideas Night” at Christy Hall on Sunday 22nd January at 7pm. If you have a idea for a theme please come along. You don’t have to have a full script, or even a partial one – we are looking for a concept we can then work on together.

Also, the TOADS AGM will be Sunday 19th February at 6pm at Chritsty Hall. Any friends of TOADS are welcome to attend, but only those who were paid up members in the last year may cast a vote on the night.

At the AGM you can hear from the committee, learn more about what we’ve been up to over the last year and our thoughts on this year. You are welcome to ask questions on the night, or send the chair an email in advance (chair@oa-toads.org.uk) which he can respond to at the meeting. 

TOADS Summer 2022 Update

Your TOADS committee hope that you’re having a great summer! It was great to see several TOADY friends at the Old Alresford Jubilee Party and the Village Fair.

We wanted to update you on a couple of items as follows.

TOADS Panto 2022 – Mother Goose

Our pantomime this year us Mother Goose (oh yes, it is)! It’s an old favourite but with TOADS’ particular stamp on it. It will run each evening from Tuesday 6th December to Saturday 10th December inclusive, with a matinee on Saturday.

The script has been written by Helen Gard, who is also producer, and will be directed by Helen and Jo Stokes (who is also musical director).

There is plenty for everyone to do. The script has quite a large cast with nine principals among 25 speaking parts in total, several of which can double up if necessary. We have parts for adults, children and teens. If you only want to be chorus there are several songs. Chorus members will be in three scenes and the finale.

If you don’t want to tread the boards, there are still many more ways to be involved. We will be looking to recruit help of all sorts … make-up, costumes, scenery, props, chaperones and more.

Auditions will be held on September 4th at 7pm in The Christy Hall, Old Alresford. Rehearsals will then be held every Thursday at 7.30pm and Sundays at 7.00 pm. Dress and Technical rehearsal dates are already booked and we will give you those if you wish to take part.

If you would like to be involved, whether as an actor or behind the scenes, please  contact Helen at miladyheleng@gmail.com or Jo at jostokes5@gmail.com and let them know what you would like to do. Please remember that everyone in the production needs to be a paid up member of TOADS, see below for more details.

Christy Hall 100 Club

The Christy Hall is our regular venue for TOADS productions. To help maintain and support our local village hall as a centre for our community, and have a chance of winning a cash prize, the Hall Committee invites you to join the Christy Hall 100 Club!

For an annual subscription of £25, you will be entered into their monthly draws, with a chance of winning a cash prize each time. The new year for the 100 Club starts on August 1st.

For more details see their leaflet. To sign up please contact Stephanie Durrant, 

TOADS Website

If you’ve visited our website at www.oa-toads.org.uk recently, you’ll have noticed it looks a little different. I’m delighted that Ewan Gardner has taken over responsibility for it and is working to create a site that reflects the fun and creativity of TOADS. It’s still a work in progress but I know that Ewan will do a much better job than I have in recent times to keep it fresh and interesting.

TOADS Subscriptions

TOADS’ subs are £6 for individual members and £12 for all family members at one address. Anyone who performs or works backstage at our productions is required to be a paid up member, as a condition of our insurance.

We prefer payments by bank transfer, as paying in cash is getting more difficult each year! Our account is with NatWest, sort code 55-81-26 and account number 94385076 in the name of TOADS. To help us match payments to you, please PUT YOUR SURNAME in the reference field, and please email me to confirm when you have made a payment.

We look forward to seeing you at the panto auditions, if not before!


Mark Durrant
Chair, TOADS