Ad Hoc (Amateur Drama in Harrold, Odell and Carlton) is a local amateur dramatics group based in the villages of Harrold, Carlton and Odell.
The group was formed in 1992 and put on its first productions, ‘Drinking Companions’ and ‘Between Mouthfuls’ by Alan Ayckbourn in the Harrold Centre in March 1993. Ad Hoc has presented one or two plays each year since then, and has built a loyal and supportive audience. The group has become an integral part of the local village communities, providing a wide variety of entertainment.
Plays we continue to stage a wide range of plays, comedies, thrillers and dramas, and the Harrold Centre has become the regular venue for Ad Hoc’s productions.
In addition to full length plays, Ad Hoc has always been involved with organising and supporting less formal and more inclusive events such as Murder Mystery Evenings. The group also produces successful village pantomimes in the Harrold URC Chapel, with the proceeds donated to local charities.
Bouncers, the Review
Bouncers was another successful Ad Hoc production, very much enjoyed by the local audiences and very much admired by our NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Society) reviewer who saw the show at Stevington.
“I have now seen it (Bouncers) performed five times including a professional touring company, so I’m beginning to know it well and I’m yet to see one I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed, or been surprised by the innovation the various groups come up with. Ad hoc were no exception, this was certainly one of the best I’ve seen. The imagination and sheer skill involved was masterful. Fran Ross is a very imaginative director and certainly stamped her own interpretation all over it. What was particularly clever was the amount of choreography she brought to the table, which was delivered with perfect comic effect by her consummate actors. A particular mention of the Michael Jackson’s Thriller setting, that had the audience absolutely rolling in the aisles, which on a stage that size was all the more remarkable. Another clever trick was to get the actors not involved in a particular piece of action to simply turn their backs to the audience. The levels of concentration and discipline required were immense especially on a stage so small. All round very clever directing indeed.”
Download and read the full review: Ad Hoc – Bouncers
Our next Production
‘Laughter Lines’, in support of the Harrold Centre Redevelopment
An Evening Celebrating Great British Comedy
In Tusting’s Barn at the scenic Hill House Farm, Carlton at 8pm on September 1st, 2nd and 3rd
The programme will include
- Extracts from Victoria Wood’s Acorn Antiques
- Extracts from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream
- Alan Ayckbourn’s Gosforth’s Fete
Tickets available from Harrold Post Office (when open), Carlton Stores, or call 01234 510720.
£12, including a complimentary interval drink
All profits will go to the Harrold Centre Redevelopment
Our last production
‘The 39 Steps’: Ad Hoc’s production 27th -30th May
Highlights of a review by Richard Fitt, local representative of the National Operatic and Dramatic Association.
From the warm welcome of the front of house staff to the clever use of a small intimate hall with limited resources, this was a master class in what ‘Village Hall’ amateur dramatics should be all about.
The stage was a minimalistic set by Fran Ross played to blacks, which made full use of the limited space available. Adhoc by name and ad hoc by nature – that may sound like a criticism but in this case it’s simply admiration of their seamless use of some very clever props. Costumes by Sue Chaplin were very well chosen and a mention should also be made of the excellent use of period hair styles and makeup.
The lighting, designed by Paul Alexander and operated by Chris Chaplin was particularly impressive at times especially in the scenes involving the Forth Bridge. Sound cues by Pete Keeley were spot on and the ‘deliberate errors’ were delivered with perfect comic timing.
Rick Davis as Richard Hannay, who is obviously an experienced and consummate actor captured the manner of the 1930’s perfectly, his facial expressions, the stiff upper lip, line delivery and accent were pretty much immaculate, comically timed to perfection.
The real treat of this show however was the performances of Phil Briggs and Matt Rowson as the two Clowns, who played so many different parts I eventually lost count. Their use of the deadpan expression, working through numerous accents, both male and female, even two characters at once, was an absolute delight. From sinister spies to Scottish crofters, cleaning ladies, train guards and policemen, they slipped seamlessly between them – all believably, all very comic indeed.
The three ladies complimented the gentlemen with aplomb, Fran Ross as Annabel Schmidt whose ‘death scene,’ with Hannay escaping from underneath the body will stick in the memory for quite a while, was pitched to perfection, as was Sandra Messenger’s Margaret, the downtrodden but mischievous crofter’s young wife helping Hannay escape through the ‘window’, the best comic use of a simple, basic prop I’ve seen in many a year. Amanda Goggins as Pamela, gave a wonderfully understated, portrayal of the sexually supressed love interest, perfectly suited to the attitudes of the 1930’s – almost a spoof homage to ‘Brief Encounter’ in itself.
A great cast, well delivered script and pretty much faultless performances all round. A thoroughly spiffing evening’s entertainment, enjoyed by an extremely appreciative full house.
For a full set of photographs visit Ad Hoc’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/adhocgroup/photos_stream
Our previous production
Three episodes from Blackadder II were performed ‘on tour’ in late June by Ad Hoc: in Odell, Carlton and Pavenham Village Halls and in the Harrold Centre. These sell out performances were not only exceptionally well received around the villages, but Ad Hoc estimate that over £2000 were raised for Comic Relief.
A selection of comments from the audience.
“We thought it would be good, Ad Hoc always are. We didn’t think it would be better than watching the TV version. So good.” A satisfied audience member.
“I can’t believe that a local amateur group could put such a cast together for something so iconic and every single character was spot on. Why don’t you video it to send to Comic Relief?” Another satisfied audience member.
“I laughed so much I could hardly breathe – just when I thought I might get a break from laughing, Baldrick said something funny again!” Yet another satisfied audience member.
“You made us cry with laughter. Perfect casting and so true to the original.” OK, you’ve got the picture.
Whodunnit a comedy thriller by Anthony Shaffer (of Sleuth, Frenzy & Wicker Man fame), was performed on October 31st, November 1st and 2nd at the Harrold Centre. This was a very well received, sell out production and our NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Association) reviewer reported that,
“Sue Chaplin presented a fast moving comedy thriller. This was carefully directed with a talented cast in a first rate set. ADHOC are to be congratulated for a very entertaining evening.”
Ad Hoc’s award winning productions
Ad Hoc’s 2012 production of ‘Present Laughter’ was shortlisted for the regional National Operatic and Dramatic Association best play award.
In 2011, Ad Hoc won the best play award, in the same category, for our production of ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’.
We are always looking for new members to support and grow our future productions. We warmly welcome newcomers to the group so please get in touch and you could soon be involved in some aspect of our next production.