Hello members! I hope you are all keeping safe and well and looking forward to eventually getting back to normal, albeit a new kind of normal.

I trust you have all found time to complete and return nomination forms for the ACT ‘Out Of The Spotlight Awards’  which recognise all those sterling people who work behind the scenes to ensure our productions run smoothly.

NODA Northwest AGM and Regional Awards Gala which was to be held at The Mercure Piccadilly Hotel, Manchester, has had to be cancelled but will hopefully take place some time in the near future. We will keep you informed.

On Tuesday of this week, 28th May, we held a BDC committee meeting via ZOOM, to discuss our immediate future plans for the club.

Due to uncertainty regarding the re-opening of theatres it is hard to plan ahead with any conviction or confidence. For this reason we had to make the sad decision to suspend all events including our plays for the start of the coming season. This was a very difficult decision to make but we must put the health, safety and well-being of our members, audiences and volunteers first.

With no clear guidance from the government as yet, and amidst rumours that London theatres are unlikely to re-open until January 2021, action was necessary in order to try to plan accordingly. Therefore I can inform you that our new short season will commence in the New Year with our first play most likely to assume the March slot already reserved for us.  Our final play will hopefully be staged in May.

Amy’s View still holds priority as it is fully rehearsed and was ‘ready to go’ before lockdown but we cannot confirm which plays or which order at the present time. Confirmation will follow when we receive more assurance and information from the government.

Dates  for Your Diary

AGM Tuesday 16th June   Our Annual General Meeting will have to be held via ZOOM at 7.30. pm. We welcome all members old and new.The Grand Opening of our lovely new club room will have to be held at a later date when  members can see for themselves the benefits of our refurbishment.  Plays for the season beginning September 2021 through to May 2022 will be revealed in due course.

Members’News  The very talented James Lilley who we last saw in Little Voice alongside Beth Turnbull in the title role, celebrated his 21st birthday during lockdown, 11th May. Beth, (now his girlfriend!) invited some of us to contribute to a video she compiled where everyone filmed their fondest and funniest memories of James. Needless to say James was thrilled and delighted.

Beth, famous for roles in BDC’s productions  Little Voice  and Boeing Boeing is now approaching her final year studying Drama at Manchester Metropolitan University. We wish her every success and a good agent!

Dylan Allcock, former member, now living in London and working professionally as an actor, composer and writer has written a new play, Two Steps From Hell  which he is hoping to bring to the northern stage before too long. I am sure we will all try to support him in this venture.

APPLAUSE

The greatest applause must go to those in our midst who take the great risk of leaving home each day, working throughout lockdown to help keep our country functioning properly. I’m sure there are many such workers amongst our members, and I can’t name you all but four members of our committee deserve a special mention:

Martin Cottam:   NHS worker, clinical engineer at Royal Blackburn Hospital, part of whose job it is to service the anaesthetic machines and ventilators within Theatres and Critical Care Unit.

Neely Jillings  :  Working for HM  Prison Service

Claire St Pierre : Education  Teaching children of Key Workers

Paddy Darnell-Walsh :  Northern Rail   Driving trains

Much respect to each one of you. You are putting yourselves at risk every day.  You truly are our unsung heroes so I’m singling you out now! Thank you, from all of us.

A big ‘Thank you’ also to every member of BDC committee for contributing so ably to the smooth running of our drama club.

Finally, a big ‘Thank you’ to all members for your continued support of our club and for all the messages and emails supplying me with jokes and stories to keep me laughing during this crisis. They really have been appreciated.

It has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve as your Chair and I know when I hand over the reins to Paddy his energy and enthusiasm  will continue to take our wonderful drama club onwards and upwards.

Au Revoir,

See you on screen on 16th June!

Very Best Wishes, Stay Safe, Keep Well.

Jenny Hodkinson  (Outgoing Chair BDC)