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** ROBIN HOOD THE PANTO 2019 – MEET THE CAST **

Introducing Paul Riddy who plays the character of Little Joan.

Paul is a newbie to BATS, but he has been treading the boards for more years than he cares to remember, having first performed with VAMPS of St Neots and St Neots Players in the early 70’s. For years he has been supported by his wife, Linda, someone who vowed she would never set foot on stage herself. Nowadays he spends more time watching her perform than he does performing himself. His daughter, Jess is his pride and joy. She is with Riverside Theatre Company and most definitely gets her singing ability from her Mum and not him! Paul has played a wide variety of roles in plays, musicals and pantomimes. His favourite role to date has to be that of Owen Newitt in the St Neots Players production of ‘The Vicar of Dibley’ a role for which he received a ‘best supporting actor’ award. However, the most pleasurable things about this particular role, were firstly that both Linda and Jess were on stage with him and secondly that he played opposite Kay Young as ‘The Vicar’, an experience he will never forget!
It was of course that stage partnership that led him to BATS and Paul would like to thank everyone for the warm welcome they have given him. He can’t wait to step on stage as ‘Little Joan’.

** ROBIN HOOD THE PANTO – MEET THE BSL INTERPRETER **

21st of Feb – the Thursday night performance of Robin Hood the Panto will be a relaxed and BSL interpreted performance.
 
we are therefore very happy to introduce our BSL interpreter – Colette Burgess
 
Colette is a fully qualified British Sign Language (BSL) Interpreter with a passion for theatre interpreting. Her sister is profoundly Deaf and so she learnt sign language when she was a baby and BSL has become her second language. Colette grew up with a background in various dance styles and loved performing on stage. Watching musicals is an expensive hobby of hers and have seen many interpreted productions with her sister. This then kick started Colette’s passion for wanting more access in theatre for Deaf people. She has attended theatre interpreting workshops and now wants to put the knowledge to practise by interpreting her first ever panto!

** ROBIN HOOD THE PANTO 2019 – MEET THE CAST **

Hello The Witches!!!
 
From Left to Right:
 
Hannah Ridley – Hannah has been in BATS for a number of years and this is the second time she has played a witch, the first being ‘Glinda’ in The Wizard of Oz. She has also appeared in other BATS productions such as Much Ado about Nothing as ‘Hero’ and the cabaret show Bats on Broadway. Hannah runs Out of Ideas Theatre Company with her sister and recently appeared as the grumpy ‘SGT Sugar’ in the award winning, original play The Cat Burglar.
 
Natasha Leftwich – Tash has been a member of BATS since the age of about 12. Keen to follow her Dad who was one of the original members of the group.
She has enjoyed many roles from principal girl in several panto’s, to Nana the dog in Peter Pan, to Barbara Windsor’s character in Not now darling, wearing not so many clothes.
She moved away for a while and joined some local groups up north, taking part in a number of plays. When Tash moved back she was immediately welcomed back into the BATS family. For her it felt like coming home.
As well as being the treasurer for the group, Tash also likes to get involved with the backstage crew. Either painting set or someone’s face, give her a brush and she’s happy. Tash was also cast as Clairee in Bats recent production of “Steel Magnolias”
Tash seems to have found playing the part of a Witch very natural. Some might say type cast, she says ‘Actress Darling’.
 
Jessie Fox – is fairly new to BATS having only joined during the early rehearsals for Cinderella last year. She was thrown in to learning choreography, lyrics and lines for the first time in 12 years and made some amazing new friends doing so. She was truly welcomed in to the BATS family and since Cinderella was also part of the crew for Steel Magnolias, Jessie joined the committee in July and is now the youth rep for the group.
Jessie is mummy to two beautiful little people called Noah and Oswin and enjoys singing the Robin Hood songs with them daily.
Jessie had her heart set on playing one of the Sheriff’s witches from day one. She practiced her Welsh accent every day for the audition and feels so lucky to be playing Gladys with three wonderful ladies and friends.
Following from Robin Hood, Jessie is really looking forward to performing in the Waitling Players Murder Mystery in March written by the very talented Melanie Wilcox
 
Louise Connolly – Louise is playing Cerys the witch, who is a “learner witch”. There is one problem though – she is very, VERY tall!! Louise is 16 years old and has been a BAT for many years. She started out as a Lost Boy in Peter Pan and then was in the ensemble in Puss In Boots and Jack & The Beanstalk. Louise took on her first principal role as Prince Charming in Cinderella last year end she is always very pleased to be sharing the stage with her mum and little sister. Louise trains at Drama College and has really enjoyed being in Robin Hood and is looking forward to doing many many more shows with BATS

** ROBIN HOOD THE PANTP 2019 – MEET THE CAST **

** ROBIN HOOD THE PANTO 2019 – MEET THE CAST **

Introducing Thomas Warriner who plays “The Captain” – a French mercenary that the Sheriff has wrapped around his finger.
This is Thomas’s first outing with BATS and we are pleased to have him as part of this amazingly talented cast.
Brand new to BATS, Thomas joined late in 2018, after some BATS members saw him as Orin in his school’s production of Little Shop of Horrors.
Living in Sandy, Thomas went to Alban Academy, and now Samuel Whitbread Academy, where he’s performed in all of the shows, concerts, and pantos.
Performing with BATS will be a big step up in audience size, but Thomas is eager, if nervous, to rise to the challenge.
Thomas can’t wait to work more with the funny, confident, and talented people of BATS. And, though new, is already proud to be a member of the family.

 

BATS Nominated for 2 NODA awards this year

BATS are very proud to have been nominated for not one but two NODA awards for their 2018 productions.

Cinderella The Panto (Feb 2018) is nominated in the Best Panto Category

Steel Magnolias (Sep 2018) is nominated in The Best Drama Category.

This is the icing on the cake for BATS. The pleasure and pride of putting on the shows and knowing that they were received fantastically well by audiences and reviewers alike was reward enough, but this is just above and beyond any of our expectations.

All the hard work has paid off 10 fold.

BATS are currently rehearsing their production of Robin Hood the Panto which will be performing on 21-23 Feb at Stratton Upper School, Biggleswade.

Early Bird Offer Tickets now on Sale for BATS Presentation of Darren Edward’s Panto “Robin Hood”

BATS will be performing their 31st Panto “Robin Hood” on Thursday 21st Feb 19:30 (Relaxed Evening Performance), Friday 22nd Feb 19:30 (Evening Performance) and Saturday 23rd Feb 14:30 (Matinee Performance) and 19:30 (Evening performance).

We will be performing at Stratton Upper School in Biggleswade again this year.

To take advantage of this early bird offer (only available online) please go to www.ticketsource.co.uk/bats

Rehearsals are in full swing and the set is being built – OH YES IT IS!!!!!

Keep an eye out here and on our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/batsuk/

 

Steel Magnolias closes to rave reviews!

As the director of this play, I couldn’t be more proud of what we have achieved with this play. The outcome exceeded my expectations ten fold. 

Ticket sales were strong. Audience response was amazing. My cast were so emotionally invested that it made for some outstanding performances on the nights. My backstage and tech crew gave it their all. Pretty much everyone knew how special this was going to be and supported whole heartedly.

And so on to the reviews. Below is a sample of some the feedback we have received so far:

That was by far & away the best play I’ve seen bats perform! Fantastic acting by everyone wouldn’t have been out of place in the west end
And what a brilliant last night it was! Sooo good, fantastic acting, direction…. extremely impressed!!!!

It was a pleasure and an honour to see Steel Magnolias tonight. What an absolutely stunning production. You should be so incredibly proud of yourselves; the hard work, passion and love that you all put into it shine throughout”

“Ladies you did a fantastic job – I loved it! You should all be very proud.”
“Well done Ladies!!  A very polished performance.   We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  Absolutely super evening!”
“I had no idea that there was this much talent in BATS, can I book now for the next show please?”
“Amazing performance, I was fighting back the tears towards the end! Looking forward to seeing you all Monday evening, if a little nervous”
“Well done ladies. We loved it. Real tears and proper laughter. Very enjoyable evening”
“So classy, this was not an amateur production, but an amazing show that would rival any professional show out there”
And the pièce de résistance – we invited a NODA representative to come and review us on opening night. I won’t punish the whole review but it was so good, below are a couple of snippets:
“Sound by Tim Gardiner was excellent with the music and 80’s radio station particularly spot on and atmospheric”
“Director Melanie Wilcox did a top notch job of drilling her cast. I take my hat off to her for both taking on a major role and directing, not an easy task at the best of times! However, what she created was a top-quality team of actors playing off each other with real understanding”.
“It really was a master class of reactive acting.”
“You are unlikely to see better acting than that. It was a top team all round and it was a real pity that this show a was (owing to licencing problems) only scheduled for two performances, it deserved to run for weeks!”

“I came with the expectation of being entertained and I was not disappointed in anyway”

So that’s it! The show is over. And to quote M’Lynn, “Life goes on”! The Steel Mags have left the building.

BATS commenced the audition and rehearsal process for their Panto “Robin Hood” last night which will be on in February 19. we are always on the look out for fresh talent, so if you fancy joining our crew, on stage or off stage, checkout the contact us page on this website for details on how to join.