The show goes on behind the scenes

The show goes on behind the scenes

COVID-19 put a stop to local entertainment as well as virtually everything else, but Ringwood Musical & Dramatic Society has still been doing its bit for the community during the pandemic. Despite having had to cancel its main Easter musical for two seasons running – along with plays, summer shows, choir concerts and the Ringwood Soiree – the society has still been able to give away £5,000 to a local charity.
With so many people losing livelihoods or with vulnerable people being unable to leave their homes during the COVID-19 crisis, RMDS decided to donate the £5,000 to the Trussell Trust’s hard working Ringwood Foodbank. Ringwood is a prosperous area, but there are still many local people who need support.
In the year from April 2020 to April 2021 the Ringwood Foodbank provided food for 3,238 people, according to its chair of trustees, Chris Lee. He was grateful for the RMDS donation – and the gifts of cash and food from other organisations and individuals – “We’ve been overwhelmed with people’s generosity,” he said. “Our community has been hugely supportive throughout this past year.”
As well as providing food for hungry families, the Foodbank had also recently adopted a fuel vouchers scheme for pre-payment meters to help those struggling to power their homes during the long, cold winter.
RMDS hopes to be able to re-start its calendar of musicals, plays and concerts later this year as the nation follows it road map out of lockdown and social distancing regulations are eased. The hit musical ‘Barnum’, which was cancelled just three weeks before it was due to run at Easter last year, was postponed again this year but the society hopes audiences will be able to return to the Ringwood School Theatre to see the show at Easter 2022.
For more information on Ringwood Foodbank visit ringwood.foodbank.org.uk
The Importance of Amateur Theatre

The Importance of Amateur Theatre

With the current and ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the National Operatic and Dramatic Association has published a letter highlighting the importance of Amateur Theatre to the UK and a copy of this can be downloaded here. RMDS is fully committed to the support of our local community through amateur theatre and musical performances and wholeheartedly supports the aims of this letter and looks forward to getting back to performing as soon as we are able and it is safe to do.

 

NODA-Amatuer Theatre 2020
The show will go on – next year

The show will go on – next year

Coronavirus and the lockdown put paid to the Ringwood Musical & Dramatic Society production of Barnum, which would have been staged in April. Disappointed RMDS cast members, who’d been rehearsing since October last year, were told of the decision to call off the show when it became obvious that strict social distancing measures were about to be put in place in March. But in true ‘the show must go on’ spirit, and so the cast will still get the chance to show off their new-found circus skills, Barnum has been rescheduled for Easter 2021 at the Ringwood School Theatre.
In the meantime the popular RMDS summer shows, which traditionally take place at Greyfriars at the end of July and showcase the town’s young talent, have been cancelled for this year, and last week the decision was made to also call off the society’s autumn play and the late autumn Ringwood Soirée because of the ongoing coronavirus restrictions. A decision has yet to be made on whether the traditional Christmas choir concerts will be able to take place, usually at Ellingham, Trinity and Ringwood parish churches..
If that too is cancelled – because social distancing makes rehearsing very difficult and large gatherings of audiences may still not be allowed – this year will be the first time since World War II that RMDS, which was founded way back in 1911, has not been able to stage a single performance.
Summer Show 2020 – Cancelled

Summer Show 2020 – Cancelled

To all member, patrons and supporters of RMDS

I am sure it will come as no great surprise to you that with the ongoing restrictions and difficulties around Covid-19, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel the Summer Show for 2020. We have taken this decision with great regret but in light of the likelihood of when, and maybe more importantly how the current restrictions are lifted, we cannot see a practical way to both prepare a show which our audience would feel worthy of the Summer Show and even if gatherings of such size will be permitted in July of this year. As ever we have taken this decision with the health and well-being of our membership, volunteers, and the wider community as our highest priority.

We would like to thank everyone for their continued support and look forward to seeing you at one of our future productions.

If you have any questions about the event, please get in touch via the Contact Us page and in the meantime most importantly, stay safe.

Barnum – Postponed

Barnum – Postponed

To all patrons and supporters of RMDS

I am sure it will come as no great surprise to you that we have had to make the difficult decision to postpone our forthcoming Easter musical Barnum. We are taking this action in response to the announcement by the government that members of the public should avoid theatres due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation. This is a very difficult decision to make, but it is a necessary one in consideration for the health and well-being of our membership, volunteers, and the wider community.

We would like to thank you for your continued support and very much hope that you will come and support us at Easter 2021 when we plan to put on this amazing show. In the meantime we will be offering full refunds for all tickets purchased. If you purchased your tickets with a card payment through the TicketSource website, you will shortly receive another notification from TicketSource explaining that your refund will be credited back to the card you paid with. If you purchased your tickets from our Greyfriars box office. Please pop in to see them and they will refund you. If your payment was by cheque, we will simply hand your cheque back to you as these have not yet been paid in.

Once again we’d like to thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter, please do come and support our next show (whatever and whenever that may be) and in the meantime most importantly, stay safe.

If you have any questions about the event, please get in touch via the Contact Us page

Drama at Sea

Drama at Sea

Sailors, canoeists, paddleboarders and surfers can feel safer off the coast of Bournemouth and Christchurch thanks to fundraising by Ringwood Musical & Dramatic Society. The society’s Ringwood Soirée chose the National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) Hengistbury Head coastguard lookout station as the focus for its charitable fundraising in November. And appropriately the NCI is now able to keep members of the public enjoying the sea very much in focus: the £1,000 donation from RMDS has enabled them to buy a £4,000 observation scope for use from the rejuvenated Hengistbury Head station, allowing them to keep a lookout for anyone who gets into trouble off the coast.
The NCI runs a network of volunteer coastguard stations around the UK, assisting HM Coastguard and RNLI lifeboats in keeping people safe at sea. RMDS, meanwhile, is very much back on dry land and currently rehearsing for it’s Easter musical, the circus spectacular Barnum, with the cast learning to juggle, tumble, tightrope walk and ride unicycles.
Pictured with the cast of Barnum, are the NCI’s Hengistbury Head station manager Peter Holway, deputy station manager (operations) Ed Essery and watchkeeper Bryan Scarfe.
Killing us with laughter

Killing us with laughter

An adaptation of the classic 1955 Ealing comedy film, The Ladykillers tells a tale of five criminal misfits holed up in an old lady’s house as they plan a robbery.

Renting rooms from the sweet but strict Mrs Wilberforce, they plot to involve her in the mail train heist which sees them pretending to be musicians rehearsing in her home near King’s Cross Station.

They even con her into moving the stolen cash to her home after the robbery, but when they suspect she’s getting wise to their ruse they conclude there’s only way to keep her quiet…

With only her parrot, General Gordon, to help her will the old lady live to tell the tale?

Graham Linehan’s black comedy converts proceedings into an hilarious send-up of loony, slapstick farce as the crooks fight among themselves.

Directed by Lucie Evans and with a cast of well known local faces, The Ladykillers play is staged by Ringwood Musical & Dramatic Society at the Ringwood School Theatre from Wednesday 30th October to Friday 1st November. For details and tickets visit rmds.org.uk

Charity high flyers

Charity high flyers

Charity fundraising by Ringwood Musical & Dramatic Society (RMDS) was flying high last year.

Following the RMDS Summer Show at Greyfriars in July 2018 the society was able to present £1,000 to each of the two chosen charities for the event – the Dorset & Somerset and Hampshire and Isle of Wight air ambulances.

Accepting the two £1,000 cheques were Leanne Colverson, fundraiser for Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance, and Rob Harris, a volunteer for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, and the money was handed over by RMDS chairman Mark Bodger and society president Rosemary Guy.

The presentation was made during the RMDS Armistice Tribute held at the Ringwood School Theatre last November, part of the town’s Armistice centenary commemoration last year.

Proceeds from the Armistice Tribute, along with a donation from the sell-out RMDS Soirée also held in November – a further £1,000 – went to the local branch of The Royal British Legion.