The story behind the cast of CADS 2019

There is just one week to go until the premiere of the anticipated Crookwell Amateur Dramatics Society (CADS) performance.

The opening night of Back to those Music Hall Days will be held on Friday, June 21.

The cast and crew will take the stage, but for now, let's take a look behind the scenes with some of the people involved in the production.

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Doing it for Helen

Chris Croker and Annette Prell reunite on stage for Helen Campbell. Photo supplied.

Chris Croker and Annette Prell reunite on stage for Helen Campbell. Photo supplied.

Performers Chris Croker and Annette Prell rejoined CADS this year as a tribute to Helen Campbell.

"I heard that Helen Campbell is hanging up her boots, or gloves, and this is her last year as a pianist," Mr Croker said.

He joined CADS 30 years ago has performed regularly ever since.

"Every musical production I have been in has been with Helen. This is my mark of respect, for a wonderful lady who has always put up graciously with mine and others antics," he said.

Both he and Ms Prell have years of on-stage experience, she joined in 1994.

"Family commitments have kept me busy but I'm thrilled to be back," she said.

"My big motivation for coming back this year is naturally Helen, she is CADS personified.

"Although, I have had to work around family, this year, I have pulled out all stops to be here.

"Already, I have fallen back into the fun, friendships and getting silly together but as well there is a level of professionalism expected.

"We are asked to do everything to the best of our ability which can be fun or funny," she said.

Meantime Mr Croker returns to the stage for the challenge.

"It is a discipline to work together as a team and achieve the best we can without letting anyone down. Performing is much the same as sports its just a different discipline.

"In theatre, you work with people of all different walks of life and of all ages. You make friends with older and younger people who share a common interest."

Back to those Music Hall Days is a return to CADS' old time music hall days first staged in the 1990s.

"For a small town, we produce shows of a very high standard on a shoestring budget.

"CADS has always produced entertaining shows and this will be no different," Mr Croker said.

The first timers

CADS newcomers Keven Breen and Nic Bensley. Photo supplied.

CADS newcomers Keven Breen and Nic Bensley. Photo supplied.

It will be the first time that Kevin Breen and Nic Bensley take to the stage with CADS, and the choreography is proving to be the biggest challenge.

"Remembering the lines and choreography is challenging but lots of laughs," Mr Breen said.

Mrs Bensley added, "At the moment, I am pretending to know the words and those choreography steps."

The cast and crew have been rehearsing for weeks, and the curtain is about to be raised.

"Sure it will come together as it always does," she said.

Both of the newcomers have seen past productions.

"I have been to about ten of the previous CADS shows as a spectator and wondered what it would be like to be a part of this group, so here I am and now I know," Mr Breen said.

"They [the cast] are friendly and cooperative fellow performers and I am enjoying it."

Mrs Bensley said she loved the stage.

"I thought it was time I did something for myself," she said.

"It looked like fun and I wanted to work with Anne Cleary and the crew."

"I have found great camaraderie and laughs and I can't wait for the fame," she joked.

The veterans

Veterans of CADS Des Rowley and Wal Smart have a combined 43 years on stage. Photo supplied.

Veterans of CADS Des Rowley and Wal Smart have a combined 43 years on stage. Photo supplied.

Both Wal Smart and Des Rowley have performed in CADS for around 20 years, together they have a combined 43 years experience.

"I've been with CADS for 23 years and I don't think I have left 'Them Music Hall Days'," Mr Smart said.

"One of the best parts of CADS is when you go in a show you renew old friendships and make new ones and that's great."

His challenge is recalling whether he is supposed to be downstage, front of stage, backstage or on stage.

"My biggest issue is remembering where I am supposed to be on stage and being put in the front row so everyone can see you're in the wrong place. But other cast members 'push' me into place."

Meantime Mr Rowley was in the audience for two Music Halls before he joined CADS 20 years ago.

"I decided to see how a show was put together. I went to a muster - been here ever since - no one is excluded," Mr Rowley said.

"I just love the involvement of all cast, directors, and crew.

"The best part, for me, has been the many new friends, feeling the audience excitement and watching their enjoyment. I guess travelling from Goulburn can be hard but it's well worth it for the end result."

  • The show will be held over the last two weekends in June. For information and bookings contact the Crookwell Visitor Information Centre, 4832 1988.