Friends of BBLOC

Friends of BBLOC Newsletter

Spring 2024

Welcome to our Spring 2024 Newsletter!

Message from our Chairman
Darren Ellery

What we have achieved in this last 12 months is nothing short of incredible and I continue to be proud to chair BBLOC after this year’s phenomenal productions.

I personally would like to take the time to thank you, our loyal friends, as without your continuous support we would not be able to continue to grow and produce the quality productions we have become known for. The cost-of-living crisis continues to impact us as we try to balance keeping theatre affordable alongside our escalating running costs.

This is our 70th year and I often wonder what Arthur Ball, our founder, would think about the process that we must go through to create that magic and how different things are now from 1954 and I hope he would be proud that the company he started is still going strong and wowing audiences time and time again.

Our Friends’ Coffee Morning in January was a momentous success and on the back of this we are aiming to have another one of these in the summer before we go on sale for our May 2025 show, allowing you all to order the best seats first as a thank-you. My sincere thanks to Brenda for organising this with support from Carole.

Our 70th year looks set to be another blockbuster one with 42nd STREET and a planned Grand 70th Ball for the later end of the year which we will give you more detail about as soon as details are available. I am also overjoyed to share with you that we have acquired two terrific show licences for 2025 with the Southern Amateur Premiere of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY in May and the Classic ANNIE in October.

Here's to the next 70 years !!!!

The Addams Family

October 2022

This exceeded all our expectations, and we had amazing reviews. I realise for some of our ‘Friends of BBLOC’ this particular show may not have been a great attraction; however it proved to be a massive success and thrilled all our audiences young and old.

Calendar Girls

Our next show at the Pavilion Theatre Wednesday 5 – 8 April 2023.

The show is now fully cast and rehearsals are well under way. We have a terrific cast with some of our ‘older’ loyal members, so this is one show not to be missed. There will also be a few surprises during show week.

We are using this show to support our charity - Macmillan Caring Locally - which makes its success even more important.

Show updates since the last Newsletter

Last year was hugely busy with two shows:

  • Calendar Girls in April was beautifully performed by a talented cast and was an artistic success if not a financial one.
  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in October exceeded all our performance and financial expectations. Audiences gave the cast a standing ovation at every performance and the comments from people leaving the theatre were wonderful, with most people finding it impossible to believe it was not a professional show.
  • 42nd Street – 31 July to 3 August 2024 We have started rehearsals and have a great cast which will be announced on the Members and Friends Facebook group page shortly. The production is in the capable hands of Helen Barrington our Director, Ian Peters our MD, Duncan Hook our Production Manager and this year we have a new Choreographer, Maria Williams who will be organising all the tap routines and putting everyone through their paces.

Tickets are now available through our Ticket Secretary, Dawn Knight,, tel 07595 905744 or via Messenger if you are on Facebook so do book early to secure the best seats.

Our chosen charity - Macmillan Caring Locally

Our choice of charity was particularly appropriate for the production of Calendar Girls with its storyline based on the real-life fundraising activity of a group of WI members from the Yorkshire Dales to raise money in memory of John aker, the husband of one of the women, who died at the age of 54 from cancer.

Macmillan Caring Locally do such fine work which has helped so many of us and we decided to continue supporting them with JOSEPH and will be doing so for 42nd STREET by sharing the proceeds of our Prize Draw.

We were delighted to be able to present them with a cheque at our AGM for £5528.43.

January Coffee Morning at the Miramar Hotel

This was a huge success, mainly due to the hard work of one of our longstanding members, Brenda Baker, who personally contacted many of our past members to invite them along and renew acquaintances.

We were entertained by Bitesize who performed a selection of songs from past and present musicals and this was much appreciated by those present with over £200 raised.


Bitesize have resumed their performances with the help of Jenny Corbin, Jonathan Busk and Becky Bagnall. This group is comprised of any of our members who are available to perform for ‘gigs’ in the area. They sing a variety of numbers from past shows and new shows.

These performances keep our members busy and enable us to showcase our talents.

Bitesize are available for bookings at hotels, restaurants, meetings, dinners etc and their repertoire can be tailored to specific needs so please let us know if you have any contacts who might be interested in a booking.

Social Activities

BBLOC members and friends have enjoyed a variety of social events over the past year, including:

  • A Garden Party
  • A Cream Tea
  • Ovations
  • Joseph Childrens’ Party
  • Dinner Dance at the Trouville Hotel
  • Theatre visits to support other local companies
  • 2 super Craft Nights organised by Sarah-Jane Busk where we decorated Christmas T-shirts and jumpers
  • Our annual Christmas singsong and Quiz evening with mulled wine and mince pies

Rehearsal space

Although we are very happy here at Corpus Christi, it is very expensive for us. Because of this we are always looking for a cheaper alternative, but it would need to suit our needs, ie a large hall with possible small room(s) alongside and storage space for our props and costumes.

Any suggestions would be most welcome.

In conclusion, I hope you are all well. If you have any information on any of our past members, please let me know and I will always include them in any messages that go out. Also, Andy, our Webmaster, will put the information on our Facebook page.

Carole Gadsby - Secretary
01202 316074

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Bournemouth and Boscombe Light Opera Company