Society news

Little Shop of Horrors Update

In response to the Prime Minister’s statement this evening advising the UK public to avoid unnecessary social contact, including visiting theatres, the Reading Operatic Society Committee has been working with the trustees of The Kenton Theatre on how to proceed with our production of Little Shop of Horrors, due to open on Wednesday 18th March 2020.

As of the evening 16th March 2020, The Kenton Theatre have informed us that the Theatre has to respond to UK Government advice and with immediate effect will be closed to audiences in order to protect patrons, staff and volunteers. We fully support this decision, though of course we are devastated that the Covid-19 pandemic means our production cannot proceed.

You may have seen our update that we had our get-in and band call yesterday. The set, sound and lighting is all in place and the programmes are printed. The Cast, Crew, Creative Team and Committee have invested a large amount of effort and funds into the production, so it is with a very heavy heart that we postpone our production of Little Shop of Horrors after months of hard work.

As you will appreciate, this announcement has come suddenly after the change in government advice at 5pm today. The Committee are now reacting to these changing events. We will be working with The Kenton Theatre on specific communications for ticket holders and this will follow as quickly as possible this week. We’ll also be announcing future dates for our production of Little Shop of Horrors as soon as we are confident of the way ahead. Of course, we are determined to deliver the show to a packed audience and know that the hard work has not gone to waste.

Please do bear with us, as our efforts are all entirely voluntary and we will be working through this situation as quickly, with as much clear and transparent communication as we can. We know that this is a difficult time for many, not least those in performing arts. Thank you so for your support in difficult times and we hope that you all stay safe and healthy.

Reading Operatic Society Committee

Little Shop of Horrors opens on Wednesday!

We are very excited to welcome audiences to experience our production of Little Shop of Horrors at The Kenton Theatre from Wednesday 18th March 2020. We realise that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates may be on the minds of many. The Committee of Reading Operatic Society has been closely monitoring developments surrounding COVID-19, taking into account UK Government Guidance. As of 14th March 2020, advice is that there is no medical justification for event cancellation or postponement.

We are aware that details surrounding the outbreak are changing frequently. The Cast, Crew, Creative Team and Committee have put a large amount of effort into the production. Our main priority is of course the health and safety of all those involved in putting the production together as well our audience members.

Please rest assured, that should there be any updates or changes, we will continue to update you via our Social Media Channels and Mailing List. Our cast and crew are looking forward to the get in and band call on Sunday, leading into our show week next week.

We continue to monitor the developments, taking into account public health guidance to provide a safe and enjoyable production for all.

Reading Operatic Society Committee

Audrey and Ronette prepare the Flower Shop
Audrey and Ronette prepare the Flower Shop
Photo Credit – Zac Abbott

With music from Alan Menken (Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast, and Aladdin), we’re sure that there will be plenty of songs to keep you humming for weeks after!

Want to find out more about our production?

There is less than a week until our opening night of Little Shop of Horrors! A reminder that we have a few offers available. If you haven’t bought your tickets yet? What are you waiting for!

  • Opening night (18th March), £14 all seats
  • Saturday Matinee (21st March), £17 all seats
  • Tickets for the remaining evening performances are £17 (concessions) and £19 (adults)

You can purchase tickets online at The Kenton Theatre website, or call their box office on 01491 525050. You can find out about the cast and creative team on our website.

Announcing our next Production, Little Shop of Horrors!

Reading Operatic Society is very happy to announce our next show that will be running in March 2020, Little Shop of Horrors! Like our upcoming production of Godspell, it will also be taking place in The Kenton Theatre.

Our production team are already busy putting exciting plans in place to make this a fun and vibrant interpretation of an old favourite. Let’s introduce them to you!

  • Nicky Jaggar, Director/Choreographer
  • Delun Jones, Assistant Director/Choreographer
  • Thomas Joy, Musical Director
  • As well as Kim Hollamby and David Parsonson, our usual suspects that navigate us through our Tech and Backstage needs!

We’re very excited about putting together this show, and our very talented production team!

Want to find out more details? Workshop dates are likely to be on the 14th, 17th, 21st and 24th of October 2019, with auditions taking place on 27th October 2019. The workshops will offer a great blend of dance, acting, singing and fun, with attendance free to members and £2 per workshop for non-members.

Keep your eyes peeled on our website and Facebook page if you want to “Seymour” information!

New date for 2019 AGM

On 27 June Reading Operatic Society held what was intended to be its AGM. A small, enthusiastic group attended and a number of great ideas were discussed – my thanks to all who were there.

Unfortunately, we failed to make the quorum of 25% of members attending in order to formalise the meeting and its related business. This was in part due to last-minute issues with illness but that would not have been a problem had our numbers been higher in the first place.

We have set a new date for the AGM of 5 August 2019, 19:30 at Earley St Peters Hall. Out of respect for those who attended the first time, we will hold a short meeting focused on the essential business points, including election of any new committee members, with opportunity for informal discussion for those who would like to stay afterwards.

Committee members and volunteers

We have vacancies on the committee that we need to fill.

We ask committee members to commit to 12 meetings per year on a set monthly date (with occasional absences understood), plus whichever tasks you volunteer to become involved with. You’ll get to work with a positive, energetic team of people to shape ROS as we continue to plan exciting steps in the future, plus put something back into the world of theatre that we all enjoy.

We are also seeking a Treasurer – this person might already be in our ranks but potentially we are open to all suggestions for someone who would enjoy looking after this essential part of ROS.

If you wish to be on the committee please complete a committee nominee form and return it to by 24th July.

If a regular commitment is not possible, we are encouraging people that can help us pick up one-off tasks of all kinds, or to work on our marketing and fund-raising sub-committee teams. A simple indication you are willing to help in any way would be very encouraging to the committee.

If you have any questions at all about any of the documents, please drop me a note on before the Annual General Meeting.

If you are unable to attend please complete a proxy vote form and email it to

Kind regards

Announcing the cast of Godspell

Thank you to everyone who took part in the recent auditions for Godspell!

The cast list is now available below –

Andy Camichel: Director
Bridget Biggar: Musical Director
Delun Jones: Choreographer

Ajani Cabey: Jesus
Chris Reddington: John the Baptist / Judas

Featuring –
Saira Bentley-Holder: Lindsay
Richard Bott: Telly
Stanley Hagen: Nick
Amie Jones: Morgan
Eve MacDonald: Uzo
Katie Smith: Anna Maria
Charley Woodward: Celisse
Josie Worgan: George

With –
Charley Caswell
Catherine Hood
Emma Keeley

Ryan Stevens receives award from NODA

Congratulations to Ryan Stevens for recently being awarded Best Male in a musical for the district by NODA! Ryan gave his winning performance as Daniel ‘Rooster’ Hannigan in Annie last year.

Best wishes from all of your friends in Reading Operatic Society for the well deserved award!

Chair, Kim Hollamby, states: “Ryan has been consistently praised by NODA for his performances in recent ROS productions including Singin’ in the Rain and Legally Blonde. Plus he has put in many hard yards supporting us with a lot of marketing effort so it’s great to see him get recognition in this way. We’ll look forward to marking the moment at our AGM in June.”

Annual General Meeting

You are invited to Reading Operatics Society’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday 27th June at Earley St Peter’s Church Hall at 19:30. This meeting is a chance to reflect over the last year, an opportunity to submit any changes to the constitution and to elect new committee members.

Proposed Change to the Constitution:

Proposer: Chris Reddington
Seconder: Terry Hodgkinson

This amendment is not an adjustment based upon the recent constitutional update from November 2018, but is an optimisation based upon how we have been working over recent months.
Throughout the last number of months on the Committee, we have been operating with a reduced number of Committee members, particularly, without a Membership Secretary. As a result, we have been reviewing those roles on the Committee, and believe that it makes sense to merge the administrative duties of the Membership secretary into the Secretary role. This allows us to add an additional Committee member role in its place, and continue sharing out the “Membership Development” role across the whole Committee, as we have been operating over recent months.
Section 12 – Concessionary Membership may be available at the discretion of an Officer of the Committee and the Membership Secretary.

Proposed Revision to Section 12 – Concessionary Membership may be available at the discretion of the Committee.
Section 17 – The management of the Society shall be conducted by a Committee, elected every two years by Members at an Annual General Meeting and shall comprise of the following Officers of the Society:

  1. Chair,
  2. Vice Chair.
  3. Secretary,
  4. Treasurer,
  5. Membership Secretary
  6. And six other members

Proposed Revision to Section 12 – The management of the Society shall be conducted by a Committee, elected every two years by Members at an Annual General Meeting and shall comprise the following Officers of the Society:

  1. Chair,
  2. Vice Chair
  3. Secretary,
  4. Treasurer,
  5. And seven other members

Section 70 – The Membership Secretary will give 21 days notice of the date of auditions. The production team shall make available details of test pieces for the various roles. Auditions may be arranged on an alternative date only by arrangement with the production team and prior permission of the Committee.
Proposed Revision to Section 70  – The Committee will give 21 days notice of the date of auditions. The production team shall make available details of test pieces for the various roles. Auditions may be arranged on an alternative date only by arrangement with the production team and prior permission of the Committee.
The following committee positions will be up for election at the 2019 AGM:

  • Treasurer
  • Membership Secretary (Committee Member if change to constitution is passed)
  • 3 x Committee Member

If you are interested in any of these positions please return the committee nominee form below or any proposed amendments to the constitution to the Secretary, Natasha Maxworthy in person or via email at by 31st May.

Announcing Godspell as the next Production!

Reading Operatic Society are delighted to announce Godspell as our next production. The musical is structured as a series of parables, primarily based on the Gospel of Matthew. The parables are interspersed with music set to lyrics from traditional hymns.

Reading Operatic Society will be performing Godspell on 19th – 21st September 2019 in the Kenton Theatre, Henley.

Andy Camichel (Director)
Bridget Biggar (Musical Director)
Delun Jones (Choreographer) 

Workshops will take place at Earley St Peters Hall from 19:30 to 22:00 on the following dates:
Monday 20th May 2019
Thursday 23rd May 2019
Monday 27th May 2019
Thursday 30th May 2019

Auditions will take place in St Michaels Church Hall in Tilehurst from 13:00 to 18:00 on Sunday 2nd June 2019. If you cannot make this audition date please speak to Andy for alternative arrangements.

Limited tickets available for Closing Time

Limited tickets available for Closing Time!

Closing Time is a variety show with a difference. Featuring original narrative based around an evening down a local pub, the show will feature musical favourites that will keep you humming along!

The show will take places at The Alan Cornish Theatre in the Oakwood Centre, Woodley on the following dates:

  • Friday 26th April – 19:30
  • Saturday 27th April – 14:30
  • Saturday 27th April – 19:30

To purchase tickets for one of the performances, please visit our page on TicketSource and purchase the tickets directly from there. Tickets are selling fast, so we recommend that you buy your tickets soon to avoid disappointment!