FHODS Highlights Ep. 87 (May 2024)


We’re delighted to announce that Michelle Hartley has taken on the role of Events and Marketing Manager at the theatre. I’m sure most of you know Michelle very well, not only from her time as a volunteer and FHODS member, but also from her work is an administrator in the office. This is exciting new opportunity, and I’m sure you will all join me and the rest of the Exec Committee in wishing her all of the best in her new role.

In fact, Michelle has already hit the ground running and secured an interview with BBC South East on her first day in the role, discussing the importance of local theatre and the financial challenges we all face. Michelle’s interview is scheduled to be shown as part of a wider piece on the BBC South East Regional News this Thursday (May 2nd) at 1:30pm, and again at 6:30pm.

With the arrival of Spring, work has been under way on the new outdoor seating area under the capable guidance of Kate Richmond and Robert Emptage. Our next working party will be on May 4th from 10am and anyone that wants to come along and help is very welcome! Hot drinks and snacks will be provided. Also, if anyone has any decent garden furniture that they would like to donate please get in touch. Please let Kate know if you are planning on coming along at accounts@towertheatrefolkestone.co.uk.

Our youth section musical for this year “Into the Woods” took place last week to well attended audiences. Those that were able to come and support were amazed by the quality of this production from such a talented group of young people. Huge congratulations to them all and to those that assisted them with the show, especially Michelle and Andy Hartley who worked tirelessly to give them this fantastic opportunity.

Rehearsals are going well for our two May productions of “Hobson’s Choice” and “Six Dance Lessons” so make sure you book your tickets soon!

As always, a massive thanks to all our volunteers. We are very grateful to each and every one of you.

Alice Hawkins


Huge congratulations to our Youth Section for another phenomenal production with Into the Wood, which wowed audiences recently – we were blown away by the talent on and off stage in putting this brilliant show together. Well done to everyone involved.

Our next FHODS production is Hobson’s Choice – this classic play has been brought into the 1960s and will be on stage 16-18 May – don’t leave it too late to get your ticket! This will be closely followed in the foyer by Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks from 23-25 May. The foyer play is new to FHODS and we hope you will join us in this more intimate setting to enjoy this fantastic play.

Finally, we’re delighted to announce that our November production has now been confirmed and that plans are underway to bring The Railway Children to the Tower. The get together will take place on Tuesday 28 May at 7pm, and auditions will be on 8 June from 10am. Please get in touch with Robert robertemptage@msn.com for more information, otherwise we hope to see many of you at the get together next month.

Julie Morrow, P&P Chair


We are delighted to be hosting Eurovision 2024 for all our members and guests in the foyer on 11 May from 7.30pm. The glitter and glam of the finals will be shown on the screen and the bar will be open for themed cocktails and general merriment.

There is a competition running alongside where you can win your very own replica of the trophy. Please ladies and gents, control yourselves!

Please join us, bring munchies, and feel free to dress as your favourite Eurovision winner of yesteryear.

Entry is £2 per person to cover the cost of the television licence, any ‘profit’ will go into the theatre. Your £2 will also enter you into the FHODS Eurovision Sweepstake. You can pay either in advance (and thereby receive your nominated country early to allow for costumes!) or on the door.


The rules to the sweep are very simple.

Every person will be given a randomly generated number on entry to the event either beforehand or on the door. One number per person. That number will correspond to the country you are now representing and will be in line with the official line-up order. So if your number is 2, whatever country is billed as second on the night, that will be your country to support. At the end of the evening, whichever country comes highest (it doesn’t have to be the actual winner of the competition, just within our group) is the winner and receives the trophy.

And yes! If you are allocated a country to support before the event, you can absolutely dress to impress in that nation’s national colours! Feathers, sequins and glitter not only allowed but positively encouraged.

Our Eurovision night is kindly organised by Becki and Luke, please get in touch with them if you have any questions or to book your place – lucas_1992@hotmail.co.uk or becki.reynolds77@gmail.com. All members and guests welcome.


We’re delighted to announce the cast list for this September’s musical, Sister Act. There was an amazing turnout and the audition panel had some very difficult decisions to make. Tickets are already selling well, so make sure you get yours soon!

The cast list is as follows – please join us in welcoming all of our new members.

Deloris Van Cartier – Amanda White
Mother Superior – Sian West
Eddie Souther – Luke Jones
Curtis Jackson – Paul Moran
Pablo – Jose Barrientos
TJ – Dylan Bryon
Joey – Richard Hawkins
Monsignor O’Hara – Michael Manton
Sister Mary Roberts – Georgia Smith
Sister Mary Lazarus – Charmian Heselden
Sister Mary Patrick – Katy Sherwood
Sister Mary Theresa – Anne Mortimer
Sister Mary Martin of Tours – Natalie Holness
Michelle/ Nun – Hannah Ridley
Tina/ Nun – Karen Marie-Brough
Ensemble/nuns – Rebecca Pyburn, Sheelagh Blackham, Racheal Criddle, Caroline Dowling, Joyce Whawell, Katy-Scarlett Coveney, Dawn-Theresa O’Bryan, Sarah-Louise Smith, Katie Bickley, Pauline Gullidge, Andrea Reid and Patricia Smith

Alice Hawkins (director) & Mike Manton (producer)


Hello all, time for another few paragraphs of fun facts with which you can impress your spouse, emotional support goldfish, gender fluid non-denominational partner(s) or other meaningful domestic cohabitee.

Anyroadup, we’ve cleansed the theatre of another rodent, a juvenile, possibly the heartbroken offspring of the two we murdered in last month’s episode. Fun-fact – a rodent isn’t vermin until it comes into the building, if it remains outside the building it is classed as part of the natural food chain and can’t be touched. So we’ve sealed up as many obvious routes of ingress as possible to prevent further dreary grubby diseased creatures entering the building (although children may continue to use the stage door as usual).

We completed the repairs to the gas boilers, although we had to spend a further £600 on a replacement pump, however we managed to get everything flushed, re-assembled and certificated one hour before doors opened for the first performance of ‘A Murder Is Announced’ so piece of cake. Next problem was that somehow the thermostat controls had been set to come on between 2am and 10am everyday which was costing us a lot of money so we had to work to sort out the controlling software and many thanks to Steve Hawkins for coming through on that.

The coke drinks mixer in the cellar went AWOL as did the beer dispensing system but we called up the Coca-Cola Corporation and Shepherd Neame and said the performance of their equipment was hampering our ability to sell their products and they were both with us within 24 hours and fixed us up. Isn’t capitalism wonderful?

We have had a Fire Risk Assessment performed by a competent person and we are a ‘medium risk’. That’s not so good and will involve us working through various actions in order to bring us up to fire code. That’s going to take time and money but as ever we’re rectifying past problems and we’ll work through the steps and do what needs to be done and we’ll be OK.

Finally a big welcome to Robert, our new theatre technical manager who has already had a noticeable impact around the building and with whom I am very much looking forward to working with over the coming months.

Paul Milton, Exec Committee


The Rude Mechanical Theatre Company is bringing its latest show, The Dressing Book, to Lyminge on Sat 22 June on Tayne field.

This original play by The Rudes is a comedy for six actors, but gentle, poetic and tender, using material we have garnered with the help of The V&A. It is set in the late 18th Century, but plays games with time and social status and has a twist in the tail.

It follows the ‘social round’ of Maybelline Erstwhile who records which dresses she wears for each event in her ‘dressing book’ – and the men she encounters while wearing them. The play opens a window on the way clothes were a means by which men could control the separated public and private worlds of women. Through a process of magic realism the action changes to the 1960’s and her clothes, which had been her prison, now set her free.

“In turn hilarious, touching & provocative, the play shows how social expectation, especially relating to how women should look, both in their body shape and their clothes, is still as relevant today as it was in 1795.”

For details – Therudes1948@gmail.com, 01323 501260