Tag Archives: Tessa Howell

Horley Carol Service – This Sunday 18th

st-e-in-snow1.pngYes THIS Sunday be sure to go along to Horley’s Carol Service as its going to be a extra ordinarily packed one……

With the blessing of the crib, a wealth of favourite carols for audience participation supported by a choir, nativity narration and acting, a programme of readings, poems and music with two choirs, trumpets, bells, and of course a glass of something to keep you warm.

Produced by our amazingly spritely resident director Tessa Howell,  with musical direction provided by the very patience and talented David Kyle.

This  promises to be a very special start to Christmas 2016, so make sure you get there early to get a good seat for a 6pm start…….tidings of comfort and joy X

Also there is CAROL SINGING ROUND THE VILLAGE TUESDAY 20 DECEMBER, In support of the Children’s Society, meet at the Old School at 6pm

Last Performance, Last Chance, Today 2:00……..

Untitled_21014249554_lLast performance today at 2:00, last chance to see Tessa’s last production! It’s spectacular and funny, there are few seats available (tickets on the door), so please join us and help make this performance one to remember.

Untitled_21015901663_l“Lord, what fools these mortals be”

A Midsummers Nights Dream

A Horley Footlights Production

What’s the Story, Who’s Doing What to Whom?

A sneak peak synopsis of  “A Midsummers Night’s Dream”

The action is based in a wood near Athens 

(aka St.Etheldreda’s Church, Horley).

Cast and their Characters – The Court of Athens: Tim Allitt – Theseus, Sarah Allitt – Hippolyta, David Foreman – Egeus, Chris Howell – Philostrate, Sue Patching – Servant. The Lovers:  Carlie Lee – Hermia, Tanja Miles – Helena, Joseph Turner – Lysander, Hal Wallis – Demetrius.  The Mechanicals: Julian Wright – Nick Bottom, David Foreman – Peter Quince, Jack Curd – Francis Flute, Sue Keenan –Tom Snout, William Hamer – Robin Starveling, Martin Hamer – Snug. Fairyland: Johnny Lynn – Oberon, Charlotte Curd – Puck, Debra Fox – Titania, Fairies and Indian Child, Millie Gamage and Lucy Hamer – Gate Keepers

Act 1 Overture and Prologue – Fairies flit about the woods and Titania takes the Indian orphan child to Fairyland. Members of the court of Athens are introduced.

Scene 1: Theseus is looking forward to his wedding day and wonders how they will pass the time until then. He sends Philostrate off to organise some entertainment. Egeus enters, complaining that his daughter, Hermia, refuses to marry Demetrius and has been seduced by Lysander. He claims his right as a father to either send Hermia to a convent or have her killed, if she does not marry Demetrius. Theseus takes Egeus’ side and agrees with his wishes. Hippolyta is appalled at this show of male chauvinism and storms out followed by Theseus, Egeus, Demetrius and Helena. Hermia and Lysander are left to mourn their fate until Lysander suggests they elope to the woods. This idea cheers them up just as Helena arrives back on the scene. She bemoans the fact that she cannot win the love of Demetrius, because he loves Hermia and asks what she should do about it. Lysander and Hermia confess that they are going to elope and say their goodbyes. Helena decides to tell Demetrius about the elopement to try and win his favour and, she, too, follows them to the woods.

Scene 2: A group of workers, called The Mechanicals, (because they work with machines), meet to plan a play they might perform for Theseus and Hippolyta on their wedding day. Peter Quince, the director, assigns them their roles and hands out scripts. Bottom wants to play all the parts!

Scene 3: The fairies play and dance. Puck arrives to tell them that Oberon is close by and warns them to keep out of his way because he has quarrelled with Titania, (over an Indian child who they both want) and is in a rage! Oberon and Titania arrive and continue their quarrel. Titania flounces off and Oberon vows he will punish her. He sends Puck off to get a magic herb which will make Titania fall in love with the first person or thing she sees. Oberon hides when Demetrius enters, followed by Helena who throws herself on him, much to his annoyance. They run off and Puck arrives with the magic herb. Oberon explains how he will find Titania asleep and use the juice of the herb to bewitch her. He also gives some of it to Puck, telling him to find a young man (Demetrius) and use the magic to make him fall in love with the young lady (Helena) for whom he feels sorry.

Scene 4: The fairies sing Titania to sleep. Oberon squeezes the juice of the magic herb onto her eyes. Lysander and Hermia enter and find they are lost. They decide to spend the night in the wood. Hermia lays down the rules of where they are to sleep, much to Lysander’s disappointment. Puck enters, and seeing Lysander and Hermia asleep, thinks they are Demetrius and Helena and so uses the magic on the wrong man. Helena is still chasing Demetrius, but stopping to get her breath, notices Lysander asleep. She wakes him and he immediately falls in love with her. Helena, is alarmed at the turn of events and thinking he is mocking her runs away. Besotted, he follows her. Hermia wakes up having had a nightmare and, finding Lysander gone, rushes off to try to find him.

Scene 5: The mechanicals rehearse their play, watched by Puck who changes Bottom into a donkey. This frightens all the others and they run away in alarm. Bottom sings to cheer himself up which wakes Titania who, of course, falls madly in love with him. She summons her fairies to attend to him and orders them to lead him to her bower.

Interval, then Act 2

Scene 1Oberon and Puck meet to discuss how the plans are going. Demetrius enters with Hermia who is threatening him, because she thinks he has killed Lysander. Puck realizes that he has used the magic on the wrong man and is reprimanded by Oberon for the mistake. He makes Demetrius fall asleep and commands Puck to find Helena and bring her to the sleeping Demetrius. He then squeezes the magic juice on Demetrius. Puck returns with Helena, followed by a love-sick Lysander. Demetrius wakes and seeing Helena, he also falls madly in love with her. Rather than being delighted, Helena believes that Demetrius and Lysander have joined forces to make fun of her. Hermia arrives delighted to have at last found Lysander, only to be brushed aside in Helena’s favour. Helena believes Hermia has joined in the game of mockery and the girls start to squabble, while Lysander and Demetrius are fighting over Helena. The girls start to fight in earnest and have to be separated by the men, before they continue with their own fight. Oberon blames Puck for all the mess and muddle and Puck complains that it’s not his fault. Oberon tells him to lead the lovers through the wood until they fall asleep exhausted. Puck must then repair the damage he has done, which he duly does.

 Scene 2: The fairies settle Titania and Bottom to sleep. Oberon and Puck watch and Oberon tells Puck that he has made it up with Titania and removes the spell. Puck changes Bottom back to himself. Titania wakes and tells Oberon about the weird dream she has just had. They dance and go happily together to Fairyland. Bottom wakes and goes off to find the other Mechanicals.

Scene 3: It is the morning of the wedding. Theseus, Hippolyta and Egeus are taking a walk when they are surprised to find the four lovers asleep. Theseus wakes them and inexplicably all their differences seem to be resolved. Theseus revokes his promise of support to Egeus, and they all go merrily away to prepare for the weddings.

Scene 4: The Mechanicals meet sadly to discuss the missed opportunity to do a play, when Bottom arrives to tell them that the play is to go ahead and they all hurry away to get ready for the performance.

Scene 5: Theseus and Hippolyta are married, together with Hermia and Lysander, and Helena and Demetrius. They need an entertainment to occupy them before they go to bed, so Philostrate reluctantly calls the Mechanicals to perform their play of “Pyramus and Thisbe”. The actors do their best, but it is a sorry affair, ending with a somewhat inept dance. The wedding party, by now rather drunk, are happy enough and retire to bed at midnight.

Scene 6: Puck evokes the spirits of the night and as dawn breaks, Oberon, Titania and the fairies sing and dance by way of a blessing on the three newly married couples. Puck has the final word, which is to say that the whole thing has been a dream!


Court of Athens: Tim Allitt – Theseus, Sarah Allitt – Hippolyta, David Foreman – Egeus, Chris Howell – Philostrate, Sue Patching – Servant,

The Lovers:  Carlie Lee – Hermia, Tanja Miles – Helena, Joseph Turner – Lysander, Hal Wallis – Demetrius

The Mechanicals: Julian Wright – Nick Bottom, David Foreman – Peter Quince, Jack Curd – Francis Flute, Sue Keenan -Tom Snout, William Hamer – Robin Starveling, Martin Hamer – Snug

Fairyland: Johnny Lynn – Oberon, Charlotte Curd – Puck, Debra Fox – Titania, Fairies and Indian Child, Millie Gamage and Lucy HamerGate Keepers

Production Team:

Director – Tessa Howell,  Assistant / Prompt –  Louise Jeffries.  Musical Director/ Pianist  – David Kyle.  Costumes  & Props- Tracey Parsons, Alison Wynn, Alison Carr.  Set /Sound/Lighting – Mike Patching. Make-up  Jane Roberts. Photographer- Gary Fox. Programmes- Barry Moss.  Box office- Jenny and Dave Reynolds

This production is dedicated to Brenda Barnwell who would have loved to have been part of it all.       

See all previous posts about this production, Brenda and others about Horley Footlights

Back Stage Buzz – Salacious Fly On Wall

flyWarning: Gossip of the Most Salacious Matter. By Nosing-Round Fly. 

So! I expect you’ve heard the latest? The Foxy liaisons with a handsome polo player? Then there’s been whispers of the goings-on between a certain local Nordic blonde and a Yobo from Banbury – outrageous! And of course I can barely mention Horley’s very own Mrs Robinson. Such bare-faced cradle-snatching! I can’t imagine she’ll be at the coffee morning anytime soon. And if she is those buns of hers will remain untouched.  Then there’s the talk of a certain local landowner, well known to you and I. He was seen roaring with rage and ripping a bridal veil from the head of some poor mop-topped maid. Incroyable! His mother will have something to say about that: he’s not too big for a spanking. The on-dit, of course, suggests that all of this is just make-believe, some sort of mid-summer charm, but I can tell you, my darlings, that it’s all true. Even that nice, normal couple, something to do with Essex? He works in the City. Anyway. Into leather. Black.     

 You know who’s behind the mischief, don’t you? Tessa Howell. Sprite-like and bewitching; inexhaustible and occasionally incorrigible. Husband is terribly attractive. You may know her from before – she’s the director of the Horley Footlights, and one year, one play, of course, she pulled off an extremely risqué scene with one of Horley’s yummiest-mummies…yes, that scene. During rehearsal the assembled were agog; one old boy had to be carried out halfway through – his heart, you know. But Lord! The size of his… smile.

msndSo, anyway, this new play is Shakespeare. Mid Summer Night’s Dream, so allows for lots of gorgeousness with the sets and the costumes. There’s apparently a veritable army of fairies involved – all children filched from the village – and they run about the church – our beautiful St. Ethelreda’s –  bare-foot and bedecked with flowers. They barely seem to be choreographed, and appear quite untamed, like little wild things, brought in from the woods.  

I do rather approve of the music though: the whole thing is set to Mendelssohn. Quite ravishing. And the chap known for his marvellous organ – yes, I know – is to play the piano.  

Of course, Madame Howell has messed considerably with the original script. Pared-down, I believe it’s called, apparently so we all understand it, even if we don’t know the play.  Anyway, later, I shall resume my post back stage (quite out of sight), and let you know the real story behind the scenes. Someone ought to tell her – Tessa Howell and your outrageous cast: beware I shall be making notes……  

1 More Sleeps To Horley’s Ironstone Chamber Music Festival

Ironstone Concerts


St Etheldreda’s Church, Horley  11th, 12th September 2015.

By now  you should have received a flyer through your door to advertise a wonderful weekend of music making here in Horley! A very professional team of musicians led by violinist Lucy Gould and her sister, ‘cellist Kate Gould has been assembled to play in the great acoustic of our Church. To add to that line up they have invited Craig Ogden, who is one of the foremost classical guitarists here in the UK! The first concert on Friday 11th Sept at 7.30, will include music by Schubert & Mendelssohn and Craig will join the string players for the entertaining Guitar Quintet by Boccherini, and a piece entitled Tango Sensations by Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla.

Next day Saturday 12th at 12:30 Craig will give a one hour lunchtime recital in which he will play pieces as diverse as Bach to George Harrison and Django Reinhardt.

The final concert will be 7.30 pm on Saturday 12th September and will feature amongst others the marvellous String Quintet by Schubert, probably never played in his lifetime, and not published until 20 years after his early death.

When you hear this work, which is one of our “Desert Island” selections, we hope you may marvel at its sheer beauty!

To finish the weekend on Sunday 13th at 11.00 am we shall present a Choral Mass by Mozart.


Season Ticket Booking InformationEvening Concerts – Adults £15 : Under 18s & Students £10

Guitar Recital – Adults £10 : Under 18s & Students £5

Season Ticket (all three concerts) £35 (saves £5) / Under 18s and Students £20 (Saves £5)


For further information and to order tickets email howelltessa@hotmail.co.uk;   Tel:- 01295 738313. Post-concert suppers at £10 per head and Sandwich pub lunch at £5 per head can also be pre-booked.

Michael Hardinge Trust have kindly agreed to pay for children from Horley.

Further details see www.ironstonechambermusic.com

We hope to see you…

Tessa & Chris Howell