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Spalding am-dram group SADOS starts 2019 on a high note




Spalding’s amateur theatre group, SADOS, is entering 2019 on a high now that a new rehearsal space has been offered.

The group feared the final curtain might come down on nearly 150 years of history because it will lose its headquarters at the end of May.

Following an appeal in this newspaper, SADOS has now been offered a place to rehearse - although it still needs storage space for costumes dating back to Victorian times and for scenery and props.

Melissa Brooks, Jodie Schweikhardt and Paul Coleman with a Victorian costume from the early days of SADOS.
Melissa Brooks, Jodie Schweikhardt and Paul Coleman with a Victorian costume from the early days of SADOS.

SADOS chairman Jodie Schweikhardt told us: “Exciting news! We now have a temporary arrangement with a fantastic rehearsal venue for our upcoming musical, ‘Fame’.”

The Bull at Pinchbeck has made its upstairs function room available for the coming months and, in return, SADOS, will stage monthly quizzes and bingo sessions at the pub and have appealed to the public to support the events.

Auditions for the new production, Fame, were held at the group's base, The Shed, in Monks House Lane, on Sunday (January 6) and the switch to The Bull takes place on Sunday, January 13.

Founded in 1870, SADOS (Spalding Amateur Dramatic and Operatic Society) is the oldest theatre group of its kind in the country.

Melissa Brooks has been with SADOS for 15 years, holding titles of wardrobe mistress, head of wardrobe and now costume designer.

She has the rare luxury of being able to dress performers in costumes for just about every era, including authentic top hats and bowler hats dating from Victorian times.

Tucked away in the wardrobe is a Victorian style dress, made of very heavy, quality material with the original pintuck, but it’s not a popular pick for modern day ladies who aren’t quite so petite as their forebears ... it's also much too heavy for a whole night on the stage.

Other quite unusual items include a bright red, military jacket from the 1800s and a black, plumed helmet from the same period.

Melissa says there are more than 1,000 costumes but she’s always designing new ones, adapting others, and buying bits to add to the store.

Her sewing skills come in handy mid-performance, too, when there's the occasional wardrobe failure.

Melissa will whip out needle and thread during the interval or while the play is on if it's an emergency.

She goes on stage, always as a member of the chorus and never as a principal, but her role in dressing characters is crucial.

A little while into rehearsal, Melissa asks the players what are the main traits of their particular character - if, for example, it's someone who is quite serious she heads for the drab end of the wardrobe.

"A serious person would not be dressed in flamboyant colours," she says. "The right costume can make a character."

Like other SADOS members, Melissa is keen to see the group thrive and write yet more exciting chapters in its long history.

She says: "This is my second family. It always will be."

SADOS vice-chairman Paul Coleman says: "SADOS has been part of my life for the last 15 years. It's effectively my hobby, my passion. It takes the stresses and strains of work away."

* If you can offer SADOS storage space for scenery, props and costumes please call Jodie on 07702 754925.



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