Hello; my name is Wendie.
I was born in Kent and at the age of 13 relocated to Leeds with my family. In later life I lived in the little village of Bolton Abbey near Skipton then in 1995 I immigrated to New Zealand and now live in the beautiful South Island.
I have always had an interest in theatre and concerts so when I heard that our local playhouse, The Boathouse Theatre were short of volunteer ushers and bar staff for their production of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ - my hand flew up to help. Little did I know that this was to be a life changing event.
I thoroughly enjoyed my first volunteer evening so returned a second time to help out. This night I was approached by a gentleman who told me he was directing the next play called ‘A Shortcut to Happiness’ and he had a role for me. I was totally shocked; no horrified in fact and said – “no, no, I can’t do that! “ However, I hadn’t bargained on his persistency so eventually I agreed to at least read the script.
After much deliberating I finally agreed to take on the role of Beverley. What a voyage of personal discovery it turned out to be. Very much out of my comfort zone at the beginning, I slowly grew in confidence. Even though there were ups and downs along the way, in the end I really enjoyed the opportunity and was thankful for being pushed.
As the play drew to a close, posters were erected advertising the next production ….. Calendar Girls. Well; I was captivated! With living near Skipton I can recall the actual event. I also had a brush with cancer in 2008 so can personally relate to the effects of the disease …… I just had to audition for this show!
I was offered 2 small roles in Calendar Girls. In Act 1, I played Brenda, the boring WI guest speaker who enjoyed sharing her knowledge of broccoli and the history of the teatowel! In Act 2 I became Elaine who was the mistress of one of the husbands – two totally different characters and I loved the variety and challenge.
The show was a huge success with full houses most nights. It is fitting that a percentage of all Calendar Girls performance fees are donated to Leukaemia Research. Our cast and crew elected to host an additional special preview show with all proceeds being donated to Hospice Marlborough.
I was definitely cajoled into going on stage initially and looking back I will always be grateful for that. Things do happen for a reason – the reason might not be apparent at first but I feel it is important to try and be open to opportunities and never stop being willing to learn, explore and grow.
It is fantastic to know that this play helps raise much needed funds for such a worthy cause. I am thrilled to have been involved and am thankful to have met so many wonderful people along the way.
Will I return to the stage in the future? We’ll see, watch this space!