Meet Our Director

This week we speak to our Director Mr Andy Lunn and delve a little deeper into the world of our Director.
What is your role and what does that involve?
Director – I’m responsible for the overall look and artistic interpretation of the show

How long have you been involved with Encore Theatre Company?
This my 6th show.

Where do you get your inspiration from and what was it that inspired you to direct Bad Girls?
I get inspiration from all sorts of places, listening to music watching films and TV and obviously seeing as much varied theatre as possible. During my time with Encore I have seen a very strong female ensemble develop and in Bad Girls I saw a great opportunity to show off that talent.

What has been your favourite show with Encore and why?10479063_891101527573266_4789733090039926458_o
There have been favourite moments in all the shows but I think if I had to pick one I would pick Carousel. It was a show I had always wanted to do but had never had the chance and I think it really came together in many different ways. It had great strength in depth, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ was really moving and the ballet was just ace.

Which part of Bad Girls are you most looking forward to?
I think the opening number ‘Shouldn’t Be Here’ – it showcases all the girls and is a really powerful number which sets up the whole show.

Can you recall a particularly memorable stage event that you contributed to? 
I’ve been very lucky to have been involved in many memorable stage events over the years but one that particularly stands out was in June 2006 when I was asked to direct a concert at what was then the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield. It was in celebration of the Queen’s 80th birthday and the 85th Anniversary of The British Legion It featured a choir of more that 1000 and was headlined by Peter Corry and Jane McDonald. Sitting high in the arena looking down on the whole thing come together was quite something.

Can you remember the first time you thought “I want to get involved in theatre”?
I can’t really remember a particular time – my family have always been involved in the theatre so I grew up with it all.

What is the most difficult part of your job?
Keeping everyone happy…. Is that part of my job?

What do you enjoy most about working with Encore Theatre Company?
905998_1092159394134144_8976453743202519329_oThe people – right from the start everyone has been very welcoming and supportive.

What else do you get up to when you’re not working with ETC?
I still do a bit of concert work, down in the Midlands twice a year, and productions elsewhere and I’ve recently started working with Company A Theatre which is run by Bev Maher, who is my right hand and sometimes my left hand as well, at Encore. I also get the odd five minutes to spend with my family and hold down a job as a media lecturer at Leeds City College.

Can you name a best and worst moment during a show?
The worst moment I think would be the opening night of a concert version of Jesus Christ Superstar at Leeds Town Hall. As the overture came to an end we suddenly realised that not one microphone was live. We had to stop the show and quickly discovered that someone had moved a rack and pulled the mains cable out of the back. The show went on and was a huge success and we could laugh about it later but we never found the culprit.
I have two best moments. The first  was also at Leeds Town Hall when during a concert everything stopped as the host announced my engagement in front of a full house and my wife Alison was presented with champagne and flowers just before singing her solo. The second happened earlier this year when I directed my two daughters, Martha age 9 and Daisy who is 6, in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – their first ever show.

Favourite line from the show?
I don’t really have a favourite as yet – they usually come out of something that happens in rehearsal. Ask me again at the end.

Can you describe Bad Girls in 3 words?
In Your Face

Thank you for taking time to answer our questions Andy
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Who’s The Baddest And The Best?

Welcome to our first in a series of prisoner profiles for our production of ‘Bad Girls the Musical’ in June.

Introducing our first bunch of inmates at HMP Larkhall.

Bianca Duffield played by  Vikki Vaughan
Natalie Buxton played by Julie Backhouse
Snowball Merriman played by Christine Crowley

Tickets for ‘Bad Girls the Musical’ available here…

Bianca Duffield played by Vikki Vaughan in ‘Bad Girls’




Snowball Merriman played by Christine Crowley in ‘Bad Girls’


Natalie Buxton played by Julie Backhouse in ‘Bad Girls’



Hi everyone here’s a further update from Pam of what’s happening in Encore over the coming weeks / months which we hope all members, whether on stage or not for the production of “Bad Girls”, will be able to get involved in.

Bad Girls” promotional activities

Here’s a list of what we have planned and there’s something that everyone can help with to help us promote “Bad Girls”.
Bad Girls A5 Flyer

  • Here is a copy of the flyer / booking information – please share it with your family and friends.  Flyers and posters are also available to collect from rehearsals.
  • Perhaps you know of a local business that would display a poster or put some flyers in their reception area for us – maybe your hairdresser, beauty salon, florist, local takeaway etc.
  • We’re asking every member / friend to display an A5 flyer in their car window over the next few weeks, just pop along to a rehearsal and we’ll provide you with the flyers and blu-tack!
  • You may already have noticed that The Magnet on Pontefract Road, Castleford, have kindly agreed to display a banner for us on the roadside.  We have another banner for which we require a location, so if you live on a busy roadside, or know of anyone who would be willing to display a banner on our behalf, please let us know.  We can offer some advertising in our souvenir programme for a business willing to support us in this way.
  • A significant part of our promotional activities this time are focused around social media and we’d like to everyone to be more involved in posting photos / videos to the Encore Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, using ♯etcbadgirls.  If you’re a member of the cast, then why not post something as your character to make it more interesting.  However, all members and friends can get involved in this to invite their friends to like the ETC page and ask them to share details of the show.  You’re all very welcome to come along to a rehearsal and take a photo to share with everyone.
  • Saturday 16 April, from 9.00 am to approx 12.00 noon – a poster / flyer distribution day (in groups of 2 or 3) to visit a selection of locations, primarily to ask businesses to display posters on our behalf.  Full details will be confirmed, but even if you can’t be available for the whole morning, an hour or so of your time would be appreciated.  Please let Vikki ( know ASAP if you will be able to help out on this morning.
  • Sunday 24 April – promotional photos for cast members – full details to be confirmed.
  • Tuesday 10 May – open rehearsal at the Phoenix Theatre, to which local colleges, press etc. will be invited.  All members and friends are welcome to attend – full details in due course.
  • Saturday 28 May – a “Bad Girls” Night Out in Castleford / Pontefract – further details to be confirmed.
  • Saturday 4 June, 9.00 am onwards – promotional day at Carlton Lanes, Castleford – help required throughout the day to distribute flyers.

Show week

We’d appreciate your help in the run up to and during show week, either as stage crew, ushers, front of house etc.  There are lots of jobs to cover, so please let us know ASAP if you’re available to help and when.

Performances are Wednesday 15, Thursday 16, Friday 17 & Saturday 18 June.

Other important dates:

Thursday 28 April – Annual General Meeting, 6.30 pm at St Joseph’s School.Capture

Saturday 30 April – Wine & Cheese Tasting Evening, 7.00 pm at Ferrybridge Community Centre.  Please see attached details for what promises to be an excellent evening and something a bit different – members, family and friends are all welcome.
If you would like to join us for this evening please respond by this coming Friday 15th April so that we can arrange numbers. If we don’t have enough people supporting us for this event we may have to cancel so act fast people!

Saturday 2 July – Hog Roast Supper and Disco at The Magnet, Castleford.  This event is kindly being funded by The Magnet on our behalf, so is a great fundraising opportunity.  Please keep the date free and further details will be available soon.  Again, everyone is welcome, together with family and friends.

Saturday 10 September – Normanton Gala – always a good fundraising opportunity for us.  We have some different ideas for our stall this year, so if you have any unwanted gift bags (doesn’t matter what size or occasion) or can save any for us over the next few months, then these would be greatly appreciated.

Membership subscriptions

Please remember that your membership subscriptions are now due, details as below:

  • Full adult membership subscription is £60.00 (sixty pounds) per annum, payable on an annual basis in January each year.  Members joining later in the year (normally September) will be asked to pay a subscription of £30.00 for the remainder of that year.
  • A reduced rate of £30.00 (thirty pounds) per annum is applicable to unwaged adult members, again payable on an annual basis as above.

Long Service awards

It’s a while since we had a presentation of NODA long service awards, so I’m sure there must be few members due to apply, so please let Clare or myself know and we will send you the form for completion.  We’d like to make our next presentation of awards at The Magnet on 2 July.


We’re re-launching our sponsorship programme and would like to promote this to local businesses.  Sarah Clarkson has recently issued the attached letter, which you may have seen on our Facebook page / website.  Please read through this, share it with your friends and try to think of someone you know who may be interested in sponsoring our Company; their support is very much appreciated.

T-shirts / Hoodies

A few members have asked about ordering ETC t-shirts and hoodies and we will be organising this in the not too distant future, so will let you know ASAP.


I hope you will all find some time to support our activities and events, it would be nice to see everyone from time to time and remember our social events are not just open to Encore members, everyone is welcome.

Please keep in touch with what’s happening via the via the Encore website, with links to our Facebook page and the weekly Blog!

Thanks for your support and we look forward to seeing you all again soon.


Meet The Committee Part 6

Next on our Meet The Committee series is none other than our President Mr Ralph Jaggar!
How long have you been a member of Encore Theatre Company?

20+ Years

When and why did you join ETC?

Initially became involved to help ETC raise funds to pay debts from previous show.  Then helped with a rehearsal venue at Ackton Pastures School, which was free provided 32 children from the school were involved in the show ‘The King With Cold Feet’.  I was the headteacher of the school and was able to use some study support funding for the project.  Prior to this I had taken part in a cabaret at The King’s School in Pontefract.  From this time I then was asked to stand for the role of President and have been in this role ever since.  I forgot to say that I originally became involved because my daughter (Clare Heins) volunteered my services to help with a fundraising concert, which relates to my first sentence above.

Do you have and favourite show/s performed in?

Ralph as the Vicar, one of his many roles in ‘Spend, Spend, Spend’

I have enjoyed everything I have done with ETC including: ‘Spend, Spend,Spend’, ‘Guys and Dolls’, ‘Fiddler On The Roof’, ‘Carousel’ and ‘Annie’.

Tell us your favourite role/s? (past roles and dream ones)

Possibly my favourite role was in ‘Spend, Spend, Spend’ where I played several parts: a vicar, estate agent, pools man to name but three.


How long have you served on the committee?
I have been on the Committee since being elected President 10+ years ago


What was your reason for joining the committee?

Your role and responsibilities?  The President doesn’t have a particular role other than to present awards and gifts after the shows and to be supportive to the society in any way I can.  Role is mainly as a figure-head for ETC. I was delighted and very humbled to have been made a Life-Member of Encore a couple of years ago.

Ralph playing the Policeman in ‘Carousel’

Describe a task you have completed for this year’s committee?

The President does not have tasks, but tends to be a critical friend to the committee, giving support to them and ETC in general, when and wherever I can.


What are the main challenges facing the committee?

I think the main challenges facing, not just the committee, but all ETC members are:

  • To continuously raise funds to enable performances to take place in the future.
  • To get the message to all members that it is everyone’s responsibility to support efforts to raise these much needed funds, not just that of the committee.
  • To get members to take the initiative to make a positive contribution to the work and continued existence of ETC for many years to come.

Thank you Ralph for answering our questions and taking part in the blog series.

Don’t forget to check us out on social media and comment if you like our blog posts.
I am still looking for any old photographs and memories you can share with us so send us an email.
Follow us on facebook and twitter plus visit our website.