All posts by Ian Stratton

Dorking Dramatic & Operatic Society perform My Fair Lady

Dave King recently spoke to Alec Derbie of the Dorking Dramatic & Operatic Society shortly before their production of My Fair Lady at the Dorking Halls. Alec is playing one of the musical’s leading roles, Professor Higgins. He told Dave more about the musical and the preparations for the performances between Wednesday 13th and Saturday 16th February inclusive.

two men in conversation
Alec Derbie of Dorking Dramatic & Operatic Society (right)

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My Fair Lady is a musical based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, with lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Federick Loewe. The story concerns Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl played by Elise Parish, who takes speech lessons from Professor Henry Higgins so that she may pass as a lady.

dark haired woman in period costume holding a basket of purple flowers

Tickets on sale now from £14
Call Dorking Halls Box Office 01306 881717
or book on line

actors rehearsing of My Fair Lady

Dave and Alec also chatted about what goes on behind the scenes at the Dorking Dramatic & Operatic Society

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actresses rehearsing for My fair Lady

For more information about the Dorking Dramatic & Operatic Society check out the DDOS website:

Reigate and Banstead Writes competition launches

If you know any budding young writers check out David Jay’s  Afternoon Stroll chat with Kay Hymas about the launch of Reigate & Banstead Writes.

The story writing competition is open to all Year 5-9 students who go to school in the Borough of Reigate and Banstead. Kay, the competition organiser, explained that the stories have to be set in the local area and no longer the 1000 words.

There are prizes and entry forms are available from school libraries  (which should be the initial contact), from local libraries, from Waterstones or online at the Warwick School website. [ link: ]. 

The  closing date is 28 February 2019.

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Dorking Panto stars chat to Susy Radio.

This year’s Dorking Hall’s panto is ‘Beauty And The Beast’ starring Emmerdale star Peter Amory and Emma Grace Arends, best known for her role as Daisy in Peppa Pig.  

Susy Radio’s Dave King chatted with the cast during a break in their rehearsals. He first spoke to the director, Maurice Thorogood, himself a RADA-trained actor who began by explaining the panto’s plot for those who may not be familiar with the story.

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For more information you can visit or call the box office on 01306 881717.

Dorking panto cast group photo
The Cast of Beauty and the Beast during rehearsals.

Other Pantos in the Susy Radio area

Of course there are plenty of other pantos on around the Susy area. The Harlequin Theatre in Redhill has Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs on until the 31st December, the Epsom Playhouse has Jack and the Beanstalk up until the 6th January, while the Leatherhead Theatre’s panto is Aladdin which runs from the 20th until 30th December.

In Crawley, The Hawth’s panto this year is Aladdin starring Jason Gardiner of Dancing On Ice playing the role of Abanazar. It’s on now up until Sunday 6th January.
Over in the west of the county, Cinderella is running at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre up until the 6th January, starring ex- singer and Eastenders actor, Michelle Gayle. Look out too, for the local pantomimes presented by your local Am Dram groups across our area. One of these is Jack and the Beanstalk presented by Horley’s excellent Archway Theatre between the 11th and the 26th January. Visit for more information.

Emmerdale actor Peter Amory during rehearsals.
Panto Director, Maurice Thorogood.
Panto Director, Maurice Thorogood.
l/r Olivia Stott and Pk Taylor rehearsing for Beauty and the Beast.

Denbies on sparkling form: Annie Whitmore speaks to CEO Chris White

With Christmas just around the corner, many of us are thinking about food and drink on the ‘big day’.

Which? Magazine recently looked into affordable alternatives to champagne over the festive period and Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking scored 77% in the panel taste test.

Susy presenter Annie Whitmore spoke to Denbies’ CEO Chris White about the high-scoring Chalk Valley Sparkling Brut and how it’s made.

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portrait of Chris White, CEO of Denbies

Denbies Wine Estate

BHF Millie calls for volunteers on David Jay’s Afternoon Stroll

Millie Coulter from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) made a call for volunteers from the Susy Radio area when she chatted with David Jay during his Afternoon Stroll last week.

Millie is looking for volunteer collectors to help out with a bucket collection at Priory Farm Nursery Garden Centre, Nutfield on December 1st.

During the Stroll Millie spoke about the work she does as the Surrey Fundraising Manager for the BHF and the long term opportunities for people to get involved and volunteer around the Surrey area but particularly in the Reigate, Redhill, Horley areas.

If you are interested in volunteering you can connect with Millie by email, on Twitter: @MillieCoulter or Facebook: Millie Coulter Heart.

Hear more about Millie and the BHF now with Listen On Demand:

For more information:

The British Heart Foundation website (

The Late night opening December 1st at Priory Farm Nursery (Facebook link)