2017 marks a very special anniversary for two members of the city’s oldest musical theatre society.
Maureen and David Cupit of Newborough, celebrate 40 years of service to Peterborough Operatic andDramatic Society (PODS) this spring.
Maureen is the newly elected president of PODS and husbandDavid served as president from 2010-12. They are the first ever couple to have both served as president in the society’s 117 year history.
Maureen and David’s first show was The Great Waltz, which played to packed houses at the old Embassy Theatre (now Edward’s bar) on Peterborough’s own aptly named Broadway for two weeks in 1977.
Former heating and plumbing engineer David, and Maureen, who worked in education were involved in many shows at The Embassy Theatre, including My Fair Lady, Carousel and their final show, The Sound of Music, in which they were joined on stage by their five year old daughter Julie as one of the Von Trapp children.
Maureen recalls the latter days of The Embassy Theatre: “The upper dressing rooms became out of use so they put caravans in the old cattle market for us to change in. Saturday shoppers often came in the caravans to say hello as they made their way across the street to the theatre”.
1981 saw PODS move to the newly opened Key Theatre with their production of South Pacific.
David played Lieutenant Cable and Maureen performed in the ensemble.
The Key Theatre had played home to PODS for over 30 years until last year’s sell-out production of Hairspray at The Cresset in Bretton.
Both Maureen andDavid helped out with selling programmes front-of- house for Hairspray.
“We were so proud to be involved with such a successful production, we hadn’t seen audiences that big since the old days back at The Embassy”, they said.
PODS are hoping to repeat Hairspray’s success with this year’s production of 9 to 5: The Musical.
The society continues to go from strength to strength, having won the National Operatic & Dramatic Association’s Best Musical award for their 2014 production of The Witches of Eastwick.
Last year, production manager Rob Melhuish picked up Best Technical Award for the set and lighting design of PODS’ productions of The Addams Family Musical and the play, Abigail’s Party.
PODS recently found out they are nominated in the Best Musical category for Hairspray, but must wait until April to find out the results.
Chairman Robert Bristow said: “It’s testament to the foundations built by our wonderful long-serving members like Maureen and David that PODS continues to thrive and be so successful today”.
Maureen and David remain very active members of PODS, and although they are no longer ‘treading the boards’, they can be seen helping out with Front of House duties, selling programmes for PODS’ forthcoming production of 9 to 5: The Musical at The Cresset from March 21 to 25.
Tickets from £10 are now available via The Cresset box office and online. Great group and family discounts are available.