The Directors of this production are Jill Desbourough & Brian Stansbridge
While Jill has been involved with many Maskers' shows, both open air and Studio productions, Christmas shows are particularly close to her heart. The first Maskers' production that she appeared in was Christmas is A-Comin' in 2014. Since then, she has appeared in Mistletoe Junction (2016) and Let it Snow (2017) and stage-managed An Edwardian Christmas Soiree (2018). Now, having had a first go at directing with Quartet (February 2020), she is thrilled to be co-directing this year's show with Brian and hopes that the audience will enjoy getting into the Christmas spirit with a mix of familiar fare and a few new pieces.
A member of Maskers for much longer than he cares to remember, Brian has been involved in many shows, both as an actor and director. Recent acting credits include: Tim in The Flint Street Nativity, Miguel de Cervantes in Don Quixote, the Station Master in Mistletoe Junction and Long John Silver in Treasure Island. During his acting life, Brian has made an unintentional habit of taking over parts at short notice when other actors fall ill. He swears he didn’t poison them. Recent directing credits include Much Ado About Nothing, Mistletoe Junction, Room at the Inn, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Servant of Two Masters and The Comedy of Errors. During the Covid restrictions, Brian wrote and directed a one act play called Parklife, which we performed in parks and open spaces around Southampton.
During Sue’s time in Maskers, she has been involved in many productions including: Contractions and Metamorphosis in the Studio and Sitting Pretty and An Italian Straw Hat at the Nuffield Theatre. Sue particularly enjoys the open-air productions and was part of The Watch in Much Ado About Nothing this summer. Previous outdoor performances were in Don Quixote, Around the World in Eighty Days, The Jungle Book, Anne Boleyn, Treasure Island and Twelfth Night. Sue was last seen playing panicky vicar’s wife, Evonne, in Out of Focus.
Anna joined Maskers 4 years ago and has been very busy both on and off stage. Debuting in Wyrd Sisters, she has played Nina in 100, Beatrice in this summer’s open-air production of Much Ado about Nothing and Viki in Yards Apart. Anna also contributes backstage and with marketing. Anna has been involved with local dramatic groups since 2014 and started off exclusively in costume. She has also performed with SUP in And Then There Were None, The Railway Children and has just finished a run of Night of the Living Dead.
Without any shadow of a doubt, the run up to Christmas is Jane’s favourite time of year and the opportunity to share that festive joy with others is a real treat. Jane has been a member of Maskers for a few years, most recently seen performing as a cleaner in Sharks in the Custard and before that as Mary in The Flint Street Nativity. Jane has also recently performed and directed for RAODS. Jane loves the intimacy of performing in the Studio and she hopes you enjoy the Christmas cheer that this production brings.
A first for Jackie, who is normally on the outskirts, helping out, doing front of house and enjoying socials. Other than small parts in school plays, crazy turns at church and Maskers Camp and silly sketches with friends, acting has not been a regular feature in her life. But Covid saw her acting out a poem about pandemic hair woes online for Maskers and an invitation to join A Box of Delights came at a time when she was looking for a new challenge! No lines to learn by rote so how could she say 'No!' A steep but fun learning curve has begun.
When Heather joined Maskers in 2018, she fulfilled a childhood dream of being involved in amateur drama. Her only regret has been that she waited for retirement to do so. The year before, she had been part of the community chorus for The Grapes of Wrath at the late-lamented Nuffield Theatre. Maskers gave her the chance to have fun outdoors at Hamptworth with Don Quixote during the hot summer of 2018, then, at Christmas 2019, she played the part of Star in The Flint Street Nativity, when the whole cast pretended to be six-year-olds. Now she is thrilled to be back at the Studio, contributing to Maskers’ Christmas 2021 production, A Box of Delights.
Alan has been a Masker for over forty years and has been involved in many productions in various locations including Maskers Studio, Nuffield Theatre and Hamptworth Lodge. His favourite roles have been in Journey’s End, Home, King Lear, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Importance of Being Earnest and Ladies’ Day as well as A Remembrance Day Anthology.
Philip De Grouchy
A member of the Society since the early 1970's, Philip has played a large variety of parts in every kind of show and has been a very active actor this season, playing Leonato in Much Ado About Nothing, Mark in Yards Apart and now being part of the company for A Box of Delights. Previous productions include Quartet, An Italian Straw Hat, Ten Times Table, The Flint Street Nativity and many Christmas shows, some of which he directed.
David has a love for Shakespeare and was last seen playing Conrade in Much Ado About Nothing in the summer, having previously appeared for Maskers in Richard II, The Jungle Book, Ten Times Table, An Italian Straw Hat and Around the World in Eighty Days. He has also performed at the Titchfield Festival Players’ Tithe Barn, playing Cassius in Julius Caesar, Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing, Malcolm in Macbeth, Sir Thurio in The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Angelo in The Comedy of Errors. David is also a trustee for Flute Theatre, a company that uses the language of Shakespeare to help autistic youngsters to communicate.
Joanna has played many roles since joining Maskers over seventeen years ago. Favourite roles have included Ruby Birtle in When We Are Married and Rita in Educating Rita and playing multiple parts in Around the World in 80 Days. She was most recently seen playing Verges in Much Ado About Nothing. Jo branched out into directing with Our Town at Maskers Studio Theatre for which she won Best Director of a Drama in the Curtain Call Awards 2014.