The Wednesday Players
The current annual programme is a pantomime in January, a musical event in May or June and a play in September. In 2003 for example, The Sleeping Beauty awoke in the winter, The Long and Winding Road, a production of The Beatles music, appeared in June and Not Now Darling, a farce was produced in September. In addition to productions, the society runs social events throughout the year. These have included Quiz Evenings, Cabarets, Car Rallies and Dinners.
The Wednesday Players drama society, so called because they originally met on Wednesdays, began in 1970 when the Holy Family Church Young Wives Club decided to put on a one-act play to raise funds for their school swimming pool.
The play was performed in the school on a stage of rosters with an enthusiastic audience sitting on school chairs. The success of this venture led to more ambitious plans and with the support of the Parish, the firstpantomime, The Sleeping Cutie, was staged at The Appleton School Theatre in 1972. Since that first production, a pantomime has been produced every year, at the Appleton Theatre until 2001 and since then at the New Empire Theatre and from 2009 at the Palace Theatre, Westcliff-on-Sea. A complete list of past pantomimes can be found here. It is a feature of the society that most of the pantomimes have been written by members.The society has grown from the original eight ladies to a membership of over 60, which covers an age range of 6 to 80. Most of the members were recruited from families and the introduction of a rule that children had to be accompanied by a parent uncovered a rich source of talent. A number of parents came to deliver their children and found themselves playing the lead, or painting scenery!
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