50 years of laugh­ter and drama

The Stoke Po­ges Play­ers are start­ing their 51st year with a per­for­mance of a com­edy thriller. JACK ABELL found out more about life with the am­a­teur dra­mat­ics group Do you want to advertise in this sup­ple­ment? Email james.king-sharp@trin­i­tymir­ror.com for

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - LIFE & LEISURE -

ATOMB With a View is a typ­i­cal play for the Stoke Po­ges Play­ers to per­form. The com­edy thriller by Nor­man Rob­bins is just the kind of far­ci­cal, light-hearted piece which ap­peals to the group.

The show tells the story of six fam­ily mem­bers, a strange bunch, with one of the group hav­ing the hobby of bury­ing more than flow­ers in the gar­den of the fam­ily home.

Throw into the mix two men, one who thinks he is a were­wolf and the other who be­lieves he is Julius Cae­sar, and comic sit­u­a­tions soon start to de­velop.

“We like do­ing come­dies,” says Linda Miles, the group’s sec­re­tary. “We find that au­di­ences re­ally en­joy com­ing along and see­ing some­thing funny, and it ap­peals to the tastes of our mem­bers.

“Peo­ple want to come along and en­joy them­selves and see some­thing fun that will make them laugh, so we do tend to do more come­dies than any­thing else.”

The group cel­e­brated its 50th an­niver­sary last year and has got it­self into the rou­tine of per­form­ing two plays per year, one in the spring and one at Christ­mas – usu­ally a pan­tomime.

Last Christ­mas’ panto, Cin­derella, proved to be a big hit with au­di­ences, w with most per­for­mances sell­ing out.

Mrs Miles says: “It was the most po popular thing that we’ve done for so some time. We had nearly 100 peo­ple co com­ing along ev­ery night that we did it, and peo­ple re­ally en­joyed it.”

She adds: “Peo­ple are al­ways very su sup­port­ive of our group. It’s a real part of the com­mu­nity, and peo­ple know th that if they come along it will be a m much cheaper night out than go­ing to th the theatre, and it will usu­ally be p pretty en­ter­tain­ing.

“I think that some of the time they co come along to see if any­thing goes w wrong, like the set not work­ing or pe peo­ple for­get­ting their lines.

“It’s part of the rea­son why we like do do­ing com­edy. If any­thing does go w wrong, we can just in­cor­po­rate it into the show and it gets a laugh.”

The fu­ture of the club is de­pen­dent on get­ting more peo­ple to join, and Mrs Miles, says that it is im­per­a­tive that young peo­ple get in­volved.

“At the mo­ment we have about 15 mem­bers with a wide age range but the prob­lem is that as older peo­ple stop com­ing for what­ever rea­son, we need peo­ple to re­place them.

“Oth­er­wise we’ll get to a stage where we’re do­ing per­for­mances with only two or three ac­tors, which is ob­vi­ously very dif­fi­cult.”

A Tomb With a View will be per­formed at the Vil­lage Cen­tre in Rogers Lane, Stoke Po­ges, from Thurs­day, May 14 un­til Satur­day, May 16 with per­for­mances at 7.30pm.

Tick­ets are priced at £8 for adults, £6 for un­der 15s and over 60s and £18 for a fam­ily of four.

To re­serve tick­ets, call 01753 677032 or go to www.wix.com/ stoke­poge­s­play­ers/home.

Above from left, direc­tor Martin Shack­le­ford, Char­lotte Scaife, Liam Shack­le­ford, James My­erthall and Scott Cur­rie re­hearse their lines and be­low, group sec­re­tary Linda Miles, Mar­ian Payne, Sue Hart and Christina Clarke in re­hearsal

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