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 email@example.com for
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