Silchester Players

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This month’s update starts with a mystery object. What is this? (Answer at the end of this article)

Now for some exciting news. We are pleased to announce the launch of our new website. It is well worth while taking time to have a look at this colourful, totally overhauled site which can be found at We are enormously indebted to Matthew Larby for the sterling work he has done both to improve and update our website. There you can now read all our news and also see photographs of previous productions over the last 10 years. Additionally, we have a video clip of our last pantomime Aladdin and sound recordings of the radio plays produced during lockdown when we were unable to perform on stage. For those interested in recognising cast members, there is a facility to show all productions in which individuals have been involved whether in acting roles or assisting backstage or front of house. As we approach production dates, a link will be placed on the website enabling patrons to purchase tickets over the internet, paying by credit card. Once again this winter Silchester village hall will be a hive of activity at weekends as we prepare sets for our forthcoming pantomime Alice in Wonderland. This next photograph. gives a glimpse of the work required when a production finishes. We have to dismantle everything we have used before storing it away in various hidey holes. There is a huge amount to be done in a limited period of time which is why we are always grateful for members with practical skills who join our backstage crew. *

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Rehearsals for Alice in Wonderland are now well underway. With a large cast there will be a real buzz of energy during our two weekday rehearsal nights. Then at weekends we practise musical numbers on Sunday mornings while our technical team and cast members who are free work on building and painting the colourful sets for which we are renowned. Watch our website for details of ticket sales for performances on 20/21 and 27/28 January 2023. If you are interested in becoming a member of Silchester Players please contact our secretary Sarah Oliver on [email protected]

Finally, back to the mystery object. This was a device specially constructed to give a shower of petals in the betrothal scene in The Tempest. With great ingenuity it was built by Tim Oliver using a fan, a flowerpot with the base removed, some struts of wood and a bowl. It was installed behind the top of the proscenium (i.e behind the Silchester horse logo) at the front of the stage and switched on remotely at the appropriate moment. As there is virtually no space either above or to the sides of the stage, great technical inventiveness is required to achieve special effects like those required for The Tempest. Do please consider joining us if you would like to have a try at constructing something equally challenging, which can add that extra touch of colour and drama to a play or bring a dash of magic to a pantomime. You can be certain that the enjoyment and appreciation of our audiences always makes these efforts very rewarding.