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Silchester Players

Our radio play, “The Litter Picker”, broadcast on HHCR Basingstoke’s Community Radio on Tuesday 29 September, was a great success, receiving a large number of positive responses. If you missed it please go to our website www.silchsterplayers.org. and click the link to hear it.

We held a successful Zoom meeting on the evening of 29 September when we read through a shortened version of the pantomime ‘Dick Whittington’. This was hugely enjoyable, the participants readily joining in with enthusiasm.

As a result we have decided to perform this pantomime on radio. Auditions were held by Zoom on 8 October. It was strange to conduct them in this manner rather than face to face, and of course the prime consideration was sound of voice, not appearance.

We have some technical hurdles to overcome and are still working on the best way to record and broadcast. Watch for further details in this magazine.

Sadly this month Silchester Players had some very upsetting news and we are mourning the loss of one of our talented young members. Oli Williams died in a car accident on 2 October, driving home to Tadley from Stratford-upon-Avon. He was only 27 years old.

Oli joined us a few years ago and was an immediate hit with cast, crew and audiences. He appeared in our pantomime Sleeping Beauty in 2015 then played an outstanding lead role in Tons of Money. Enthusiastically entering fully into the spirt of his role, at the end of Act 1 he exited to plunge in a river and appeared back on stage, dripping wet with only a ‘No Fishing’ sign to cover his modesty.

Oli had previously graduated from Cambridge University and after two productions with us departed for Japan where he taught for a year. On his return he took up employment in Statford-upon-Avon, but always came to our shows and invariably called in backstage. Very often his brother, Joe, would be in the cast and it was a delight to see both brothers together and to renew acquaintance with Oli.

In spring 2017, last minute cast changes were necessary for our production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Oli had been home from Japan for only a fortnight but he saved the day by taking on the role of Lysander, one of the young lovers. In just three weeks he learnt the part to perfection, turning in a first rate performance.

Our audiences will undoubtedly share our sadness at this tragic loss of someone so young and talented. We send our deepest sympathies to Joe and all members of Oli’s family.