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Silchester Players

As we look forward to the end of lockdown restrictions, the activities of Silchester Players are increasing.

Recently we held two Zoom evenings when we read through the script of The Ladykillers. Many people will have seen the film starring Alec Guinness (it was recently re-screened on TV) and will be aware that it is a cleverly crafted black comedy.

The stage version is slightly different from the screen version being set solely in the house owned by the naïve Mrs Wilberforce near King’s Cross Station. A few of us enjoyed reading the script and making the amusing, but sinister, characters come to life. We hope to be able to stage the play in Silchester village hall at some point once all lockdown restrictions have ended even though it will present some serious technical challenges.

Our committee has also been busy. One task we set ourselves during this period of enforced semi dormancy has been a revision of our constitution. Some general tidying up was necessary and it was also a timely opportunity to incorporate into our rules such developments as electronic communication. The committee will be asking the membership to vote on the constitutional changes at our AGM on Monday 21 June, which again this year will be held via Zoom.

Another innovation we have explored is the possibility of purchasing printed backdrops to save us the extensive painting work which we have to carry out to complete our stage sets, particularly at pantomime time. In planning the staging of Aladdin for early 2022, we have ascertained that a computer-generated design can be transformed into a full-size sheet suitable for theatrical scenery. As a result we have given serious consideration to changing our method of set design, while at the same time maintaining the high quality of colourful pantomime sets which our audiences have come to expect.

Finally we are pleased to announce that we are about to commence auditions for another radio play to be broadcast on HHCR, Basingstoke’s Community Radio, in September.

As we did last year, we have teamed up with Basingstoke Music and Arts Festival to perform the winning entry from the playwriting section of the annual creative writing competition. This year the winner was a play intriguingly entitled Alchemy In Three Easy Lessons.

The play was written for the stage and contains scenes which have a particularly visual impact. However the playwright has very skilfully rewritten the play for radio and we are delighted with the end result.

It would be inappropriate to give the game away, but of course Alchemy is the ancient art of turning base metal into gold. Watch for further details as we rehearse and record, after which we hope you find listening to the play enriching.

As with every one of our productions auditions are open to all comers, although if cast you will be expected to join Silchester Players. Alchemy has some excellent parts for both male and female voices and we anticipate that auditions will be fun. If anyone not already a member is interested in auditioning, please contact our secretary Sarah Oliver, email [email protected]