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There is some exciting news this month. We recently heard from the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA), of which we are long standing members, that our production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest last autumn has been nominated for one of their awards. We are shortlisted in the Best Shakespeare category and have been invited to an event at The Electric Theatre in Guildford on 11 June when we will hear the result. It is very encouraging to have received this recognition, although we face stiff competition as one of the companies nominated is a specialist amateur Shakespeare group. Watch for future news later in the summer.

Planning has now begun for this year’s big social event. On 1 July we will be holding our Drammies Awards - Silchester Players’ equivalent of The Oscars. We arrange this event once every three years to recognise notable achievements and present trophies in various categories as is done in Hollywood. We also use the occasion to make presentations to charities we support.

Turning to our next production, the casting of Present Laughter is now complete. We were delighted that three newcomers attended the auditions. They all read parts very well and have been selected to act in the play. All our auditions are open to anyone wishing to take part and it is always a pleasure to welcome new recruits. Here is a picture of two cast members in one of the initial rehearsals: test.webp

Interestingly this play also has a Shakespearean link. Its title is a quotation from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night which we performed in October 2014. In Act 2 the Clown sings Mistress Mine where are you roaming? * The second verse of the song begins: What is love? ʾTis not hereafter, Present mirth hath present laughter. Present Laughter is a classic Noel Coward comedy set in the late 1930s. However, director Tristan Quittenton had decided to update our production to the 1970s. We are therefore on the lookout for any 1970s memorabilia which anyone may have. In terms of costumes, we would welcome platform boots and flared trousers. If anyone has items such as these hidden away at the back of a wardrobe, please get in touch. We also need furnishings which were in vogue in the mid-70s. It would be helpful to have the loan of a two-seater settee and an armchair typical of that time. Also does anyone still possess a Trimphone? In the days when handsets were rented from the only telephone provider, they were considered the height of modernity and sophistication. How times have changed! If anyone can help us with costumes, furniture or other items from the 1970s all offers will be gratefully received. Please contact either Tristan Quittenton (director) on [email protected] or Tim Oliver (producer) on [email protected]. Finally, please make a diary note that performances of Present Laughter* take place on 12/13 and 19/20 May. Go to our website for tickets: