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Silchester Players

Sadly the activities of Silchester Players remain dormant during the current coronavirus crisis.

As reported in the last magazine, our intention had been to defer “The Tempest” until the autumn. However, reluctantly we have taken the decision to stage no further productions this year. Even if gatherings in Silchester Village Hall are permitted in the autumn (which at present seems unlikely) due to the current social distancing restrictions we would not be able to hold rehearsals or to prepare scenery, lighting, etc.

We will take a decision in the autumn as to whether or not it will be feasible to produce our annual pantomime over the last weekend of January/ first weekend of February 2021. This very much depends on official guidance. It will not be viable for us to stage a production unless we are able to have normal seating arrangements to accommodate an audience of approximately 100 people.

We very much hope that productions can resume next year. We still regard “The Tempest” as postponed but until the present uncertainty is over we cannot set definite performance dates.

The current restrictions also mean that our social activities have been curtailed. A walk followed by lunch in The Calleva had been planned but was postponed due to the very wet weather in February. We were due to hold an event to showcase this season’s productions in June together with our AGM. Normally every summer we hold a Silchester Players barbecue and then Christmas dinner in December.

This is not to complain, as defeating Covid 19 must be a priority and the safety and well-being of our members and audiences must always come first, but is an indication of how active we normally are throughout the year.

As with other organisations, an AGM is necessary to comply with our constitution. We need to arrange for committee elections, to approve accounts and take a vote on any expenditure. This year, for the first time in our history, will be we will be holding a socially distanced AGM. This will take place using Zoom and will be held on Friday 26th June.

We also have one sad piece of news. One of our long-standing members, Len Drinkall, passed away recently. In the last 10 years Len occasionally helped out backstage but prior to that he was a regular member of Silchester Players acting ensembles. He was popular with both colleagues and audiences and appreciated for his fine comic acting ability.

In our archives we hold a press report from Spring 1991 reviewing our production of Patrick Cargill’s comedy Don’t Misunderstand Me. In this play Len played the part of Charles, a married man who is caught on the hop when a lady with whom has had a brief liaison on a business trip to America unexpectedly turns up. The press report says: Len Drinkall didn’t look the part of a Romeo – one pictures a Donald Sinden type character in this role – but he justifiably earned many laughs as Charles.

We send our condolences to Len’s family and will be making a contribution to charity in his memory.