A big thank you to all who visited us at Silchester fête on 3rd September. It was good to see old friends again and we are grateful that a sizeable number of people gave details to enable us to send information about future productions.
We were pleased that the fête was moved to September as it coincided with a time of intense preparations for our autumn production of The Tempest, giving us the opportunity to raise our profile. We also we donated a family ticket for the first night of our January 2023 pantomime Alice in Wonderland, as one of the prizes in the fête’s draw. At the time of writing, we are entering into the last phase of rehearsals for The Tempest. All the scenery has been painted and we are now busy working on sound, lighting, costumes and special effects while the cast put the finishing touches to their performances. Shakespeare’s plays were of course written for the Globe Theatre in London and originally staged without elaborate sets. In keeping with this concept, our director has opted for unfussy scenery as illustrated below. The setting depicts a location on Prospero’s enchanted island and allows plenty of space for the large cast to execute all the action of the plot from the drunken cavorting of two disreputable servants to the dastardly plotting of disloyal lords.
One of the final technical tasks has been to create special effects. In Act 3 there is a stage direction as follows: Thunder and lightning. Enter Ariel, like a harpy, claps his wings upon the table, and with a quaint device the banquet vanishes. Not daunted by the challenge of creating this on a stage with very limited space and equipment, our crew have come up with something that we are sure will delight our audiences. Additionally, we have been busy installing a variety of lights to add to the dramatic impact, together with numerous sound effects. The Tempest truly is a magical play and we have enjoyed preparing a magical spectacle for our audiences. A full report with production pictures will appear in the next issue of this magazine. Performances take place in Silchester village hall at 7.30 p.m. on Friday 23rd/Saturday 24th September and Friday 30th September/Saturday 1st October. Full details including Box Office link, are on our website https://silchesterplayers.org with latest news on our Facebook page @silchplayers. Alongside this production, work has already started on our pantomime version of Alice in Wonderland, to be staged on 20/21/27/28 January 2023. This has a large number of parts, offering a variety of cameo roles. We will also be including a junior chorus, giving children aged 10 and upwards a chance to perform on stage. Although anyone is eligible for membership, despite performing at the heart of the community, we have surprisingly few people from SILCHESTER ITSELF in the group. Pantomime is an excellent way to become involved both on-stage and back-stage. We always value contributions from anyone with skills in one or more of the following : acting, singing, dancing, DIY, sewing, choreography, music, painting, props, lighting, sound and electronics to name but a few. Open auditions for Alice in Wonderland will take place in Silchester village hall at 7.30 p.m. on Monday 26 September. If you miss these and are interested in participating in whatever capacity, please email Sarah Oliver on [email protected]