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Silchester Players

We are performing again!

Silchester Players have teamed up with Ann Stonehouse to perform her one act play “The Litter Picker”. This play was the winning entry in the Scriptwriting category of the Basingstoke Music and Arts Festival 2020 Creative Writing competition.

Unfortunately we cannot perform the play on stage, but Ann has adapted it for radio. It will be broadcast on HHCR Basingstoke’s Community Radio on a Tuesday 29 September as the first item in the Poems for Pleasure programme at 1.pm. To hear the play, go to www.hhcr.org on your computer, tablet or mobile phone or ask Alexa or Google hub to find it.

Like all organisations Silchester Players have been required to adapt to changing circumstances as a result of the Covid crisis. It was decided that if possible face-to-face to auditions should be held. These took place in a large local garden with strict social distancing measures being put in place. For those members not able to attend, separate telephone auditions were arranged. Normally the physical appearance of actors and actresses is a consideration (e.g. it is preferable to choose actors of broadly the same size and appearance if they are to play brother and sister) but on this occasion the prime consideration was the voices. The play has two male characters and it is important that the listening audience is able to distinguish between them.

Silchester Players socially distanced audition for ‘The Litter Picker’

We are fortunate that we have been experiencing some very fine weather. Any rehearsals have to take place out of doors and of course the recording of the radio play will also have to take place outside.

There are also numerous technical challenges. Sound effects are particularly important to create a sense of location and to indicate the actions which are taking place. Additionally one of our members is composing some original music to help set the scene and round off the play.

It has been very therapeutic to embark on a different type of production. We are rising to the challenge and are determined to put on a performance which listening audiences will enjoy.

Our next committee meeting will take place using ‘Zoom’ on 2 September 2020. On that date it will be necessary to take decisions on our programme for the next few months. Unfortunately at the moment it seems unlikely that we will be able to stage our annual pantomime, but watch this magazine for news.

For more details of the 2021 Basingstoke Music and Arts Festival Creative Writing competition please contact Tony Corbin (BMAF Section Secretary) via email at [email protected] Full details will also be available on the BMAF website www.basingstokemusicandarts.co.uk when the 2021 festival is launched in mid September. The Creative Writing section of the festival invites entries of poems, short stories and articles as well as plays. If you are successful you could find your play being performed by Silchester Players, in a radio version if we are not able, in the short term, to get back on stage.