Our committee met by Zoom at the beginning of February to discuss possible activity for 2021.
We had already decided that, due to the current restrictions, a May production was out of the question. Even though these restrictions might ease by June we cannot be confident that we could meet face-to-face for rehearsals and it is by no means certain that entertainment venues will be fully operational by the autumn. In the circumstances we decided that it is not feasible to consider an October production and we are planning on a return to live onstage performance with our annual pantomime early in 2022.
The pantomime scheduled is Aladdin. It promises to be an eye-catching performance with colourful sets and costumes, popular musical numbers and all the usual ingredients of pantomime comedy. However, while plans can be developed, no firm decisions can be taken until the autumn. Like all similar organisations we have insurance in case performances have to be cancelled. Understandably, this year our insurers have written in an exclusion for Covid related cancellations. It is therefore vital that we do not commit ourselves until we are completely sure that a live performance is possible.
Additionally we hope that during the year we can perform another radio play. Last year we produced The Litter Picker which was the winning entry in the playwriting category of the creative writing section of the Basingstoke Music and Arts Festival 2020. By the end of March we will know this year’s winner and can make a judgement as to whether that play is suitable for radio broadcast.
All our radio performances are also be held on our website www.silchesterplayers.org. There is one significant downside of this. We incur production expenses but receive no income. However a number of our patrons who have enjoyed listening via community radio or our website have contacted us requesting to make donations. Accordingly a link has been provided on the website for this purpose. We take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to all who have contributed. We expect substantially increased costs when live performances resume and any income received helps to keep our bank balance healthy and to continue our support for local charities.