Happy 90th Birthday to The Players!

Webmaster Art, Music & Drama, Magazine

Amongst those celebrating The Players 90 years of productions are:

Congratulations Players!
Keep going with your brilliant productions.
Have enjoyed such a lot during my 40 years of membership.
Pam Martin

Many congratulations to all those connected to Woldingham Players on their 90th Anniversary! Such an achievement for all! I have some very special memories of times spent in plays, watching plays and occasionally directing them! Good times!
Sally Marks

Happy 90th, I can still remember the fantic 30 min set change when our Tombstone set for ‘One Seasons King’ won the stage award at the Beckworth Festival in 1988.
Greg Meekings

Congratulations on reaching 90.
Hope all works out well for another 90!
Tina and David Locket

Congratulations to Woldingham Players on reaching 90 years. I was only involved from the 70s to the 90s but had great fun and learnt a lot during that time.
Carolyn Rowley

The Woldingham Players are one of the longest standing groups participating in the Southern Counties Drama Festival and it seems fitting that in their 90th year they won the award for best adult play, not to mention several others! Always of a high standard and lovely to work with we look forward to the next 90 years.
Peter Calver
Chairman, Southern Counties Drama Festival

“Thank God for The Players!”
As many a former Editor has said

The ‘Roaring Twenties’ were hurtling towards their end but in tranquil Woldingham the locals were thinking more about home entertainment & spreading the word. In February 1927 a Committee first met to outline how the Woldingham Players would be run and decided on two play readings to be followed in May by their first production, ‘The Bathroom Door’. In April 1928 the first issue of The Woldingham Magazine was published and, side-by-side, they have formed part of Village life ever since.

So, it’s “Happy 90th to the Players”! We on The Magazine team wish them well for its 175th production, Eric Chappell’s black comedy  ‘Natural Causes’, directed by Colin Brown. May it garner the support that it deserves. Like all the many productions that have gone before it the Magazine Editor of the day will be provided with what the Players dub ‘ The Crit’ reviewing the play and its players. This is where copy starved Editors have been known to utter “Thank God for The Players” as some meaty chunk of well written text arrives on his or her desk – today often accompanied by a set of pictures.

Even our Founding Editor, Philip Philip, found space in our very first issue to carry reviews of the play readings performed in March 1928 and also gave notice of two more productions due shortly.  With four plays already under their belts in 1927 the Players were off to a cracking start. Am’ Dram’ was clearly flourishing in Woldingham, and that in a Village of only 208 households!

Fifty years ago, in January 1967 to be precise, we carried an item from the Players stating that they would use The Magazine as a general monthly News Letter as well as just advertising and reviewing productions. This brought them into our ‘regular contributor’ category where they continue to this day with Roger Simpson usually providing this copy.

Take an extra bow you players, producers and back stage teams – you have done well over 90 years. Anyone who would like to be part of the team taking the Players forward into their next decade is very welcome whether ‘treading the boards’, back stage set builder/ painter or front of the house. Step smartly forward to centre stage and fulfil that urge – the Players would like to hear from you (contact David Martin 01737 763395, Colin Brown 652005 or Berry Butler 652448).

Peter J Johnson

[As published in The Woldingham Magazine, pages 47-48. A more detailed History will be published next month]

WebmasterHappy 90th Birthday to The Players!