The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee - Spring 2024
Next spring we are welcoming people of all ages to Putnam County to watch a group of aspiring youngsters (and this is how we feel not our chronology) living their best life in the Spelling Bee.
The organising committee of Katy Reid, Paul Cohen and the infamous Colin Warnock will be holding an introductory session on Thursday 16th November at the clubhouse to explain what the Spelling Bee will involve, but we shall be looking for a cast of nine enthusiastic spellers and judges who would be able to attend practice from mid Feb til the final Bee in April 2024
More information about what the Bee is about will be shared at the presentation as well as the audition information.
In preparation enjoy your dictionaries and happy spelling.
The performance dates are: Wednesday 10th to Saturday 13th April 2024 (at The Clubhouse)
Auditions Thursday 7th December Please see THIS PAGE for more audition details
Heaven's Above - Festival Entry
Heaven’s Above by Diana Raffle
Following our highly successful production of Isla at the Drama Festival earlier this year, The Mitre Players are entering this exciting competition in 2024. Louise Gauntlett is once again at the helm and is looking forward to gathering a talented cast to give the opposition a run for their money!
The play is called “Heaven’s Above” by Diana Raffle, who is sadly no longer with us, but who had great experience writing both comedies and thrillers for festival productions.
Sally is dead, or so she is told by Larry, a rather officious administrator. Having entered hospital for a routine hysterectomy, she finds that things didn’t go quite according to plan, and she is now in a queue with others at the gates of heaven. She is in denial and while she is waiting for Larry to sort out her paperwork she sits on a bench with Bernice and Melvin, who also recently died but under slightly different circumstances. Sally is not happy but will she get to return to earth and what is the twist at the end?
Larry any age.
Sally Kent 30’s to 50’s
Melvin Potter 50’s to 70’s
Bernice Blatchett 20’s to 40’s
We are doing a short presentation of Heaven’s Above on Thursday 7th December to coincide with the Pre-Christmas Social, Spelling Bee auditions and decorating the clubhouse, so please come along and get involved in this funny and moving play.
Auditions will be held on Sunday 10th December at 6pm at the Clubhouse
If you would like to read a perusal copy of the script please email Louise: email@example.com.
YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN - Minack 2024
What a wonderful set of auditions. We could have double cast the whole show with Mitres new and old (some very new and some VERY old) - congratulations to you all.
The full cast and company are as set out below …. And we are still looking for a few more company members to join our Monstrous touring party! If you know anyone who may be interested, please ask them to make contact YF@mitreplayers.org.uk.
THE MONSTER - Ziggy Szafranski
DR. FREDERICK FRANKENSTEIN - Dominic Binefa
IGOR - Andy Moore
INGA - Amy Hayes
FRAU BLÜCHER - Jo Morrison
ELIZABETH BENNING - Katy Reid
INSPECTOR HANS KEMP - Sam Webber
THE BLIND HERMIT - Chris Backway
ZIGGY (Village Idiot) - David Harries-Rees
VIKTOR FRANKENSTEIN (Ghost) - Mike Lilley
Ensemble: To portray various feature roles including a
Barbershop Quartet, Gravediggers, Villagers, Medical Students, Passengers, Broadway Tappers and Mad Scientists.
Rachael Adams, Neill Birch, Heather Bokota, Penelope Brown, Sarah Coldwell, Sian Davis, Lorne Dicken, Rosie Duckett, Kate Gauntlett, Julia Gent, Louise Gauntlett, Laura Grant, Paul Hyde, Jane Kortlandt, Fiona Lilley, Tom Lilley, Simon Long, Frankie Punzi, Karen Rapps, Kate Ratsma, Kate Slingerland, Elke Starr, Caroline Waddell
Thank you Kevin, Andy & Kim
24-Hour Musical - What went on!
From nothing but an empty black box theatre, 47 of our maddest membership took on the challenge of creating a full musical in just 24hours back in September. Following the event, we have had a chance to gather feedback and reflect on the event, considering whether or not we would like to undertake the mammoth challenge again. Although the stamina to forgo sleep was tough, the teamanship and positive approach from everyone was certainly a key factor in the success of the event and for balancing tired brains and moods....
Overall, it was felt the experience was a great bonding experience, a chance for us to step out of our comfort zones and remind ourselves that Mitres love a good challenge! Overall, the cast and crew have expressed a strong wish for us to repeat the process. With a limited number of shows that could be suitable to perform, the committee are suggesting we attempt a 24hour musical every 3 years, to alternate with a Minack year and a tour year. This enables us to keep the experience a novelty event whilst catching up on the sleep lost!!!
As this was an experimental process, we will be taking onboard feedback and suggestions to make the next one even better. This includes factors considered for the show choice, scheduling for the event and additional ways to support cast in lyric and choreography learning.
Although the show itself was created in just the 24hours, as with other productions, many hours of work and preparation were completed to get to the starting point and we would like to increase the team size for the next one. So if you fancy a role on the creative team, please get in touch.
Thanks again to everyone to for getting involved or coming along to watch - we hope to see you at the next one!
MERRILY WE ROLLED ALONG:
Over four performances last week we merrily rolled our way through tricky harmonies, about a million similar song lyrics, plenty of costumes and gallons of fake champagne, but the production of 'Merrily We Roll Along' was a great success and we were pleased to see that audience numbers picked up, following initial worries that sales were low.
Thanks goes to all those involved in the creation of the show, under the experienced guidance of Kevin Gauntlett in the directors' chair and with Kim McEvoy supporting with choreography. As many of our audience commented, being able to create, learn and confidently perform such a tricky show in just 7 weeks was no easy feat but Colin Warnock ensured we were able to get extra practise in at home with harmony tracks, and it was even spotted that cast were adding extra hours to rehearsals just to learn lines together!
AC and Del created a fantastic set enabling us to easily move the pianos around during the show whilst the roundel staging worked well for creating the changing settings, complimented by the large door frames. A simple yet effective set that enabled the story to be played out. Thanks to all those who helped with set building/painting and also all those behind the scenes that helped with the smooth running of show week.
The many costumes sourced by Anna, Di and Liz helped transport the audience back to the 50's 60's and 70's and we thank the ladies for getting us through all the quick costumes changes! With lighting by Bish, sound by James Mcleod and a great collection of band members old and new, the full spectacle of the show looked and sounded almost professional! Looking very smart in their black and white attire, the FOH team, expertly organised by Julia Gibbs made everyone's visit to The Mitre Theatre a very welcoming one. Without the great sense of a team effort, this show would not have been possible.
It was great to welcome newbie Andy Moore to Mitres (who is a regular with WWOS) and to welcome back Robert Critchett. We hope you will both join us in future mitre shows too.
We last performed Merrily at the 25th Anniversary of Mitres and it was great to gather members of both the casts in a photo opportunity after the Saturday show. And who knows, whilst Barnaby Brown played young Frank Jnr. in this 2023 production, he sat offstage singing every part, every night so maybe in 25 years we will see him return as leading man Franklin Sheperd too!
Although Sondheim's music may not be to everyone's tastes, we are proud to have accomplished it and continue to remind ourselves that Mitres are great at doing the shows that other companies may shy away from.
We Love It, We love it All!
CAR TREASURE HUNT - Saturday 19th August 2pm
Following an absence of approx. 12 years, we have decided to resurrect what was a regular feature in our calendar - The Mitre Players Car Rally aka Treasure Hunt aka Scavenger Hunt on Saturday 19th August.
The key details are:
- Meet in the Lime Meadow Avenue Car park at 2pm
- You will need a car with any number of people on board - we can do some "filling up" on the day if you don't drive.
- Printed maps of the area (Surrey/Kent, Sussex borders) are not essential, but might be useful
- It is NOT A RACE, it is a test of interpreting clues etc.
- There is a prize for getting the most points
- All ages and abilities are welcome
- So we can gauge how many maps to print etc, please sign up HERE
- The day will end up at around 5.30/6pm at a country pub, not too far from Sanderstead
- So we can book the correct number of places for an early evening meal, please indicate this when you sign up. (it is not essential that you stay to eat, but it will be a nice pub)
- We can cope with "last minute" entries but possibly not to eat
- We are hoping for nice weather, but it will go ahead come rain or shine.
We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at this revived event.
MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG:
Wednesday 26th July to Saturday 29th July: The Mitre Theatre, Trinity School. CR9 7AT
Merrily We Roll Along, with a book by George Furth and lyrics and music by Stephen Sondheim, is based on the 1934 play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. It tells the story of what happens when friendship is tainted by ambition - In reverse.
The show starts at the end of the story, in the late 1970s, when we're introduced to the three central characters, each damaged in their own way and with the bond between them apparently irreparable. We then travel backwards through time, watching the moments of their lives that led them from young 60s idealists who shared the same dreams to bitter artists wondering what might have been.
The end of the show marks the beginning of their story where everything seems possible, even though we already know how things finish. Exploring friendship, compromise, and the high price of success, this is a poignant and emotional contemporary story about the importance of staying true to one's ideals. With a brilliant "Broadway-style" score and that deep insight one expects from any Sondheim endeavour, Merrily We Roll Along is a spirited and moving cautionary tale for anyone who has ever pursued a dream.
Come and join The Mitre Players as we roll along (merrily!) through the twists and turns to bring you a spectacular evening's entertainment. With a talented cast and the irrepressible Kevin Gauntlett (and irreplaceable Colin Warnock!) at the helm, this is definitely not one to miss!
Tickets are available now, from THIS PAGE.
The principal cast is:
FRANK: Sam Webber
CHARLEY: Tom Lilley
MARY: Jo Morrison
BETH: Kate Gauntlett
GUSSIE: Megan Brown
JOE: Ziggi Szafranski
................. and there is a large Mitre ensemble to supplement them
50th Birthday BARBECUE. Friday 30th June - 6pm
With summer upon us, our thoughts turn to one of our favourite annual social events – THE BBQ! Delicious food will be cooked by our team of chefs, the bar will be open and, in-keeping with true Mitre tradition, a game of rounders will be played to build up those appetites.
The night will also include the launch of our plans for the 24-Hour Musical, which is taking place later in the year (please see further information below). Ticket are NOW AVAILABLE at £10 per adult and £6 per child from THIS PAGE.
BEDROOM FARCE: Performances: Wednesday 31st May to Saturday 3rd June
Rehearsals are now underway for our next play, Bedroom Farce, by Alan Ayckbourn. With Megan Brown at the helm and a stellar cast of actors, this is sure to be a laugh-a-minute evening’s entertainment for all our audiences. Tickets are on sale now and, as proven with the revue, will sell quickly… so buy yours now!
A little bit about the play…
Trevor and Susannah, whose marriage is on the rocks, inflict their miseries on their nearest and dearest: three couples whose own relationships are tenuous at best. Taking place sequentially in the three beleaguered couples' bedrooms during one endless Saturday night of co-dependence and dysfunction, beds, tempers, and domestic order are ruffled, leading all the players to a hilariously touching epiphany. A long-running hit in London and New York
Earnest - Warwick Jones
Delia – Morven Rae
Trevor – Kevin Hayes
Susannah – Tamsin Reeve
Malcom – Paul Grace
Kate – Jerri-Lee McManus
Nick – Ziggi Szafranski
Jan – Penny Brown
You can download the handbill HERE.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING: Thursday 8th June at 8pm
In a break from tradition (and a date for your diary) this is your annual reminder that the AGM is scheduled for 8pm at the clubhouse on Thursday 8th June. As usual, the Committee stand for re-election and any member can be put up for election. We would welcome anyone who is interested in joining the committee to ask any of us for information. You can email us all on firstname.lastname@example.org or individual members using the contact details at the bottom of this email.
As it is a Thursday we thought it adds the bonus of us all discussing the business side of The Mitre Players and following it up with a more social chat afterwards as the bar will be open.
We look forward to seeing you all there. Please keep an eye out for papers and other information which will be sent out to all full members before the AGM.
Isla: The retrospective
Following a sold out performance at the clubhouse, the cast and crew of Isla headed to The Barn Theatre, Oxted for the Southern Counties Drama Festival. We had more set than anyone else (no surprises there!) and more lighting cues, but with storming performances from David, Nicky and Penny we were received with laughter and a few tears. David Morgan was runner up in Best Male Adult Actor and we were runners up in Best Adult Play.
A huge thank you to our amazing crew Del Lee, Alan Bishop, Alan Collins and Jon Lee, who once again excelled themselves in creating a fabulous set which we were able to rehearse with for weeks beforehand! Also thank you to the lovely Julia Gibbs who was our prompt and a very welcome addition to our happy little team. Louise has said never again to directing, but we are going to ask her in six months time!
Peter Shore has reviewed the entire festival, and it can be read HERE
Golden Revue featuring The Sound of Coarse Music: The Review
The Mitre Golden Revue - What a triumph and what a reflective occasion!
With a fantastic line up of core Mitres old and new, we were thrilled so many of you wanted to join us on this trip down memory lane, to bring some focus to the history of the Mitre Players. With 50 years in the bag, there was a lot of material to look back on and the challenge to showcase it in a 2hr show was not an easy one. With the first half focusing on Mitres at home, on Tour and Mitres being silly - credit must be given to Di & Warwick Jones, Kevin Gauntlett and Ziggi Szafranski for writing clever, witty and memorable sketches brought together overall by Jo Morrison, that sat perfectly alongside musical numbers brought back from the past by Colin Warnock. The collaboration of Mitres creating these items together was a joy to be part of and made the 6 Sunday rehearsals an organic and enjoyable process.
Turning his hand to a collections of medleys, Colin's vision meant we were able to re-live the fun of the panto years, the emotive melodies from some of our Minack shows, and revive the harmonies from our original show Backstage (performed by members of Trinity School with the Chambers family trio!) along with original classics 'I Might'a Been a Mitre' and 'We Love It All'. With youngsters on the stage the same age the original founding members of Mitre Players were when they first began our Mitre journey, it brought a hopeful optimism to the future of the Mitres and allowed us to wonder if they may be the ones leading the 100th anniversary revue...
The second half brought an enthusiastic and ridiculous romp through a parody of The Sound of Music which was written by Colin Warnock and Martin Tyrrell and first performed in 1975. It was bonkers but brought joy to all those that performed and watched and was a great reminder that Mitre Players never take themselves seriously!
Overall, the revue gave us a great opportunity for long standing members to rekindle their love of all things Mitre, both in performance and in our 'Mitre Museum', and gave newer members a chance to learn of the great foundations the Mitres has been built on and an understanding of just how special those memories are. With so much original content resurrected and remembered, it makes you wonder whether it's time we started writing our own shows again?!
Thanks to everyone who helped make the revue a success, from onstage to backstage, front of house to admin, 'We loved it! We loved it all!
50th Anniversary Ball: The Verdict
Thank you to everyone who made our Birthday Ball such a smashing success. A big thank you to Anna, Alan, Julia and Megan for taking on the mammoth task of organising the night, to Ben for all his technical support and work throughout and to the Golf Club staff and the fabulous band for entertaining and looking after us all night.
It was lovely to see so many Mitres of all vintages, from founder members to those who've joined in the last 12 months. The family atmosphere is what makes the Mitre Players truly special and we really couldn't do it without each and every one of you.
Whilst our social team take a small break before organising our next Ball, do come along to some of our other social events throughout the year. We meet up on the first Thursday of every month in the Clubhouse Bar for a casual social, and there will always be an opportunity for more structured social events throughout the calendar - the BBQ is our next one on Friday 30th June.
50th Anniversay Ball: Saturday 18th March
1973 was a pretty significant year.
The UK signed up to the Common Market, industrial action disrupted transport, bombs exploded on mainland Britain, and in the USA, a scandal hit President Nixon. How little has changed, you might think! But it was not all doom and gloom: Red Rum won his first Grand National, Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon was released, women were admitted into the London Stock Exchange for the first time, and Tony Orlando helped Dawn Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree.. Some of you might even have been born that year.
And in the leafy suburbs of Surrey, something even more glorious came into being. Yes, thanks to Messrs. Tyrrell and Warnock, The Mitre Players took its first breath in 1973 and has been huffing and puffing its way through the last 50 years, working up a head of steam to celebrate this momentous anniversary in grand style with a Mitre Ball to make all others pale into insignificance.
The date is Saturday 18th March 2023 (5.30pm for 6.30pm) and the venue is the magnificent Surrey National Golf Club in Caterham. On arrival you will be greeted by a glass of bubbly courtesy of The Mitre Players, some Founder Members and Vice-Presidents who have all contributed to the cost of this. Aside from a sumptuous dinner, we have secured (back by popular demand) the services of The Swinging Little Big Band, who have played gigs everywhere from a French chateau in Saint-Emilion to the Chenery's chateau in Oxted with a raft of castles, palaces and stately piles in between. Musically, expect anything from Dizzy Gillespie and Nat King Cole to the Fratellis and the Zutons via the Rolling Stones and Radiohead, but expect to be up on your feet and dancing.
We Love it, We love it all!!
ISLA - A New Play by Tim Price
Do algorithms and machine learning set us free,or trap us forever?
Roger hates technology, but when his daughter gives him an Isla device for Lockdown 2020, he finds himself opening up to the virtual assistant device. What happens when the only fulfilling relationship you have is with a digital slave? Isla asks what are the costs and benefits of machine learning...and do we want the AIs to learn from us?
This year sees The Mitre Players returning to the Southern Counties Drama Festival, with Louise Gauntlett at the helm of this talented cast.
Tickets are available online for both performances: one at our home in Sanderstead and, of course, the Festival itself at the Barn Theatre, Oxted
NEW YEARS EVE PARTY
What better way to celebrate The Mitre Players entering their 50th year than by raising a glass with friends and partying in true style. Those of you who attended our last New Year's Eve extravaganza will remember what a truly magical evening it was, with many of the revellers, young and old, dancing into the small hours. Plans are well underway for this year’s big bash and there is something for everyone to enjoy.
As well as an evening of fun and laughter, you can look forward to live music, a sumptuous hog roast buffet (provided by the talented Andrew Brown and his team), silent disco (back by popular demand), complimentary glass of bubbles at midnight and the clubhouse dressed as you have never seen it before! All of that for only £35 per head - where else could you go on New Year's Eve for that price? A complete bargain we hear you cry! Children 12 and under are free of charge and anyone under 18 must be accompanied by their parent(s)..
As we are approaching our golden year, the theme for the evening will reflect this, so you are invited to dress in something gold related. You might opt for just a splash of bling, or some of you creative sorts may want to impress in something extravagant and unusual – the choice is yours.
Last time, this event was extremely popular, so do book your tickets early to avoid disappointment - there are only 120 spaces, and they WILL go fast! Remember, you can invite friends and family too! Please book tickets HERE
As a reminder, the club bar will be open, but it only accepts Credit/Debit Cards as well as Club Membership Cards. You are strongly encouraged to apply for one (if you don't already have one) as not only do they save you money, they make serving drinks so much easier and quicker.
Isla and Revue Presentation Evening: Sunday 4th December at 6pm
It is estimated that in 2021 there were more voice-activated digital assistants in the world than people. All are female gendered.
Roger’s daughter gives him an Isla device for lockdown 2020. He hates technology, but finds himself opening up to his virtual assistant. What will happen when the only relationship you have is with a digital slave?
Isla is a funny, moving and slightly disturbing one act play which explores the unseen consequences of the pandemic which affected us all in so many different ways.
There are 3 characters in the play:
- Roger (playing age 60+) is a retired teacher who lives alone following the death of his wife.
- Erin (age 30’s) is his daughter who is very stressed, working from home and home schooling her children.
- Isla/PC Jones (age 30+) is the virtual assistant, who is also law enforcement.
Isla is our entry in the Southern Counties Drama Festival at The Barn in Oxted week commencing Mon 20th February (our performance day is as yet unknown) and we are performing it at the Clubhouse on Friday 17th February at 8pm.
Auditions are on Sunday 11th Dec at 6pm and rehearsals start with a read through on Sunday 8th January. We do have a relatively short rehearsal period so commitment is vital.
On Sunday 4th December we are introducing Isla and the Mitre Revue to all you lovely Mitres, so please come along as I am looking for people who can perform this gritty piece to festival standard. Please contact me (email@example.com) if you would like more details or are unable to attend either the presentation or the auditions.
So we can gauge reaction and start to think of parts and material, we are asking anyone who wishes to be involved in either half (or both) of the revue to attend the presentation evening to register their interest. Please read on to discover the plot...........
Take a trip down memory lane with us as we bring a selection of our past successes to the stage to mark our 50th year. The Mitre Revue will have 2 parts to it –
- A medley mashup style of show moments all pulled together in a witty and interactive way.
- A revival of one of our early original pieces ‘The Sound of Coarse Music’. Written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein and adapted by Colin Warnock, it was originally performed in 1988, made a return in 1994 and we are thrilled to bring this hilarious parody piece back to an audience once again.
The original introduction for the Sound of Coarse Music reads as This musical is meant to be a light-hearted up-dated version of the Sound of Music and should not be taken too seriously. Costumes should be as many and varied as possible, but they need not be correct for the character, nor need they fit very well. An effort should be made to equip the Von Trapp home with some furniture, and a front door, the Abbey/Convent should have some pillars, and hardboard mountains are a must. Lighting is mainly on and off? Though it would be nice to be able to isolate Maria, Liesl/Rolf and the Abbess during songs. A few sound effects are included (e.g. footsteps, lavatory flushing,) and others, such as bells, birds, etc could be added, if the sound effects man is feeling left out. The orchestra should comprise piano and drums. The music is taken in the main from the film version of the Musical, as indeed are most characters. In scene 3, there are several characters from the television comedy series ‘Allo ‘Allo! and these should be played as in the T.V. version. Dick, Oscar and Colin hope you enjoy performing ’’The Sound of Coarse Music’’ and wish you the best Of Austrian luck!
Colin Warnock will again be heading up this revival and adds ‘part of the fun is appearing to be slightly under rehearsed with far too many people on a small stage!’
Our medley section promises to offer a glimpse back over some of our favoured moments that we would like your input to decide. moments that were poignant, or had a story or a disaster behind them. Please bring your suggestions along to the presentation night on Sunday 4th December enabling us to create a show that can be created for and including our Mitre Membership. We plan to present these moments through song, movement, compering, video, photographs and good old fashioned fun! There is an opportunity for everyone to be involved in a small or bigger way. We plan to tailor the show based on those interested in taking part. There will be no audition process for the Mitre Revue but parts/pieces will be allocated prior to rehearsals starting. Jo Morrison will be heading up this section of the show but we hope it will end up as a collaborative piece as we invite Mitre Members to contribute.
Depending on interest we may split the show into 2 separate casts to allow for more people to be involved or may split it across both parts of the evening. If you can't attend the presentation evening but wish to be involved, please register your interest by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
Rehearsals for the Mitre Revue will begin on Sunday 26th February and performances will be on Tue 4th, Wed 5th & Thurs 6th April 2023 in the Studio Theatre at the TSSSC Clubhouse.
QUIZ NIGHT Friday 11th November at 7.30
All are welcome to the traditional quiz night put together by the devious quiz master Alan Bishop. Come along with a team already or put one together on the night - teams of approx 6 players please. We ask for £3 per person to cover the cost of the exciting prizes, and you can bring along your own nibbles to keep you sustained whilst you rack your brains. Please arrive by 7.30pm and the little grey cells will be called into action at 7.45pm!
Our most recent production was PIPPIN. 26th - 29th October at 7.30pm
The Mitre Players is delighted to present Pippin, the very first musical written by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell/Wicked) which is perhaps less well-known than those that followed, but nevertheless is packed to the brim with the same sumptuous music, witty lyrics and vibrant characters.
We follow the journey of the young prince Pippin, who after graduating from university sets out on a journey of self-discovery to find something ‘extraordinary and fulfilling’ to do with his life. He is led by the charismatic and alluring Leading Player and her band of followers through a series of adventures ending in a potentially shocking climax……but you will have to wait until the end to find out which path in life Pippin chooses!
With a sterling cast, musicians, and expert production team, we have no doubt you will experience a stunning piece of theatre. There are limited tickets available so book early to avoid disappointment.
Tickets, priced at only £15 are available now, from THIS PAGE.
The cast list is as follows:
Pippin: Tom Lilley
Leading Player: Megan Brown
Charles: Ziggi Szafranski
Fastrada: Tamsin Reeve
Berthe: Laura Mackie
Catherine: Hannah Hayes
Lewis/Theo: Chris Backway
Ensemble: Rosie Duckett
Ensemble: Rachael Adams
Ensemble/Dancer: Penelope Brown
Ensemble/Dancer: Kate Gauntlett
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS: Our Last Production
Little Shop of Horrors is set in a decade not too long before our own and tells the story of Seymour Krelborn, an orphan taken in by Mr Mushnik, the owner of a rundown florist on Skid Row. Seymour is secretly in love with the other employee, Audrey, but she is out of his league and seeing a successful dentist (who just happens to be a nitrous oxide using sadist!)
Seymour’s fortunes are turned around when he finds a weird and interesting plant while walking through the wholesale flower district. As long as the plant is growing, so is his success. The only snag is that feeding the plant requires a secret ingredient that’s easy to come by - just as long as you don’t mind getting your hands dirty!
The musical has been nominated for Tony, Olivier and Grammy awards, and there’s a hugely successful movie version with a remake on the cards in the next couple of years. With revival after revival on Broadway and in the West End, and a phenomenal production in Regent’s Park in 2018 that has inspired our creative team, this production by the Mitre Players is not one to miss!
We have just finished our "home" run of 4 sell-out performances and are all set for our tour to The Apollo Theatre, Newport, Isle of Wight.. But remember, whatever you do...don’t feed the plants
Tickets at all Performances £14.00
PIPPIN: Our Autumn Production
With A Bunch of Amateurs now over and plans for Little Shop of Horrors already in motion, our thoughts now turn to our autumn musical – Pippin. Heading this up is longstanding Mitre Karen Rapps, with our chairman Colin Warnock as MD and the lovely Kim McEvoy as choreographer. Karen writes..............
I am delighted to be making my directorial debut with Pippin, a musical by the wonderful Stephen Schwartz (Godspell/Wicked). Pippin was in fact the first musical written by Schwartz, and ran for 5 years on Broadway in the 1970s, directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse in a very lavish production including acrobats, trapeze artists and fire-eaters! But fear not, our Mitre production will be nothing like that! It will be stripped back to a cast of 8-12 players who will tell the story of the young Prince Pippin, who after graduating from university sets out on his journey to find something 'extraordinary and fulfilling' to do with his life. He is led by the charismatic, alluring Leading Player, and his/her band of followers through a series of adventures ending in a potentially shocking climax.....
Pippin's adventures are full of sumptuous music (think Godspell meets Chicago and Wicked), comedy, and fabulous cameo characterisations, not to mention a few Fosse-like moves here and there. I will be looking for a mixture of strong singers, character actors and a few sexy dance girls. If you would like more details prior to the auditions, please email me at email@example.com
The auditions will be held on Tuesday 24th May at the Clubhouse - Please read on
- Start at 7.30 with dance/movement which everyone must come to
- Everyone must sing either the allocated music for the part you are auditioning for (Pippin and Leading Player), and/or something by Stephen Schwarz or in a similar style e.g Chicago, Cabaret for all other parts.
- You can sing the number from the show for the part you are auditioning for if you want (but not essential)
- Individual auditions will follow dance including your song(s) and dialogue for all the parts you are auditioning for, after which you can leave.
You can download a character breakdown HERE
The dialogue for all the parts can be found by downloading THIS PDF (Page 1 has the list of pages to read and the body of the file has the appropriate pages)
Below are recordings of the "new" Broadway version.
Corner of the Sky: Extraordinary: Finale: Glory: I Guess I'll Miss the Man: Kind of Woman: Love Song: Magic to Do: Morning Glow: No Time at All: On the Right Track: Simple Joys: Spread a Little Sunshine: War is a Science: Welcome Home: With You
There will be two Sunday music rehearsals in August (14th and 21st), and then the main rehearsals will start on Thursday 1st September.
Performances are at our own Studio Theatre on 26th to 29th October 2022
Jubilee Barbecue on Thursday 2nd June
Slightly earlier than usual and timed to coincide with the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, we are holding our annual BBQ at the clubhouse on the Thursday Bank Holiday.
During the day, draft details of our 50th anniversary year (2023) will be revealed, so please attend to hear about all our marvellous plans
Games and "Social Activities" will commence from 2pm and the food will be available from 4pm onwards. Tickets are available NOW from Ticketsource HERE and cost £8 for members and £10 for non members. Vegetarian options are available, so please indicate this when booking.
We are gradually getting back to "normal" despite the pandemic. Please CLICK HERE to read our February newsletter.
It contains information about:
- Founders Day Supper - 25th March. Chairman is Mitre Player Alumni Tony Britten
- A Bunch of Amateurs
- Monthly Mitre Socials
- Little Shop of Horrors Cast List
- Details of our Autumn Musical - Pippin
- Response to our recent survey
A BUNCH OF AMATEURS: Our Last Production
Our Spring Production is a light comedy about a rural amateur dramatic group who are desperate to save their small theatre from the developers. They come up with the idea of asking a professional actor to lead their production of King Lear...
“Across the pond”, action hero Jefferson Steele is trying to kick-start his flagging career and is booked by his agent to play the lead in a Shakespearian masterpiece, in Stratford, England – only to find out that this is not the birthplace of the Bard, and home to Dame Judi Dench and Sir Kenneth Branagh, but a sleepy Suffolk village.
Yes, you’ve guessed it, wires are crossed, and disaster is on the horizon. As Jefferson’s monstrous ego, vanity and insecurity are tested to the limit and his career implodes, he discovers some truths about himself – along with his inner Lear!
A Bunch of Amateurs is packed with great comic dialogue and plenty of twists and turns including controversy, scandal and betrayal.
We look forward to welcoming you to our production between Wednesday 6th and Saturday 9th April at 7.45pm.
Tickets cost just £15 and are available from www.ticketsource.co.uk/mitreplayers
This amateur production of “A Bunch of Amateurs” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals Ltd. on behalf of Samuel French Ltd. www.concordtheatricals.co.uk
Play Reading Evening 20th February at 6pm
|Also a reminder of our forthcoming play reading on Sunday 20th February at 5.30pm to have a quick drink at the bar and then a 6pm start. We have been approached by former Mitre Jim Miller who is the writer and we thought this is a great opportunity to enjoy reading some new writing together, with a view to considering it for performance at a later date if deemed suitable. The play is called “On the Edge” and at a quick glance I can tell you it is a thriller with adult themes and language so the event is not really suitable for children to attend. You are welcome to just listen, only those who wish to will be asked to read and we can swop about to give everyone an opportunity. The Mitres performed “Double Fantasy” Jim’s play about Mark Chapman who murdered John Lennon many years ago and this appears to have some similar inspiration and themes. Come and join the discussion and give Jim some feedback.|
If you would like to suggest any other plays we could read together please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can arrange for copies of the script to be available. “On the Edge” will probably run for approximately an hour so there will be some time for chatting and catching up too. It would be fantastic if we have a good turnout – a chance to try something a bit different without the commitment of rehearsals!
Little Shop of Horrors - Auditions 28th/29th November 2021
So it’s only November and already our thoughts are turning towards our Summer musical and annual tour – this year to the Apollo Theatre in Newport on the lovely Isle of Wight, for a second time. Paul Grace is going to be in the director’s chair for his take on “Little Shop of Horrors” and anyone interested in coming on tour – cast, band, crew, babysitters, general hangeroners are invited to express their interest either prior to the launch meeting on Sunday 21st November at 6pm by emailing the committee or by coming to the meeting to hear about Paul’s vision for the show, what to expect at auditions and more about how the tour will run. It is imperative we hear from all those who want to be involved as to make the show viable we need to use all the accommodation available to us. Please don’t assume we will know you want to come because you always do – you may miss out on a bed unless you turn up to the launch or email LSOH@mitreplayers.org.uk The cost of your self catering accommodation (for 9 nights) is expected to be in the region of £350 -£400 per person – take a look at the Island Riding Centre website for more details: https://www.islandriding.com/holidays/
Key Dates are as follows:
Sunday 21st November Launch meeting at 18.00 - TSSSC clubhouse
Sunday 28th November Auditions at 18.00 - TSSSC clubhouse
Monday 29th November Auditions at 18.00 - TSSSC clubhouse
Croydon dates w/c 17/07/2022 TSSSC clubhouse (TBC)
Isle of Wight Tour dates Friday 29/07 – Sunday 07/08/2022
Rehearsals will start at the beginning of May 2022
Auditions will be open to all but you will need to be a full member for 2022 to take part. We have some talented youngsters coming up through the ranks – please note we will allow older children to audition for the adult cast but anyone under 16yrs must bring with them a parent or “loco parentis” who is prepared to chaperone them at every performance. Please discuss this with Julia Ascott at the launch meeting for clarification. Any Juniors between the ages 16 – 18 years inclusive must also be accompanied on tour by an adult who is responsible for them but they will not need to be chaperoned during performances. This essentially is an adult production with an adult cast and we will not be able to accommodate lots of juniors in the cast but do welcome them to accompany their families on tour. We already have several younger children who will be holidaying with us and the island is a very family friendly holiday location.
Carry on reading for more info on the production itself from Paul.............................
For those unfamiliar with Little Shop of Horrors, where have you been?! Set in an early year of a decade not too long before our own, it tells the story of Seymour Krelborn, an orphan taken in by Mr Mushnik, the rundown owner of a rundown florist on Skid Row. He is secretly in love with the other employee, Audrey, but she is out of his league and seeing a successful dentist (who just happens to be a nitrous oxide using sadist!) Seymour's fortunes are turned around when he finds a weird and interesting plant while walking through the wholesale flower district. As long as the plant is growing, so is his success. The only snag is that feeding the plant requires a secret ingredient that's 'not too hard to come by' as long as you don't mind getting your hands dirty!
It's been nominated for Tonys, Oliviers and Grammys, there's a hugely successful movie (with a remake on the cards in the next couple of years.) It's had revival after revival on Broadway and in the West End, Mitres have done it (twice), Stagers have done it, Oxted have done it, CODA have done it, but it just doesn't get old! In fact I don't think I've ever met anyone who's been involved with a production who didn't have an absolute blast!
Our production will owe something to the phenomenal Regent's Park production from 2018 in style and direction. And also in casting, as we will be casting many of the roles gender blind. There's nothing to say that our psychotic dentist couldn't be female or that Seymour couldn't have been taken in by Mrs Mushnik! Or indeed that any of the trio of Greek chorus couldn't be a boy. Equally, there are no specific characters we have decided to change - we will just be very open to giving everyone a chance.
I'm absolutely buzzing about this show and very excited to give a taster of what we have in store at the meet and greet on 21st November. Needless to say there will also be information about auditions (28th and 29th November) and some more general info about the tour. I look forward to seeing you there!
Festive Frolics. Friday 3rd December 2021
If you don’t do anything else this year, make sure you book your free tickets to The Mitre Players' Christmas bash on Friday 3rd December as it promises to be the event of the Century for the whole family and will certainly start your Christmas off with a bang.
Please register on Ticketsource for free tickets. Under 16s are very welcome but must be accompanied by an adult.
Former Miss World Vicky Watkins and Daniel Craig lookalike Mike Lilley will be on hand to lead you through a packed evening with fun and frolics galore guaranteed. Newish Junior member Colin Warnock will once again be doing one of his World famous Music Quizzes and leading us with a marvellous Christmas singalong.
There will be monumental prizes galore including one for best Christmas jumper/outfit so make sure to wear yours. Although food will not be provided, snacks, crisps, twiglets etc. etc. can be purchased (along with drinks) from the bar, which will be open until midnight. Don’t waste any time, book immediately, it’s almost sold out!!
ps. if you’re very lucky, Mike Lilley promises to give you a covid friendly kiss under the Mistletoe.
pps. If you don’t like fun frolics or Christmas, just come up and have a chat to your mates.
AGM and Social 29th August 2021
As you are aware, we had to cancel our AGM a few weeks ago due to the ceiling collapse at the clubhouse. It has now been rearranged for Sunday 29th August and rather than having it on Zoom like last year, we are inviting everyone to join us in person, however if you still feel uncomfortable meeting inside, you can participate via this zoom link.
Everyone is welcome to the AGM but only full members can vote. The Agenda can be downloaded HERE and the Committee Report HERE. The Treasurer's Report and Minutes of the last AGM will be available on the night. If you would like to join for the current year, please see THIS PAGE.
So put the date in your diary – 29th August. The bar is open from midday. We hope that you can arrive before the AGM starts at 7pm - we suggest the socialising begins around 6pm.
We look forward to seeing you all there.