WIND IN THE WILLOWS is Postponed
It will come as no surprise that we have had to postpone this show until Autumn 2021 - watch this space for further details.
Based on Kenneth Grahame’s best-selling classic of children’s literature, with a book by Oscar-winning screenwriter and Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and songs by Olivier Award-winning composers and lyricists George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS is a wild, thrill-seeking tale.
This riotous comedy follows Mole, Rat, Badger, and the impulsive Mr. Toad, whose insatiable need for speed lands him in serious trouble. With his beloved home under threat from the notorious Chief Weasel and his gang of sinister Wild Wooders, Toad must attempt a daring escape leading to a series of misadventures and a heroic battle to recapture Toad Hall. Full of humour, wit, a gorgeous, soaring score, and heart-warming lessons of friendship, THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS is the perfect fit for family audiences everywhere.”
It premiered at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth in 2016 before embarking on a UK tour to The Lowry, Southampton, and then The Mayflower, Southampton. In the summer of 2017, the show ran at the iconic London Palladium.
… That’s right, The Mitre Players are, once again, turning to the ‘wild’ side – and no one portrays all-singing, all-dancing animals quite like us! This truly is a wonderful show (think Honk! and Just So), with plenty of parts for all ages, talents, shapes and sizes. If you are wanting to get a feel for the show, you can listen to the songs on YouTube – the music is fabulous, with plenty of ‘goosebump-inducing’ harmonies. We are delighted to have Helen Harries-Rees commuting from Chichester to sit in the director’s chair, with Jo Morrison as choreographer. The talented Sheridan Lloyd will be making his Mitre MD debut – a big, warm welcome to him!
VIRTUAL PLAY READING EVENING
So, now that we've all got the hang of Zoom, it seems a good time for us to try out something else via the means of virtual gatherings. Paul Smith & Jo Morrison have joined forces to coordinate a Rehearsed Play Reading Evening over 2 nights:
Sunday 22nd November @ 6pm and Tuesday 24th November @ 8pm
Following the success of Paul's last play reading evening, held last year, it seemed only logical that we attempt it again but now with a virtual twist! We will be using material written by authors represented by Paul's own company: Smith's Scripts.
Familiar Mitre faces will be taking part to provide you with an evening of wit and charm, and with the event only running for approx. one hour, you can be sure to not suffer from Zoom fatigue!
We hope this will be a great opportunity to virtually gather our Mitre community and share a laugh and a giggle whilst sipping on our favourite tipple!
Please sign up for this FREE event by clicking on the buttons below. Both evenings will have the same running order of short plays and skits.
Instead of purchasing a ticket, we would like to encourage everyone to donate their pennies to our chosen charity - 'Acting For Others' – a collection of charities providing financial and emotional support for professionals working in the theatre industry, during times of need. We will have details of how you can make this donation at the event.
We hope to see you at one of the dates - lets help keep theatre alive and kicking in these tricky times!
MINACK show 2021 - Our House - Cast Update
Yes….. Mitres are Minack Bound once again, this time with the Madness Musical OUR HOUSE ….
Originally planned to be performed at The Minack Theatre in Summer 2020, it has be postponed until Summer 2021 with a slightly altered cast.
The new dates are:
The Courtyard Theatre, Croydon High School: 21st to 24th July 2021
The Minack Theatre, Porthcurno: 16th - 20th August 2021
Based on songs by the 80s chart-toppers Madness "Our House" centres on Joe Casey, a boy from Camden whose life is altered by a decision made on the night of his 16th birthday. The show subsequently follows Joe through seven years of alternative lives.
"Our House" is a fun, award winning, lively musical for the whole family and a Perfect Mitre Minack Show!!
The 2021 Cast:
Joe: Chris Backway
Sarah: Thalia Selby
Joe’s Dad: Mike Lilley
Kath Casey: Nicky Chambers
Lewis: David Harries-Rees
Emmo: Tom Lilley
Billie: Kate Gauntlett
Angie: Megan Brown
Reecey: Calum Roy
Mr Pressman: Keith Robertshaw
Callum: Paul Grace
Company: Claire Ali, John Barnett, Nicki Barnett, Penelope Brown, Rosie Chambers, Sarah Coldwell, Lorna Dicken, Louise Gauntlett, Julia Gent, Laura Grant, Fiona Lilley, Gemma Lilley, Kim McEvoy, Laura Mackie, Elana Punjani, Frankie Punzi, Lizzie Rae, Karen Rapps, Rebecca Rapps, Kate Slingerland, Emily Stockwell, Krystyna Szafranski, Ziggi Szafranski, Caroline Waddell.
VIRTUAL QUIZ NIGHT
Please see the latest Newsletter (Link above) to hear all about how well the Quiz Night went.
With summer fun behind us and Christmas still too far off to start talking about, we thought we would fill the gap with an extra Quiz Night to avoid us having another Friday night thinking about the Theatre we could have been watching! (sob, sob...)
With a need for a bit of drama back in our lives, our ‘Quiz with a difference’ promises to be a night of fun and frolics with a touch of theatre thrown in for good measure!
We will be hosting this via Zoom again but would encourage you to form a Bubble of 6 to play along so that your team is altogether on one screen. This can be with your family members, those you have already bubbled with or your own socially distanced gathering of 6. There will be some reference to Mitre’ness so try to avoid it being a full group of people that aren’t aware of our shenanigans or characters....
Here are all the key details you need to know:
DATE: FRIDAY 30th OCTOBER
TIME: Log-on and download the quiz pack from 7pm Quiz starts at 7.30pm
TICKETS: Please register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
All teams must be registered in advance of the date. There is no charge to join the quiz.
TEAM THEMES : Based on the success of our themed picnic back in the summer... The theme for your team name/ dress code/ staging is ‘MITRE MEMORIES’
Dress to impress everyone – there are points up for grabs!
This Quiz will be hosted by the shy, retiring wallflowers that are MEGAN BROWN, JO MORRISON & ZIGGI S...(somethinginthemiddle)...SKI What could possibly go wrong with a quiet quiz night in our hands?!?!?
- TEAM SPACES ARE LIMITED so we advise you to register your interest early to avoid disappointment....
- A confirmation email will be sent to the one you registered from and the Quiz Pack will also be emailed to the same address on the night.
- Quiz Answers will be collected by each team sending a photo of your answer sheet to the quiz hosts. We will provide you with the mobile number in the Quiz Pack.
- There will be a ‘comfort break(s)’ provided throughout the duration of the evening to ensure no one misses out whilst in the loo!
- There may be some rounds that are different to a usual quiz set up.... enjoy them! We dare ya!
So gather your Quiz Team and start planning your Mitre Memory Team Theme! We are really looking forward to a night of fun with some familiar Mitre faces.
Till Friday 30th!
Jo, Megan & Ziggi xxx
AGM was on Sunday 20th September at 4pm
Due to the current situation, we have reluctantly had to postpone our AGM which was due to be held on Sunday 7th June............................... It will now be held on Sunday 20th September. Members will be emailed further details shortly.
We held an "online" multiple choice quiz night on the night. Over 30 members took part in 22 teams.
CORAM BOY: A joint production with Trinity School.
Due to the current situation, we have reluctantly had to cancel the production. More details of the documentary film that is being made of the production process will be available soon.
This year we will be presenting the award winning play Coram Boy by Helen Edmundson, adapted from Jamilia Gavin's novel. This will be a joint production with Trinity School's Drama Department. Julia Ascott and Chris Chambers will be the joint directors.
Set against a backdrop of the 18th century and the foundation of ‘The Coram Hospital for Deserted Children’, the play follows two orphans caught up in a notorious scam and fighting for their lives. Rich in social history, set primarily in 2 cities and underscored by Handel’s ‘Messiah’, the play is Dickensian in scope and rich in character roles and covers a period of approximately 10 years from 1742. Challenging scenes for the cast, period costumes & music and creative staging will bring the episodic text to life. (Think Nicholas Nickelby!)
Full details can be found on THIS PAGE
ANNUAL DINNER 2020: Friday 13th March
Our Annual Dinner was on FRIDAY 13th MARCH at The Surrey National Golf Club in Chaldon. Despite the "current situation", it went ahead with only 3 "no shows". A great time was had by all.............. excellent food, plenty of drink, a speech by Charles Marriott, a very small number of "Cross Toasts" and the traditional raffle. The probable highlight was the last minute addition to the prizes; (donated by Kevin Gauntlett) a four pack of toilet rolls!!
HONK! jr A Junior workshop production: January 2020
Very successful workshop auditions were held on Sunday 17th November and as a result we were able to cast the following children in HONK! Jnr.
The show was a great success and a "review" will follow soon. Many thanks to the entire team.
Jay Bird Miles
Mother Swan Holly
Father Swan Nell
Ensemble Daniel, Evie, Fiiyin, Isabella, Lois, Mia, Sofia, Teddy
NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY
Organised by The Mitre Players, the New Year's Eve party was THE social event of 2019.
The ticket included:
- Live music by "The Frogs" featuring our own Karen Rapps
A luxury hot fork buffet, lovingly prepared by Andrew Brown and his team
A silent disco - They have to be seen (and not heard) to be believed.
A complimentary glass of fizz at Midnight
Drinks at club prices
Thanks are due to all the organisers.
Big Fish: A great success
Here is Theo Spring's review:
Big Fish: The Mitre Players: Trinity School, Croydon
What a marvellous musical. What a talented cast. What a huge amount of hard work to present a production of such a high standard. You may guess that I just loved it!
Happily having worked out the time lines and relationships involved. it was easy to follow Edward Bloom’s Walter Mitty thinking, following his inventive brain right to the heart of his sometimes outrageous tales. The Alabama Stomp was both effective for the catching of fish and delivered the first piece of much upbeat choreography, for which Jo Morrison should take a huge bow.
So many diverse characters came to life during Edward’s fantasies. Laura Mackie’s witch - full of agility and guile, Kate Gauntlett’s balletic mermaid and Ziggi Szafranski’s Hagrid-like giant - who had such an overpowering presence.
Mike Mackenzie, with his strong singing voice created an Edward who flowed calmly through the tale, creating believability as he went, but it was Chris Backway as young Edward who enacted the tales. Constant energy and with enviable acting and dancing skills, he truly brought his character and the stories to life. Commendable too was Eddie McConnell as the even younger Edward, showing good stage presence and reliability.
Edward has a son - Will, who has grown weary of his father’s constant tales. Simon Long captured the dichotomy of filial love versus both embarrassment and sometimes anger. More excellent vocals here, particularly in the delivery of the emotional number Stranger. Coping well with Edward’s make-believe as well as his job as a travelling salesman, his wife Sandra truly loves both him and their son Will. Nicky Chambers had the air of an all-American mom, singing about the two men in her life and, exceptionally sensitively, I Don’t Need A Roof at the bedside of the dying Edward.
The family is extended on Will’s wedding day by Toni Raye as his wife Josephine - pregnant and practical, she was a tower of strength for Will.
Living in the small town of Ashton, Edward is very popular - Ashton’s Favorite Son in fact. Although his fictitious tales take him into the giant’s cave when no-one else will go and to the thrills of the big top, no-one is aware of his real achievement - that of helping to save Ashton’s townsfolk when their town was about to be flooded by a dam.
As well as time-line changes for Edward, other characters have their younger and older selves. Megan Brown effectively played the younger Sandra, joining young Edward in the charming Daffodils, with Wordworth’s poetic words entwined into the lyrics. Played by Kate Gaunlett, Edward’s first love Jenny also reappears later in the real story, with Louise Gauntlett playing her mother.
Remaining in Ashton, Edward’s teenage rival Don and his brother Zacky finally become good and important citizens with David Harries Rees and Tom Lilley delivering both their teenaged selves and the more responsible adults.
There are more characters to meet. Colin Warnock as the circus owner Amos Calloway with an uncomfortable secret of his own. It is at his circus there is an incredible envisaging of the two circus elephants who made deposits of their own. Ian Brown is the Mayor of Ashton and Neil O’Gorman is both the fictitious General Patterson and the Dr Bennett who diagnoses Edward’s life-threatening cancer tumour. There are the lively dancing Alabama Lambs - Chrissy Amer, Gemma Lilley and Ellie McConnell and the evil Red Fang - Fiona Lilley. The ‘ahh’ factor came at the end of the show with Will’s now-born son appearing. Barnaby Brown rather steeling the limelight.
To call this an all-singing, all-dancing musical is a bit of an understatement. So many songs, intricate dance numbers and wonderful costumes by Karen Durrell and Mike Mackenzie (when did he find the time I ask?).
Musical Director Shaz Dudhia and his musicians played an enormous part in the success of the show but the person who held all the strings and was responsible for the whole amazing production was director Julia Ascott whose achievement was beyond remarkable with, as she herself acknowledged, more than a little help from her talented friends.
BISH'S QUIZ NIGHT: Friday 4th October 2019
Bish's Quiz Night returns on Friday 4th October at 7.45
The key information is ............
- Teams of 6, which can be made up on the night
- Bar is open from 7pm
- Bring your own snacks, a prize for the best "spread"
- Lots of prizes for overall winner, winners of each round and last place!
- It is great fun
- EVERYBODY WELCOME
Our Summer Barbecue: Friday 30th August at 7pm
Help celebrate the end of our summer show (Bugsy Malone) and welcome in our Autumn Show (Big Fish) at our now traditional Summer Barbeque on Friday 30th August from 7pm.
Tickets are priced at just £10.00 and include a large choice of meats and fish (veggie options can be ordered with your ticket), homemade salads and strawberries/desserts. Under 12s cost just £5.00
Tickets can only be bought in advance on Ticketsource and the absolute deadline is Midday on 28th August, but it really would be appreciated if you could order as soon as possible.
Bugsy Malone: Our Summer Show
Due to the demise of the school accommodation at Dawlish, we have opted to tour to The Apollo Theatre, Newport, Isle of Wight. We will be performing Bugsy Malone, with a “grown up” cast. Jo Morrison is directing and Kim McEvoy will be assisting her with the choreography. Fresh from playing the “Reeds” at The Minack Theatre for Me and My Girl, Debbi Lindley is going to be MD.
Isle of Wight Show Dates: 30th July – 3rd August. Apollo Theatre, Newport Tickets can be purchased HERE
Based on the hit 1976 film featuring a catchy, swinging score and cartoon cut-out characters, Bugsy Malone has always been a much loved musical for children. But The Mitre Players have an all adult cast, enabling us to make it darker, grittier and bigger on laughs. Come and join us for what promises to be a SPLURGETASTIC, toe-tapping romp back to the 1920's.
The story……….. Two gangs go to war after Dandy Dan's gang has gotten the upper hand since acquiring the new technology "splurge" gun . Bugsy Malone, a one-time boxer, is thrust into the limelight when he becomes the last chance that Fat Sam's gang has of surviving. All Bugsy really wants to do is spend time with his new love, Blousey…... but that just isn't on the cards for our hero.
Music, dancing, an eight piece live band and razamataz! Don’t miss out a chance to see this new take on the popular musical!
Deathtrap: 16th to 19th April
In April 2019, the Mitre Players presented the wonderful, award-winning thriller, “Deathtrap” by Ira Levin.
Here is the review from local theatre critic, Theo Spring:
Because this play is well known to me, the building of tension by this excellent cast and their director is all the more praiseworthy. The many twists and turns involving deceit, murder and apparent resurrection brought gasps from the audience and, the first ‘killing’ in particular was given a huge element of speed and surprise.
Paul Grace, elegantly aged up as playwright Sidney Bruhl, swung effortlessly between malevolence and apparent kindness, as he lulled his wife into a very false sense of security and, throughout the play, it was his face that gave away his malicious thoughts, whilst his body language stayed calm and careful.
As the playwright bursting with ideas for his next production, Simon Long as Clifford Anderson was the perfect antidote to Bruhl’s evil, albeit that he colluded in the plans to bring about the heart attack that successfully killed Bruhl’s wife Myra.
He managed to transform himself into several different characters - the slightly over-awed playwright hoping for the success of his first play, the partner in crime, the slightly subservient secretary and finally the man with both foresight and the strength not to be quite done in by an arrow in his chest. Simon Long brought to all of these a slightly different personae, whilst never giving the game away as to his next move.
For Sarah H Gordon, the role of Myra was less complex, although she too had to be both the concerned wife as well as colluding in the murder she believed was taking place which was quite a tricky juxtaposition.
The serious plot of the play is lightened beautifully by the psychic neighbour Helga Ten Dorp, to whom Isobel Warner brought just the right amount of Eastern European accent, eccentricity and comedy. Costumed in glitter and sparkle, redolent of Madame Arcati, her hit and miss predictions added to the stealth of the tale and her business acumen helped close this often dark play on a lighter note.
Adding a note of sensible sobriety, Geoff Thorn took the cameo role of Porter Milgrim, the solicitor who brought the news of the paucity of Myra’s estate.
I am constantly amazed at Mitre’s ability to create such effective and workable sets within the confines of the small area at their disposal. Here Alan Collins managed to create a sense of space and of more of the house and garden than just the stable office in which the action takes place for which he deserves full credit for his ingenuity. The hard task of the sourcing of weapons, particularly the important crossbow, fell to Elizabeth Lee and Sue Long, in charge of props, and their range, displayed so prominently on the walls of the office, added much to plot. Sound (James McLeod) and Lighting (Alan Bishop) also played an important part, with a particular mention for a storm which wouldn’t have been out of place in King Lear.
Anna Warnock’s costumes provided a selection of just the right jumpers for our protagonists to sport, keeping very much to the late 1970’s era.
This play, which has had major professional popularity, is now a staple of the amateur drama circuit and the unease and apprehension built up here would be hard to beat, so to director Julie Cumbo goes the accolade of keeping the tension going and the twists and turns hidden until they, sometimes literally, jumped out at you. A production of which to be justly proud.
Subscriptions are NOW DUE for 2019
Newsletters and Mailchimps
The Mitre Players keep in touch with our members via various means. We send regular electronic newsletters via “mailchimp” – a simple and cheap method of sending bulk emails. You can read the latest “mailchimp” HERE.
Additionally we post “traditional” paper newsletters approximately 4 times a year. You can download a .pdf of our September newsletter HERE.
Rehearsed Play Reading: Friday 8th March at 7.45pm
This evening promises to be entertaining and informative and is presented by Mitre Patron, Paul Smith who now runs an agency promoting new plays and writers, called Smith Scripts. He has gathered a cast of 15 who will perform a rehearsed reading of some short plays and extracts of scripts – there is a huge variety of content and the evening will be split into 2 halves with a free hot meal served in the interval. The bar will be open all evening and it will be relaxed, sociable and entertaining. Tickets are FREE but do need to be booked in advance via www.ticketsource.co.uk/mitreplayers – there are still a few available. The cast list is as follows: Julia Ascott, Chris Backway, James Backway, Laura Brand, Megan Brown, Paul Grace, Andy Holton, Di Jones, Warwick Jones, Richard Jones, Charles Marriott, Jo Morrison, Toni Raye, Eve Simpson & Paul Smith. Hope to see many of our members there, especially as there will be an opportunity during the evening to make a donation to MIND in memory of our late Chairman, Alex Greenslade.