Our next production is:
A family pantomime written and directed
by Sarah and John Taylor
24th-26th January 2019
This story begins, as all good fairy tales do, Once Upon A Time….
Cinderella is a fair and kind-hearted girl who is at the mercy of her cruel and spiteful stepmother and appalling sisters. Her one true friend is Buttons the bell-boy who always looks after her. Her poor father, Baron Hardluck, has spent all his money on a business venture that is crumbling around his ears. His faithful staff work hard to keep things going but the outlook is grim.
Meanwhile, a neighbouring Prince is looking for a bride and this could be the very opportunity for Baroness Hardluck to ensure one of her daughters marries into everlasting wealth – as long as Cinderella is kept out of the way.
In our adaptation we bring this popular story alive once more in a truly magical way.
Evening performances take place 24th-26th January 2019 at 7.45pm; Matinees 19th, 20th & 26th January 2019 at 2.30pm. Doors open 2.00pm & 7.15pm. Tickets cost £10 adults and £5 children (12 & under), including programme. Tickets on sale from 3rd December.
Our following production will be ‘Spider’s Web’ by Agatha Christie, produced by Tony Kirkham, 8th – 11th May 2019.
More about the St James’s Players
We are a local amateur dramatic group based at St James’s Church in New Malden, Surrey. Our members range from 16 years old to over 80 years young, and the group enjoys not only theatre work but also a variety of other social activities.
We always welcome new members, just come along any Monday night from 8pm to meet us and get a feel for what we do.
The Players annually perform two plays, one in May and one in October, and a pantomime or revue in January. Each play usually performs for four nights, but a pantomime could have as many as eight performances, including matinees. There may also be occasional “specials” during the year, which may include performances at other sites, such as the Rose Theatre, Kingston (more below). Each year our total audience is over 1000.
Members of the group also raise funds for charities. In 2013 we raised £1,500 for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research through activities related to, and including, our performance of “Calendar Girls”. We are currently raising money for Kingston Mencap.
“Kingston Mencap is an independent local charity founded in 1952, is affiliated to Royal Mencap and has served the residents of Kingston with learning disabilities ever since. The public attitude towards people with learning disabilities has changed drastically, for the better, since the early 1960s. Our members are no longer hidden away and now enjoy full and varied social lives. Many live in supported living or residential care, others live with their parents: wherever they live, parents and families remain involved in their lives. Kingston Mencap is always there for our members, families and carers alike.
Kingston Mencap provides leisure clubs for our Members, giving them opportunities to meet and have fun in safe, secure environments with our magnificent band of Volunteers looking after them, under the guidance of experienced Club Leaders. Our Members enjoy annual summer outings and visits to the pantomime at Christmas. Our clubs regularly have visiting entertainers and off-site activities and are often focussed on health and wellbeing. We receive no funding from Royal Mencap, all our income has to be raised by our own endeavours.”
Some performances are either reserved for, or in aid of, charities. In January 2012 ,2014, 2015 and 2016, at the request of the Mayor of Kingston, the Players gave one pantomime performance at the Rose Theatre in Kingston in order to raise funds for the Mayor’s Charitable Trust. Over 650 people came to see the first ever pantomime at the Rose Theatre – our performance of “Dick Whittington” in January 2012- and almost as many came to see “Aladdin” in January 2014, “Sleeping Beauty” in 2015 and “Snow Ridinghood and the Three Bears” in 2016. These shows are challenging in a number of ways- transporting set, costumes and props and, not least, that the only rehearsal time on site is one run through on the same day as the performance.
Most members help in a variety of ways, not just acting but helping backstage or front-of-house and this dedicated team of “non-actors” who work so hard with set, costumes and props are particularly valued. The applause, at the end of each show, is also for them!