50 Years of Performing in Lytchett Matravers, Poole
Castle Players 50th anniversary
As we enter our 50th year it's a good time to reflect on our past achievements as well as looking forward to the future. It was in February 1973 that Lytchett Matravers opened their brand new Village Hall.
At it's opening a few like minded villagers, brought together by Judy Monk, Bert and Mary Toyer among others discussed what a great venue the new hall would make for a drama group. They set up a meeting at Bert and Mary's house: Castle Farmhouse and so Castle Players was born. Our first production,
Wanted, One Body, was performed just 3 months later in June that year after weeks of excitement, rehearsing and building and painting scenery.
It was a roaring success.
Since then, Castle Players have been an integral part of Lytchett Village Hall, early on, it became apparent that the stage was not ideal for shows with only one rear entrance to the dressing rooms so we raised funds to make the adaptations you see today with the 3 doors. Over the years our fundraising shows have given £1000's to the hall, installing wardrobes, fireproofing the understage, replacing the stage curtains, installing 3 phase electricity, purchasing the oven for the new kitchen and many other monetary donations.
We have staged some incredible shows over the years, it's difficult to pick favourites but some of mine have to include The Miracle Worker (1985), this was Jo Puttick's directorial debut and went down an absolute storm, we even had a working water pump on stage! The Wizard of Oz stands out as a favourite pantomime. Just like the film, our scenery and costumes started out in black and white and then switched colour in Oz, it was spectacular! In 1994 we branched out and did a touring production of Murder in the Cathedral, which started at The Village Hall and then toured around Dorset churches. More recently, my favourites have been Second From Last In The Sack Race, One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest, Peter Pan and of course not forgetting our most recent triumphs, The Elephant Man, Macbeth, The Pantomime and Still Alice.
Of course, the last 3 years have been some of the hardest in Castle Players’ history, the pandemic has been awful for all of us in so many ways and, coupled with the cost of living crisis it’s been hard for many of the arts to survive. However, there’s never been a more important time to get together, make new friends and put smiles on people’s faces so I can’t wait to see what the next chapter brings for Castle Players.
Some past photos:
Macbeth the Pantomime
Entertaining the people of Lytchett Matravers since 1973
Castle Players were formed when the new Village Hall was built in 1973. When most people hear 'Village Hall' they think we perform in a damp, dingy little hut. But we have invested thousands making our hall a fabulous performing space. With a large stage and state-of-the-art lighting and sound equipment, our audience get the full theatre experience. Since our formation, we've gone from strength to strength, performing countless plays and pantomimes but most of all forging great friendships. Come along and meet us!
We guarantee a warm welcome, whether you're an audience member, a friend of the society, or if you'd like to join us.