About the players
The Players was founded over 30 years ago. The first ever performance was generated by Margaret Shephard, Headmistress of Leadenham Primary School. She wanted to put on a performance at Christmas where all the children were involved but needed a few adults to support and asked parents if they could assist. Margaret wrote the script for Robin Hood. Locallers, Veronica Wood, Pat Morris and Hilary Proctor were some adults who were in it. Other parents helped with scenery and costumes. White cotton sheets were painted for the scenery and they were hung on clothes horses in the background. The show was performed on the floor of the old village hall - - - no stage and no lighting. But they did have a piano - - - - the same one that that we use today!
Margaret Shephard, Veronica Wood, Pat Morris and Hilary Proctor were the core founders along with Liz Baker who came to the village the following year. Liz Baker a trained Thespian, became the driving force and Leadenham Players was officially formed. Liz’s husband Max built a stage in the old Hall and constructed a lighting system – with catering size baked bean cans painted black for lights – probably with 150 watt bulbs in.
In applying for Lottery funding in order to build the new Village Hall - Leadenham Players were pivotal. They were able to prove they were a long established successful group, producing a range of drama, attracting members and drawing audiences from a wide area. That is why the Hall was designed with such wonderful stage/lighting and backstage facilities.
The Players used to do at least one serious play per year – mysteries, who dunnits, comedies. They wrote and performed several Revues over the years. They became involved in Going for Gold – run by Radio Lincolnshire each year as a fund raiser throughout the County. Several Drama Groups would get together and choose one venue each year and each group would prepare a one act play of their choice and performances would be held over two nights – each group performing their play once.
The Players used to entertain at local retirement homes at Christmas with songs, sketches and even the Pantomimes if there was space there to perform it. The pantomimes were even taken on tour.
More recently Sandy Dunford and Hilary Proctor ran a Youth Theatre, which grew out of the youngsters who started in Pantomime. They wrote some of their own material and we performed songs, plays and sketches in revue form in our shows.
With thanks to Hilary Proctor for the above information.
The Players now perform a pantomime at the start of each year.
For many years the scripts have been written by some of our own cast members Dave Mitchell and Chris Colley.
In 2013 we decided to have a professionally written pantomime The Wizard of Oz devised and written by Reece Sibbald; which include all the pantomime characters and cast members you have got to know and love.
Keep visiting the site for up to date details on how things are progressing. Rehearsals for Robin Hood and Babes in the Wood are now in full swing!
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