Do you hanker to be on the stage? Or do you want to learn a backstage role? Or do you just want to be part of a show without knowing exactly what you want to do?
Then how about joining Bishopstoke Players?
We’re a group of around 50 members of mixed ages and experience and we always welcome potential new members, whether experienced or not. All we ask for is enthusiasm and a willingness to muck in and learn.
And it’s not just about acting. There are many jobs that need doing behind the scenes. In fact, if you look at one of our programmes, you’ll often notice more names in the backstage credits than in the cast list! There are jobs for many different skill sets and abilities but all are important and vital to the smooth running of a production.
Frequently asked questions
Q. When do you meet?
A. We currently rehearse on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7.30 to 10.00pm in Durley Memorial Hall.
Q. Is there level access?
A. Access to the main hall at Durley Memorial Hall is up a slight ramp from the car park. Access to the stage and backstage rooms are via steps.
Q. You’re Bishopstoke Players. Why do you meet in Durley Memorial Hall?
A. We met and performed in Bishopstoke Memorial Hall for over 60 years but, sadly, that hall has been condemned, and is awaiting demolition and replacement. Durley Memorial Hall is relatively close by and is where we are staging our 2022 pantomime. It’s a lovely hall and we have been made very welcome there!
Q. I don’t want to go on stage. Is there anything else I can do?
A. Absolutely! Where do we start? We need people to make costumes, to construct the set for each play, to do technical things such as lighting and sound, to acquire and manage properties for productions, to help actors get on the stage at the right time (it’s up to them to get off again!), to publicise our productions, to look after our web site, Facebook and Instagram pages, to sell tickets, market our productions and look after our Patrons and guests; to make the tea (let’s not forget the really important things!). Then there’s make-up and stage management… We could go on but whatever skill or interest you have, we can probably make use of it!
Q. How many shows do you stage?
A. We normally present 3 plays each year, in January, May and September, the January production generally being a pantomime. In addition, we regularly take part in one-act drama festivals across the south of England. These tend to be grouped around the spring and autumn, so we might take one play to several spring festivals and another to the autumn ones.
Q. How do you choose a play?
A. All members are encouraged to look for potential plays to stage, and arrange play readings for them. If the play is popular amongst members, it often finds its way into production!
Q. How do you cast plays?
A. Casting is generally by audition, which is usually held soon after the previous production. Auditions can follow a variety of formats, which are dependent upon each Director’s preferences. They usually include reading extracts from the script in various groupings but we have also had people reciting nursery rhymes ‘in the manner of…’ and, for one show, potential cast members unexpectedly found themselves sitting cross-legged on the floor, acting as 8-year-olds!
Q. How’s the social life?
A. We run a variety of social events, such as theatre trips, bowling, BBQs and the annual Christmas lunch. And, of course, the pub is a great place to discuss how things are going after rehearsals!
Q. Are there any restrictions on who can join?
A. We’re primarily an adult group although do have some youth members. You need to be over 12 years old to be a full member.
Q. How much does it cost to join?
A. Membership only costs £18 per year for adults or £10 for those in full time education.
Q. How is the group run?
A. We are run by a Committee of Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and other officers and members. We hold an Annual General Meeting at the end of every March.
Q. How do I join?
A. For more information about becoming a member, either contact us or simply drop in on a Thursday evening between 7.30 and 10.00.