Farewell to Avonside Players
In 1966, members of Stratford Methodist Church started a church drama group, with the first production being 2 one-act plays ‘The Mayor of Torontal’ and ‘The Twelve Pound Look’. The admission price was 3s6d with interval drinks 6d a cup and a profit of £18.15s 0d. From our proceeds, we have always made a donation to charities in addition to the Methodist Church and since 2001 we have given over £10,000 to various other charities.
Always the group from the Methodist Church, our name has evolved from The Methodist Dramatic Society and since 1998 we have been known as the Avonside Players.
We have presented a very varied programme of plays in the Spring and Autumn of most years and our total to date is 95 productions including Ayckbourn; Coward; Priestley; Agatha Christie; and Oscar Wilde. Some memorable productions include ‘Wait Until Dark’; ‘Stepping Out’; ‘Pinocchio’; ‘Humble Boy’ and ‘The Miracle Worker’.
The groups talented members have acted, built and decorated sets as well as learning their lines and the myriad number of jobs needed to present the plays.
Over the years we have been greatly encouraged by our regular and Second Thoughts who have helped us out. One of our members, Bill Giles has been in both the first and last productions.
Coming to our 50th Anniversary this year, it seems an opportune time to finally bring down the curtain. There’s a feeling of nostalgic sadness that all good things have a right time to end, but overall a great sense of achievement for the standard we have been able to maintain and the fun and friendship we have shared together in the 50-year journey, which will still carry on.
If you have been a loyal supporter we send a Very Big Thank you from all our members. Our last production was on November 24/25/26 2016 at the Methodist Church Centre in Old Town, when we had a Supper Evening with Sketches, Soup and Sweets. Full houses each evening enjoyed an excellent supper interspersed with 5 one-act plays and the Fun evening was a great finish to 50 memorable years.