CELEBRATING THIRTY YEARS AT LOVE LANE
Nantwich Players have plenty to celebrate. Not only do they continue to regularly have full houses and gain acclaim for their productions, but membership is expanding: a sign of a very healthy society.
This year is special as it marks the 30th Anniversary of the opening of Love Lane as a Theatre.
Previously, The Players had performed elsewhere – in venues such as The Civic Hall – and used the Love Lane site as a properties and scenery store. But in the early 1980s the conversion to a real theatre began.
It took a lot of hard work by members, but the opening production in 1983 was The Good Companions – chosen because it has so many parts that every member took a role – either on or off stage. Ray Cowdall, who was Chairman, directed it, and Pat Hough was the society’s President: and remains so today.
To celebrate this milestone, The Players decided on a Festival of Theatre, running over several nights at the end of May. They presented works that would not normally be part of their repertoire. A few professional touring companies came in “for one night only”. In addition, Players members presented works not usually seen by the public. Every year, they compete in One Act Play competitions across the county and this year the public will be able to see that entry. As a finale, they chose a play that is modern and very topical: again not the sort of thing the audience is used to – “a bit of a challenge for them”. So says Festival Director, Gordon Hamlin. “Nantwich Players have a very loyal audience, and it is great that there is such support for live theatre in the town. Here we want to give them something a bit different from our normal billing – and a great opportunity to have a feast of theatre over four nights.
Our picture shows (l to r) Jeremy Acklam, NP Chairman holding the Festival poster; Pat Hough, President, and Ray Cowdall looking over the original 1983 programme for The Good Companions.