In 2017, Colwall Players celebrated its thirtieth birthday. By many groups standards therefore, we are a mere youngster, but there has been amateur drama activity in the village for much longer. The present company was set up and nurtured by Steve and Trish Hockett who have lived in the village for over thirty years; ten years ago it was reconstituted as a registered charity. The Hocketts are both still actively involved with the company, and more recently, as a new venture, masterminded the first ever Colwall festival, which has become a bienial event.
Although the Players have taken one or two productions "on tour", the majority have played in the Colwall Village Hall. This was once quite a small venue, with a stage area only 16 x 8 ft. Despite this, productions were regularly presented (see past productions). Following the enlargement of the building in 1990 both the acting and the seating areas were increased, and a committee room added (which has improved our "dressing room" facilities). Most of our rehearsals are also held in the Village Hall but some are held in the medieval alehouse in the grounds of the parish church of St James. Click on this link for more historical information about the Players and their productions.
As mentioned on the homepage, the Players aim to produce three mainstage shows annually; other seasonal offerings and playreadings have also been presented. While the society does not have a regular group meet night, aside from the rehearsals, we do organise regular social activities open to all members and patrons, to keep in touch with those not involved with the current production. These have included quiz nights, film nights, race nights, theatre and other outings and treasure hunts to name a few. Other events, open to the general public, have been arranged, where the profits are donated to a specific cause. We conclude (or perhaps start) our social calendar with an annual Twelfth Night party with a meal and entertainment.
Apart from our own productions, the Players have, on many occasions, assisted with different events in and around the village. This has included providing "setting" for other entertainment/fundraising events in the village hall, and with schools productions in the area. In July 2018 we produced a "murder mystery and cream tea" afternoon to raise money towards St James' Church. We also assisted in creating a surround-sound system for use by the regular Flicks-in-the-Sticks film showings.
The company is fortunate in having a strong production support input. Practically all the scenery is built in-house, and many of the costumes are made specifically for our shows, by our talented local seamstresses. We also now have a small, but well-stocked wardrobe area and hire out to other groups. Our current lighting equipment stock would be the envy of many other amateur companies, enabling us to be highly creative in the area of lighting design. We also now have PC software to allow us to automate the cueing of sound effects and if necessary integrate projection of image or video. It can also interface with a lighting desk to make lights and sound operation a simple one-man task if required.