Amateur dramatic group Frodsham Players are celebrating their 75th Anniversary this year.
Founded in 1942 as a distraction from the rigours of wartime and to raise money for charity, their first production was three one-act plays, followed by a full-length play ‘Women at War’ in 1943.
One of Frodsham Players’ longest-serving members Gill Burd said: “Evidently, a major worry was that the play would be plunged into darkness by a bombing raid on Liverpool. Happily, that never happened.”
The Players continued throughout the 1950s and 1960s presenting two or sometimes even three plays a year, including such classics as John Dighton’s ‘Happiest Days of Our Lives’ and Keith Waterhouse’s ‘Billy Liar’.
The group moved into their current home in the newly-built Frodsham Community Centre in the 1970’s, entertaining audiences with such plays as Noel Coward’s ‘Blithe Spirit’ and J.B. Priestley’s ‘When We Are Married’.
The group has had a long association with Priestley’s well-known comedy, first presenting it in their very early years, in 1948 and they will be reprising it as their 75th anniversary production this year for the third time in their history.
More recently, the group have acted in a wide variety of plays, ranging from ‘Loot’ by Joe Orton (2013), to ‘Seasons Greetings’ by Alan Ayckbourn (2015) at the Community Centre.
Last year, the players put on the UK’s amateur premier of ‘Goodnight Mister Tom’ by David Wood, with a large cast, including children and young people.
Eva Lemmy, 14 who operated Sammy the dog in the play said: “My favourite part of Goodnight Mister Tom has been getting the chance to be a puppeteer, a novel experience. It’s been great to bring Sammy ebulliently to life.”
In addition, Frodsham Players has been lucky enough to perform plays at St. Laurence Church in Overton, including ‘The Crucible’ by Arthur Miller and ‘Macbeth’.
Michael Mills, vicar of St. Laurence who directed both plays said: “The Church dates back to Norman times, so the structure of the nave, with its sandstone pillars lends itself to superbly to the staging of these dramas.”
Frodsham Players will be performing ‘When We Are Married’ at the end of November at Frodsham Community Centre and celebrating 75 years of amateur theatre at a party at Forest Hills Hotel, Frodsham on Saturday, October 28.