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St John’s Players bring classic play to Churchdown

All Areas > Entertainment > Theatre

Author: Thomas Hadfield, Posted: Saturday, 10th November 2018, 10:00

Members of the St John's Players during a dress rehearsal for the show Members of the St John's Players during a dress rehearsal for the show

The St John’s Players are one of the longest running amateur dramatic societies in all of Gloucestershire. The group, formed in 1966, are based in Churchdown, and hold their shows at St John’s Hall.

Sue Beadle has been with the group for around five years now and describes herself as a “jack of all trades” when it comes to her role in the group.

She said: “I’ve been involved with drama for years and having done a bit of everything with this group including directing two plays, I’m now co-directing this latest performance.

“This is a really good drama group with a strong core of good actors. We do two shows a year in May and November. We are lucky we’ve always got good, loyal audiences.”

The group’s latest play is their take on Alan Bennett’s classic show ‘The Lady in the Van’. It tells the true story of Bennett’s encounters with an eccentric woman who parks her van in front of his driveway and proceeds to live there for 15 years.

Sue believes that by choosing a more well-known play, the group will be able to attract a bigger and more varied audience. She also adds that the cast and crew are relishing the challenge of putting on such a beloved show.

Sue continued: “We try to vary our plays and ‘The Lady in the Van’ is such a lovely story, quite slow paced but with plenty of comedy and humour.

“It’s been a difficult challenge working with limited resources, and the van we’ve made is a lot bigger than anticipated!”

Rehearsals for the play began in August, and Sue says that although they haven’t gone completely according to plan, everything is coming together nicely.

She is confident the play will be a huge hit, adding: “As long as no-one forgets their lines!”

The group are already looking ahead to next May with a read through of the play ‘Quartet’ by Ronald Harwood on Thursday 29th November at St John’s Hall, with auditions on December 6th, both starting at 7.30pm.

Sue added: “If you are interested in joining the group for our next production, you will be made most welcome!”

‘The Lady in the Van’ will be running from 13th-17th November at St John’s Hall in Churchdown. For tickets and more information call 01452 713952.

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