Pantomimes in Salisbury from the Bemerton Players

A passion for drama and the theatre

The Bemerton Players drama group meets every Monday evening from September to December for production of the Christmas Pantomime. We meet at St Michaels Community Centre and rehearse from 19:30 to 21:30. Members come from all over the area and from all walks of life. If you always wanted to get on the stage, or wanted to help back stage with lighting, wardrobe, even producing, writing and directing - please get in touch and we can convince you of the benefits of joining our happy band! Complete our form or email newmembers@bemertonplayers.co.uk

 

A potted history of the group by one of our founders

On a bitterly cold Monday evening on 10th November 1976 a small group of 8 people met together in the small hall of St. Michael's Community Centre, Salisbury and decided to form the Bemerton Players Drama Club. Their first project was to perform a pottted panto entitled '40 Winks for Beauty' at a Grand Parish Family Party on New Years Eve. Four new members were soon persuaded to join the club to complete the cast and no thought was given to having a director and stage manager at that time - that luxury would come later!

By the time the New Year had dawned we all had the acting bug and it became apparent that we would need funds to proceed further and also some useful guidance from more experienced thespians. Shortly after this we were asked to perform a play about George Herbert entitled Dear Jane by Evelyn Hart in the garden of Bemerton Rectory. We were introduced to the late Roger Lindsay who agreed to produce the play and play the lead part - which he had already played on a previous production. We learnt much from his theatrical experience and often counted on his advice and help in the early days.

The group continued to grow and an evening of three one-act plays was performed in October 1977 as well as several social events and a Variety Show. The following summer saw us back in Bemerton rectory garden peforming St. George and the Bemerton Dragon in aid of St. Andrew's appeal;. It wasn't until December 1978 that we were able to perform our first full length pantomime Goody two Shoes which was folllowed by the brilliant play Night Must Fall by Emlyn Williams.

In the 1980's several of our members became involved in productions put on by the Salisbury Drama Association who used members of local drama clubs under the leadership of professional directors with the aim of improving the quality of local amateur groups. At that time, clubs within Salisbury and the surrounding area would support each others productions and enjoy occasional 'Give Us a Clue' evenings!

The programme at Bemerton gradually developed into a full length play in the early part of the year, often an outside performance in aid of a charity during June or July and then the annual pantomime in early December. In the early days the panto was often written by club members in order to save costs!

As one of the founder members I am very pleased and proud that the Bemerton Players has continued to exist for so long and provide such enjoyment for so many. Long may it continue - and I look forward to receiving an invitation to your 50th Anniversary celebrations in due course!

Terry Cleeve - Founder member of Bemerton Players