Thetford Players in the Community
The Thetford Players is proud of its home town, Thetford, which is reflected through its work in the community, not just with its annual panto and other productions, but where possible through other relevant ventures in between busy rehearsal schedules.
Scarecrow Festival, 20th - 22nd September 2013
The Thetford Players were delighted, as were other local organisations and schools, to join in with the Scarecrow Festival held at the United Reformed Church in Earls Street, proudly submitting their entry 'Drama Queen' - a very patriotic scarecrow in keeping with the theme of the Players' 'Backstage at the Proms' show held over the same weekend. Thank you to those members who made the scarecrow on behalf of the group.
Race at your Place, September 2013
A team of eight Thetford Players' ladies (and two dogs!) took part in 'Race at your Place' on the 1st September in aid of Cancer Research UK. The event, organised by Mark Robinson, himself a member of the Thetford Players, took place in Abbey Meadows, Thetford, and stretched over a 5km route. The Players' team wore costumes which included fairies, a panto dame, Snow White, Wishee Washee (from Aladdin) a 'flapper girl' and the Queen of Pantoland and, despite coming last after almost one hour had passed since the starting pistol had fired, remained in high spirit, entertaining cheering onlookers and other participants as they ran the final few metres to the finish line singing songs due to be performed at the forthcoming 'Backstage at the Proms' production. The team successfully raised around £200 for Cancer Research UK.
Massive Family Fun Day, August 2013
The Thetford Players enjoyed much 'fun'draising at the 'Massive Family Fun Day' on the 31st August, amidst a beautiful sunny day that saw many other local groups participating in this first time event in Thetford.
Members of the group, dressed up in a variety of vibrant costumes, held two competitions; a 'Thetford Town Trail' and a 'Photograph Caption' competition, raising funds for The Riversdale Centre, the Thetford Players 'Charity of the Year for 2012-13. The 'Town Trail' competition involved visiting areas in the town, answering a series of questions and solving the resulting anagram whilst the 'Photograph Caption' competition was aimed at finding the wittiest caption for a photograph taken earlier this year of Stuart Wright, Mayor of Thetford, performing in the Aladdin panto.
One of the junior members of the Thetford Players also raised funds for The Riversdale Centre by selling / applying glitter tattoos and the group also had official merchandise for sale on its stall.
Thetford Night Markets
The Thetford Players group is delighted to be supporting SoRT iT (School of Radical Thought in Thetford) – for which it is a corporate member – and Thetford Town Council with its new venture - the Thetford Night Markets.
Come and enjoy some of the gourmet foods on offer and browse the artisan stalls, all to the great sounds of talented local musicians. The Thetford Players stall has a range of locally-produced merchandise available, featuring our distinctive logo and scenes from past productions, including mugs, badges, keyrings, cloth bags, handbag mirrors, mouse mats, dvds and of course tickets for our next production (once available for sale).
Dates for 2014: To be confirmed
Time: 5.30pm until 9.30pm
Location: Market Square, Thetford
The Mayor's Civic Reception, June 2013
On the 7th June, the Thetford Players had the privilege of singing at the Mayor's Civic Reception in the Carnegie Room, Thetford. Charlotte Watson opened the performance with a beautiful version of “Memory” from the musical Cats, this was followed by the Players singing “Good Evening Thetford Town”, a song which Mayor Stuart Wright (also a member of the Thetford Players) specially wrote with other members of the group. The performance ended with “One Day More” from Les Miserables, which had recently been sung as the finale number in the Thetford Players “Musical Mania” production. The Players were well-received by the audience, many of who had not seen the group before and who passed on very positive and encouraging feedback about the performance.
The annual Pantomime colouring competition, 2012/13
Once again this year children from schools in and around Thetford (Norwich Road, Queensway, Rayleigh, Redcastle, Bishop's Road, Elvedon and Barnham) participated in the Thetford Players annual pantomime colouring competition which was themed on the Aladdin pantomime. Children were provided with a line drawing to colour which depicted Aladdin surrounded by gems and treasure in the 'Caaaaaaaave of Wonder' which had been drawn by Bob Waple, writer/producer of this year's panto script (and 'dear old uncle' Abanazer).
The standard of submission was incredibly high as always and the judges – Pauline Quadling (Thetford Players' Honorary Vice Chairperson) and Pam Goveia (Administrator of the Jack Pilling Art Gallery, Guildhall, Thetford) – had a very unenviable task singling out a winner from each of the seven schools that took part.
Each winner was awarded a family ticket to a performance of their choice. A Winners Board in the Carnegie Room displayed each successful entry whilst all other entries decorated the walls of the Carnegie for all to see throughout the four performances. Thank you to the seven schools that agreed to participate and well done to every child that entered. Congratulations to our seven winners this year!
2012 Christmas Tree Festival, Methodist Church, Thetford
The Thetford Players once again this year decorated a Christmas tree as part of the Methodist Church 2012 Christmas Tree Festival, which took place from Tuesday 4th to Sunday 9th December, and which as always celebrates the joy and magic of Christmas whilst raising funds for local charities. Visitor donations benefited the Matthew Project and the Alzheimers Society this year. The theme, 'The world celebrates Christmas', was perfect for the Players' Peking style tree decorated with Aladdin lanterns that were made by children at the Players' craft fair a few days previously. Thank you to members Kate Jones, June Lewis and Jo van der Hulks for their contribution towards decorating the tree in celebration of Aladdin, the group's third pantomime (performed in January 2013).
“Community Reader” at Raleigh Infant School, Thetford
Princess Jasmine (played by Tina Matthews) delighted children aged 5 to 7 years old at Raleigh Infant School on the 4th December when she arrived at afternoon assembly as “Community Reader” and read from the children's book “Mr Big” by Ed Vere. Before the storytelling, children were encouraged to ask Princess Jasmine questions such as how difficult was it to learn lines, what was it like to star in the Aladdin panto and what was it like to be a member of the Thetford Players.
Thank you to Raleigh Infant School for their hospitality and for inviting Princess Jasmine along to meet the children. Tina enjoyed her afternoon very much.
Christmas lights switch-on, Thetford (2012)
The Thetford Players once again had the honour of being invited to switch on the town's Christmas lights for 2012.
A huge crowd of people turned up to hear the Players sing “Hark the Herald Angels sing” which was followed with the arrival of Aladdin (Tyler Curtis) and the 'beautiful, gorgeous, deliciously aromatic'' Princess Jasmine (Tina Matthews). Together they sang a beautiful version of “A whole new world”, as featured in the Players' Aladdin pantomime.
The Genie (Kate Jones) magically appeared on stage in a puff of smoke once Aladdin rubbed the lamp that had been specially made for the evening by “Zone for Learning”, a Thetford-based organisation that offers part time education for young people with educational or behavioural difficulties. The three panto characters performed an enchanting scene between them which culminated in the Christmas lights being switched on by a single 'shazam'' from the Genie whilst an excited cheering audience heard members of the Players ending with “Felice Navidad”, a Spanish song that translates as “Merry Christmas”.
Members of local singing group “Discord” as well as members of the local zumba group also joined in with a flashmob-style performance from their positions in the audience.
Once again the Thetford Players thoroughly enjoyed the evening and hope to be invited to the Christmas lights switch on in 2013.
Thetford Garden Centre 30th Anniversary Celebrations
The Thetford Players joined the Thetford Garden Centre in celebrating its 30th anniversary on the 14th July 2012. Players, wearing costumes from past productions, including Cinderella, Showtime and last year’s ‘Another Three in the Air’, entertained visitors and distributed details about forthcoming events and productions.
The event also saw a petting farm, children’s face painting, badge making, balloon modelling, a book signing by children’s author, Wendy C. Jackson, and the cutting of a spectacular Garden Centre birthday cake by the Town Mayor, Terry Lamb.
Thetford Golf Club Centenary celebrations
The Thetford Players' president, Mr Keith Eldred, invited the Players to perform a private show at the Thetford Golf Club on the 24th June 2012, as part of the Golf Club’s centenary celebrations.
The one-act comedy, “Split Ends”, written by Frank Vickery in 1992 and directed by Thetford Players Directors’ Jo van der Hulks and Bob Waple, was performed by cast members who entertained the audience with Mum Nancy, and father Cyril, meeting their son Norman’s girlfriend, for the very first time. Susan (the girlfriend), pretty, petite and with an appetite that a team of locusts would struggle to compete against, soon added to what was already a chaotic evening in a rather dysfunctional household. The importance of first impressions unravelled to the delights of a very appreciative audience.
Split Ends” was performed to the public with two additional one-act plays in “Another Three in the Air”, part of the Thetford Festival over the August Bank Holiday.
Thetford Twinning Association celebration
The Players are corporate members of the Thetford Twinning Association and were asked to perform a number of songs from "Showtime" and other past productions at their event held at the Riversdale Centre in Thetford on Saturday 2nd June 2012 to celebrate 50 years of links with Spijkenisse (in Holland), 20 years since the formation of the association, and also as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend of celebrations.
Isabella's 3rd Birthday Party
In November 2011, the Thetford Players received a very moving letter asking whether some of the characters from the 2012 Panto, Cinderella, could attend a very special little girl's 3rd birthday party. Isabella Alford has a very rare disease known as Tay-Sachs, a condition that is a progressive neurological genetic disorder causing brain damage and eventual death in early childhood.
In between Panto rehearsals, many of the characters were able to attend the circus-themed party in costume and sang a selection of songs from the production to a delighted audience at Barnham Village Hall. For those who attended and performed, it was a very moving experience and one which we hope gave great joy to little Isabella and her family and friends. We were also delighted to welcome Isabella and other children as part of the EACH group (the Thetford Players chosen charity of the year) who joined us at the matinee of Cinderella in January 2012.
For more information about the Tay-Sachs Foundation and its work please visit their website: http://www.cats-foundation.org/
The annual Pantomime colouring competitions, 2010/11 and 2011/12
For the 2011 Panto, Dick Whittington, the Thetford Players asked every primary school child in Thetford to colour in a template of Sarah the Cook. The winner received a family ticket to the matinee performance, whilst every child who took part received a packet of colouring pencils (care of our sponsors, Shadwell Stud).
For 2012 the competition was repeated with a slight twist. Children were asked to design a costume for Cinderella’s Ugly Sisters. Winning designs were chosen from each school and prizes of a family ticket to see the production were awarded. The two overall winners each had their costume designs made by the Thetford Players wardrobe/costumes manager, June Lewis, which they were then able to see worn in the production. These winners were also collected in a limousine (care of our sponsors, Co-op Funeral Services) to watch the matinee performance of Cinderella.
All entries were displayed on the walls of the Carnegie Room for everyone to see …. and what a talented lot of children we have in Thetford!
Norwich Road – pre-pantomime show
In December 2011, the Thetford Players were asked by Norwich Road school if they could make a pre-panto appearance. Characters from Cinderella went along and sang some of the songs from the production, including “Don’t Stop Believing”, along with acting out a small scene from the panto itself. The school children were delighted to have the opportunity of mixing with the likes of Cinderella, the Fairy Godmother, the Evil Queen, the King and Queen of Pantoland and especially Dandini, as part of an afternoon of Christmas festivities at the school.
Christmas lights switch-on (2011)
On December 3rd 2011, the Thetford Players had the pleasure of switching on the town's Christmas lights. An audience of several hundred watched with delight as 'Dr Who' and his assistant, 'Amy Pond', played by members of the Players, arrived in a life size TARDIS surrounded by clouds of smoke. This was followed with a few words from the 'Dr' and a countdown to switch on. Members of the Players then sang a variety of popular Christmas carols and songs to the sound of bells as Father Christmas arrived, pulled in his sleigh by real reindeer. It was a magical moment which the Players thoroughly enjoyed being a part of.
Quarterly Craft Fairs
Click on Events for details about the Thetford Players Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter craft fairs.