An Evening of Strange Tales – An evening for Friends of Blewbury Players

On Friday 11 March in the Village Hall, the Players will present a rehearsed reading of strange tales, exclusive and free for the Friends of the Players.  The tales are adapted by Steve White from the short stories of Robert Aickman, whose writings are not quite horror stories and not quite ghost stories but leave you feeling that something is not right.  His work inspired the comedy of The League of Gentlemen, whose disconcerting village of Royston Vaisey where ‘you will never leave’ is reminiscent of Blewbury.  The tales will cause a slight tingle of the spine, a gentle raising of the hairs on the back of your neck and an elusive aftertaste.  They are weird.  Just the sort of thing for a winter’s evening in the company of friends and a glass of wine.

We will be sending invitations separately to our Friends but if you would like to join our Friends, for an annual subscription of £15, to enjoy priority booking, invitations to events such as this one and be kept up to date with Players’ news, please contact our Friends’ Secretary, Roger Colebrook (01235 851495) or complete the form following the ‘join in’ and ‘friends’ links at the top of this page .

Last year the Friends’ subscriptions were used to upgrade the garden theatre walls, add to our staging and to improve lighting.  As a registered charity we also support other events in the village loaning equipment, expertise and enthusiasm. We are enormously grateful for the support from our Friends which helps make all this possible.

Latest news…

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. At last we can confirm the rumours…

By popular request we will be performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream next summer to celebrate Blewbury Players’ 40th anniversary year and the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. We are delighted to say that this will be directed by Laura Baggaley, who directed The Winter’s Tale for us in 2007 and Twelfth Night for us in 2009. Performances will be on 20 – 23 July 2016.

AUDITIONS will be held in January and we will probably hold a workshop early in the year.

There are lots of wonderful parts for a variety of ages. More details to follow in subsequent Bulletins or contact us by e-mail


Invitation to all to become a Friend of Blewbury Players

The continuing support provided by The Friends of Blewbury Players means that The Players are able to develop their facilities, benefitting all who take part in or join them for the events they organise. This year this support enabled us to continue to make further upgrades to our sound and lighting equipment as well as to the theatre and staging.

As well as helping The Players to maintain a high standard we reward our Friends by offering priority booking for the summer play, a free Friends Social evening and an invitation to a reception on the opening night of the play when they will meet the Designer and Director. And all of this for £15.00 p.a. Application forms to become a Friend of Blewbury Players using link on this website or telephone Roger Colebrook (01235 851495) for further information.



Jeff and Peter’s Music Quizpicture of disc

Saturday 21st November – This ever popular Music Quiz has questions for all ages and types of music. There will be lots of prizes. Maximum team size is 10. Tickets are £8 and are available from October 1st at Blewbury Post Office. All monies raised will be used to support activities for young people in the village. Please support the bar!



The Taming of the Shrew

What a week we had presenting The Taming of the Shrew. Thanks to everyone involved (seen and unseen) and to everyone who came along to watch. Special thanks to our host19604538294_be3815441e_zs at Orchard Dene and their neighbours. We had virtually a full house for our all of our evening performances and were blessed with good weather. We have posted lots of wonderful photographs which can be viewed by clicking on the production tab at the top of the page.

Here is some of the very positive feedback from our audiences…

“Loved it! Well done everyone!”

“Just to let you known what a fantastic performance!”

“it was brilliant!! Fantastic acting and stage”

“Our family had a great time at the overall event. A quintessential English summer event!
Many thanks.”

“Extremely impressed – it’s a very difficult play to stage nowadays hence the comments about making one think…”

“Thought provoking!”

“Direction, Setting, Acting – excellent! Script not bad either!”

“We LOVED it the second half is always the best as the darkness comes on and the stage is lit; its magical”


updated 16/07/15 – The Taming of the Shrew: Latest ticket availability and on-line link

STOP PRESS 17/07/15 -We have 2 returned tickets for the Friday evening performance. If these tickets can be used please ring 01235 851495 anytime on Friday. The play is receiving wonderful revues and is well worth seeing. The gardens of Orchard Dene open at 7 pm and the play starts at 8 pm and finishes at about 10.35 pm.
Ticket availability (updated 16/07/15) – there are Saturday matinee tickets available via the link below and at Savages (cheque or cash only)  and Cornerstone. There are no tickets left online for any other performances.
Savages box office did have 6 single tickets available (not next to each other) for Saturday, and Cornerstone did have a few when they last updated us. Savages do sometimes have returns and occasionally some are returned to the theatre on the evening.

… to buy tickets on-line for The Taming of the Shrew (opens in new window).

Laughing Matter?

Laughing Matter?

8pm on 3rd July, Melland Room

As a prelude to our summer production –

In another of his talks on Shakespeare’s life and work, Chris Whatmore will put The Taming of the Shrew in its historical and artistic context and try to shed some light both on the comedy’s continuing popularity and on why at least one modern theatre critic has called for it to be banned!

No ticket required but a donation to the Village Hall Refurbishment welcomed on the evening.  There will be a bar. More details at

Our next ‘Fork Handles’ Evening…


Friday May 15th – 7.30 – 10 p.m.

Melland Room, Blewbury Clubhouse

Blewbury Players workshop: Introduction to Physical Theatre

We are delighted that Miriam Jacobs will be running an introduction to physical theatre workshop, playing with stage movement, spatial awareness and balance exercises, presentation and pair work, culminating with a group exercise building a human pyramid! Places are limited so expressions of interest please to Sheila Loy

Bring comfortable clothes for moving and exercising in, and be prepared to take your socks and shoes off. If you have or can borrow a yoga mat – that would be really helpful!

Miriam Jacobs, became a resident of Blewbury last year.  For more than 10 years she taught circus and aerial skills, at the Circus Space in London, and performed/toured   in the UK, N. Ireland and Europe, before running away from the circus to concentrate more on science (public and environmental health) and sculpture.

*There will be a Bar – however it is recommended that we imbibe after the workshop!

Become a friend of The Blewbury Players

The continuing support of the Friends of Blewbury Players means that we are able to develop our facilities benefitting all who take part or join us for the events we organise.

Last year this support enabled us to make further upgrades to our sound and lighting equipment and invest in scaffolding for set construction and staging.

As well as helping The Players to maintain a high standard we hope to reward our Friends by offering priority booking for the summer play, a free Friends Social evening and an invitation to a reception on the opening night of the play when they will meet the Designer and Director.

All of this for £15.00 p.a.

This year our play is ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ and our Director will be Erica Harley, a former resident of the village.

This year’s exclusive event for Friends of the Players will be on Saturday 18th April, 2015,  ‘An evening with Richard Good – The life of an opera singer’ at Oak Hall House 8pm. Existing friends should receive an invitation for this event shortly.

Click here to download an application form: [Word] [pdf]


The Taming of the Shrew is cast

We are excited to share that 21 local people have been cast in The Taming of the Shrew to be TOTS Publicity image3performed 15th-18th July at Orchard Dene Garden Theatre. Thank you to the many people who auditioned.

Please look out for this beautiful logo that Jean White has designed. This will appear next to all the updates relating to The Taming of the Shrew on social media and local newsletters over the coming months. Jean is the production designer and we are thrilled with her ideas to transform Orchard Dene into Padua.

Please follow the link above to the page dedicated to this production.


Jack and the Beanstalk raised £5750 for the Village Hall refurbishment!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who got involved in so many ways – it really was such a lot of fun and that is down to every single person who contributed to the performance and the amazing audiences who bought tickets and expertly booed and hissed so enthusiastically!! The JATB_Web-13total includes an impressive amount raised by the silent auction for Elphin’s illustrations (see below) The total sum will be donated to the Village Hall refurbishment. The aim of the Blewbury Players isn’t usually to raise money and this has been a huge success. We saw lots of people come and take part for the first time on stage and in various other capacities and hope that they will enjoy taking part in our activities in the future. Watch out for news of our upcoming ‘Fork Handles’ evenings when you can come and try different ways of performing in a low key and informal way.

The Taming of the Shrew – Come and join in…

We were thrilled to see so many people come forward to audition and we are eagerly waiting to hear who the cast will be for this play from 15th-18th July. There is wide range of talent, skills, expertise and enthusiasm in Blewbury which would be ideal for some key non-performing roles. We are looking for people who are interested in the roles of director’s assistant or production manager. Please call 01235 850537 for more information about these roles. In addition to this please do call and ask about helping out with technical, wardrobe, make up, stage management, publicity, front of house, catering roles etc.

The Silent Auction Results

Blewbury Players are thrilled to announce that the Silent Auction held during the 5 performances of Jack and the Beanstalk raised a magnificent sum of £1111 all of which will be given to the Village Hall Refurbishment project. So many thanks to all who took part and con

CHRCOMPA5-02 (6) - Copygratulations to the winners. An enormous ‘thank you’ to Elphin Lloyd-Jones who drew the sketches and then very kindly donated them so that they could be auctioned. The character of the sketches and their winners are listed below.

Widow Threadbare – Serban Tiganescu, Jill Supercilious (Jack’s Girlfriend) – James Morgan, Jack Threadbare – Paul Godding, Sir Montagu Supercilious – Sarah Salter, Baron Mean & Nasty – Jo Lakeland, Rob (Horrible Henchman) – Richard Figgins, Wheeler Dealer – Ed White, Hugh Mungus (The Giant) – Heather Richards, The Ogre – Steve White, A Troll – Angela George, The Golden Guitar – Christian Vecchione, Mrs Molly Mungus (The Giant’s Wife) – Gilly Blackmore, Villagers & Children – Bruce Gibson, Nick (Horrible Henchman) – Dennis Van Den Bulk, Goosey & Gertrude – Coral Richards

Auditions for The Taming of the Shrew

The Taming of the Shrew auditions7th, 8th and 10th February. 

This year’s summer production at Orchard Dene Garden Theatre will be The Taming of the Shrew directed by Erica Harley. Performances will be on 15th-18th July 2015.

Auditions 7th, 8th and 10th February

Please call 01235 850537 to ask more about this or to book an audition. If these dates do not suit please do call for an alternative.

Erica is looking forward to the auditions and to having a lot of fun working with you. “I have always loved the production for two reasons:  because of the farcical nature of much of the action, but mainly because of the relationship between Petruchio and Katherine. The challenge for any 21st Century production is how to meet the perceived anti feminist elements of the play. This is a play where women are bought and sold, dowries negotiated and the highest bidder wins!  Petruchio and Katherine, against all the odds, have a sexual chemistry that eventually overcomes all the obstacles. Or do they?? It is a wonderful opportunity to tackle one of Shakespeare’s earliest plays which is the least challenging in terms of verse and language. And it needs actors who are willing to explore the nature of the relationships but also to enjoy the physical requirements of Farce. It will be fun!!!

Auditonees will be able to have prior notice of speeches they can prepare for.

Silent Auction of original artwork for Jack and the Beanstalk Costumes – CLOSED

Elphin Lloyd Jones, our resident genius, has designed the set and the costumes for the pantomime ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’. Elphin’s illustrations of the characters are fantastic and he has generously presented them for auction; the proceeds going towards the village hall refurbishment. They will be displayed in the hall during each performance of the panto and you will be able to take part in a Silent Auction. So choose which one you would love to own and make an offer. Don’t worry about being outbid during one of the later performances, we will keep you informed so you have another chance to bid. If you cannot come to the hall to see the artwork you can still bid by contacting us at or 01235851495. This pantomime will be a unique fun experience for all, so hope to see you there.

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