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Brampton Players
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The History Of Brampton Players Brampton Players have kept theatre alive in the town for over seventy-five years. We usually stage several productions a year, including plays, in the past musicals, pantomimes and variety shows. Membership is open to all. New members, young and old, are always welcome &;acirc;&;euro;&;ldquo; you can find details and an online membership form at Bramptonplayers.co.uk We used to have our own theatre, the Brampton Playhouse, which has its own fascinating history. THE STORY OF BRAMPTON PLAYERS Brampton Playhouse opened in October 1936 but the Brampton Players actually started in 1933. At that time performances were given in St.Martin&;acirc;&;euro;&;trade;s Hall, in Penrith Playhouse and at local drama festivals. The chance for the Players to have a theatre of their own came in 1936 when the Primitive Methodists united with the Wesleyans to form the Methodist Church we know today. The Primitive Methodists&;acirc;&;euro;&;trade; chapel at Moatside, originally built in 1878 for &;Acirc;&;pound;1,500, was then redundant and was offered for sale. The Players offered to buy it to convert it into a theatre and a price of &;Acirc;&;pound;465 was eventually agreed. Six local enthusiasts formed a limited company to raise the necessary funds: Lord and Lady Henley, their son M.F.Eden, local solicitor H.S.Cartmell, together with W.S.Jackson, who owned a large outfitter&;acirc;&;euro;&;trade;s shop in the town, and Stanley Walton, a local farmer and land agent. A Carlisle architect, H.Irving Graham, drew up plans and local builders and electricians were soon hard at work converting the chapel into a fully functioning theatre. The total cost &;acirc;&;euro;&;ldquo; including the purchase price &;acirc;&;euro;&;ldquo; was just &;Acirc;&;pound;1,200. The first main stage curtains were a gift from Lady Henley and the first tip-up seats came from the Empire Theatre in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The Grand Opening Night took place on October 17th 1936 and included a recital by Madame Adela Fachiri, a violinist of international repute, and Tom Clough, a talented local player of the Northumbrian pipes. Between 1936 and 1939 about three plays a year were produced by Brampton Players themselves and their new Playhouse also hosted visiting performances by other groups from Penrith, Cockermouth and Workington. The Second World War brought other priorities and for most of this time the Playhouse was handed over, rent free, to the Y.M.C.A.to be used as a canteen for the troops &;acirc;&;euro;&;ldquo; but the Players returned after the war and were soon producing three or four productions a year. New lighting and sound equipment were installed and on 15th May 1974, with the generous help of a benefactor who remains anonymous to this day, Brampton Players were at last able to purchase the Playhouse from original company set up in 1936. The story of Brampton Players must be regarded as incomplete without an appreciation of the active influence of Pat Julier. In recent times Brampton Players have gone from strength to strength, though we are always on the lookout for more members. The repertoire of straight plays has broadened to include classical playwrights such as Shakespeare, Moliere, and Sheridan and challenging modern dramatists like Brecht, Stoppard, and Dario Fo, as well as popular works by writers like Alan Ayckbourn or Ray Cooney. There used to be several productions a year. Even lavish musicals like &;acirc;&;euro;&;tilde;Carousel&;acirc;&;euro;&;trade;, &;acirc;&;euro;&;tilde;Calamity Jane&;acirc;&;euro;&;trade; and &;acirc;&;euro;&;tilde;Blitz&;acirc;&;euro;&;trade; have been squeezed onto the Brampton stage and a traditional family pantomime is usually part of each year&;acirc;&;euro;&;trade;s programme. Between 1990 and 2000 the Players staged outdoor productions of Shakespeare&;acirc;&;euro;&;trade;s plays in the spectacular setting of Lanercost Priory, just three miles out of Brampton, which was revived earlier this year by the Lanercost Festival committee who hosted and produced Midsummer Nights Dream of which quite a few of the players members took part. Unfortunately due to the cost of the upkeep of the Playhouse we had to let it go in 2007 but have continued to survive by using the local Community Centre and Various village halls to stage our productions. If you&;acirc;&;euro;&;trade;d like to join us as an active member &;acirc;&;euro;&;ldquo; acting or directing on stage, helping with costumes, scenery, or lighting backstage, or greeting audiences front-of-house &;acirc;&;euro;&;ldquo; you will be assured of a very hearty welcome. NODA Region: North West Area Rehearsal Information: Rehearsal Venue Currently Rehearsing for Snow White Pantomime to be staged at the Brampton Community Centre on 6th,7th &; 8th January 2011 Performances 7.30pm each evening and 2.00pm Matinee on 8th January 2011 Tickets &;Acirc;&;pound;5.00 from Scotia Framing, Brampton or on the door. Production Venue Brampton Community Centre Irthing Centre Union Lane Brampton CA8 1BX Tel: 016977 45023 Fax: 016977 45024 www.bramptoncommunitycentre.org.uk

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