Big delight for Birkenhead’s Carlton Players as they mark 50 years at the Little Theatre
BIRKENHEAD'S Carlton Players are celebrating 50 years at the Little Theatre on Grange Road West.
The venue was built as a Presbyterian Church in the 1840s and became home to the amateur dramatic society in 1948.
The Players are continuing their proud tradition of performing six full-length plays a season - and members are now in rehearsals for their next production, the Lancashire comedy “Hobson's Choice” from November 1-8.
The Players' Brian Dickson, who joined the society in 1970, said: “On October 4 we held a party to celebrate 50 years of being in the large auditorium in the theatre.
“Prior to that the plays were performed in what is now the foyer, a much smaller area. The Carlton Players once existed in places like the YMCA and even during the war years they managed to put on plays at various places.
“We are the only group I know of in the area which is able to put on six plays a season. Most other companies manage to do about three or four nights but we still stick to the original format and we perform for seven nights.
“There's been a lot of refurbishment at the theatre over the last few years. The new disabled lift was ready for the first play of the season in September and people are finding it makes the venue very accessible.
“As well as that we had a whole new set of seats put in which we bought from the Chester Gateway Theatre, making it a lot of comfortable. We've also had the foyer redecorated and put in new lighting.”
The programme for the 2008/9 Carlton Players' season at the Little Theatre includes the stage version of Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd, the psychological drama Five Finger Exercise and Abigail's Party.
And the Players are also diversifying by hosting regular poetry nights in the theatre foyer - the next takes place on October 25, starting at 7.30pm.
Brian said: “We want to get people who might not be familiar with the venue to come along - we will be contacting local groups but anyone who wants to come along and read their own, original work is very welcome.”
Tickets for Hobson's Choice are available from 647 6593 or Grange West Lighting.