Irchester Players are committed to developing the group, its equipment and staging, allowing us to stage bigger and better shows for our members and audiences.
Our Investment Fund, which you can read more about on our Fundraising Page, directly feeds into our development work allowing us to undertake ambitious programmes of development to enhance the experience of members and audiences.
Below you can read more information about current and past development programmes that the Committee are working to deliver.
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Current Development Programmes
The Committee approved its 2017-2018 investment programme in April 2017. Over £3,000 of funds have initially been made available for investments projects with the possibility of additional funds becoming available in February 2018.
The development projects being funded by the Committee are noted below.
The Committee is extremely aware of the need to refurbish the group’s stage at Parsons Hall. As such, specific funds have been made available to undertake vital work on this space to ensure it continues to meet the group’s needs. We are also allocating resources to the refurbishment of the under-stage, turning it back into a bespoke changing room.
The development of the stage will be phased, with the Committee looking to complete Phase One: the refurbishment of the under-stage by 2018.
We are working closely with group sponsors Lab.Entertainment to become independent on our lighting and sound. Our sponsors will be working with the Committee to refurbish and develop much of the group’s existing infrastructure in this area. Currently, £2,000 has been allocated to this project for 2017-2018, it is likely that additional funds will be sent to this project if available.
The Committee is investing heavily in storage space and facilities for the group, so as to prevent a storage crisis – many of the group’s current facilities are close to capacity.
Exhibitions, Community and Residents
The remaining investment funds have been directed towards the group’s ability to stage exhibitions for the community. In addition, funds are being spent to enhance what we are able to deliver in the community and to our community partners. Finally, a reasonable amount of funds have been allocated to developing our relationships and delivering our promises to our neighbours around Parsons Hall.
2015 – 2016 Programme
The group undertook a large amount of investment through its 2015/16 Programme, with a number of department areas receiving financial input from the Investment Fund to enhance what that department delivers for our members and audiences. In total the Treasurer approved in excess of £3,000 of investment.
The group’s existing sound systems, microphones and speakers were reaching the end of their lives – having served the group for over 20 years. The project started in February 2016 with us purchasing new personal headsets. In October 2016 the group purchased brand new stage and extension microphones. At the same time new speakers were purchased. We aimed to deliver a better sound quality for our audiences.
Curtain and Scenery Refurbishment
The curtains installed in the stage at Parsons Hall were in need of urgent refurbishment. The mechanisms and rails that supported the main and second runs of curtains were in need attention.
The Committee approved funds for this vital work in early 2016. This saw us completely strip back and restring our main curtains. We also undertook repair work on our second run of curtains.
At the same time we decided to turn our attention to our existing cloth scenery mechanisms, which were causing real damage to our cloths. The old method was removed with the group completely re-working the hardware to allow for a different method to be used that will protect our cloths and our hand painted scenery.
We also added a new curtain to our stage, which is named after the group’s longest serving member – Alison Everitt. The Everitt Curtain is a wire hung curtain that allows us to separate the extension from the stage. It was used for the first time during the Woman in White, and was a hit with the audience.
A final part of this project was to repaint our stage. In Summer 2016 the complete stage area and front was painted black to give a professional look and to improve light pollution.
Electrical and Technical Project
As part of an ongoing programme of investment into our electrical and technical equipment 2015 – 2016 saw the group invest in additional light sockets and cables to allow additional lighting during our productions. We also invested in new cables to enhance the sound we deliver. Within the loft space of the hall, cable baskets were installed to protect our investments.
Finally, we purchased an extension to our technical desk – allowing our sound and lighting teams a desk each from which to work.
Front of House Refurbishment
Our Front of House equipment was in need of much love. Since 2015 we have invested small amounts of funds to refurbish our equipment and the look of our entrance. This has included purchasing new display units, new draping, new equipment to serve hot drinks and new cooling equipment to serve ice cold soft and alcoholic drinks.
We have also modernised our payment systems – introducing tills and the ability to take card payments onsite.