All of the World “really” is our Stage
We are a friendly and professional Amateur Dramatic Society based in Irchester, on the east of the county of Northamptonshire. Our membership represents a broad cross-section of society coming from all over the county; and our members range from young to old.
Our Objective, Purpose and Ethos
The group’s purpose is to further the work of the amateur dramatics arts in the UK. And our objective is to provide access to the highest level of modern and pionering community theatre for the people of Irchester and Northamptonshire – we are far from the traditional, run of the mill village amdram group.
We aim to stage three shows every year; a family pantomime in early to mid February, and a revue and play later on in the year – usually around May and October. In addition, we also like to stage one night events and get involved with the local community of Irchester through special events. All of our shows are staged at Parsons Hall, Irchester.
We rehearse every Wednesday night in the upper rooms of the Irchester Working Men’s Club, and closer to each show we rehearse on Sundays at Parsons Hall itself.
We also like to offer social events to our members, their family and friends. These include after show parties, BBQs, themed parties, annual Christmas and Halloween parties and our Biannual Oscar Awards.
At Irchester Players our ethos is to provide our members with a second family and group of friends, and after a short time with the group members will certainly feel the strength of this ethos. As the group Chief Executive Dan Wainwright states:
“Players is a family. It has a heart, and that’s why I have stayed a member for 22 years.”
The group’s official date of creation, as stated in our Constitution, is 28 January 1977, making the group 40 years old. However, the society was actually active a few years before this official date.
Players first began as a play reading group in the 1970s, which met on regular occasions to read plays of the members picking. A small group of members decided to move on to acting and set about staging shows and galas for the local community of Irchester and Wollaston – with a regular slot being dedicated to performing for a mother’s group. Between 1974 and 1975 this small group of actors was coached by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and went on to enter into various play competitions, at which a number of titles were won, including a county title in April 1975. Over this period the group was operating mainly from Wollaston Comprehensive School.
Then in 1977 the group moved its focus to Irchester and staged its first ever pantomime, Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp, which ran for two days – 28 and 29 January 1977.
Over its 40 year history the group has continued to operate from its custodial seat in Irchester, Northamptonshire – using venues and halls within the village to rehearse and stage its shows. The group has held long term residency at the Village Hall and moved to its current resident venue Parsons Hall some years ago.
As the years have gone on many people have shaped the group to make it what it is today. With each production that ticks by we always remember the efforts of those that went before us. As the group has grown from strength to strength it has always remained committed to its grass roots in Irchester – investing back into the village, communities and businesses within it.
If you know more about the history of Irchester Players we would love to hear from you. Use the contact form to get in touch.
Roll of Honours and Awards
At Players we have a number of special awards that we can bestow on members who have achieved remarkable things with the group or who have given outstanding commitment to our work. The most special recognition that can be given is Honorary Membership, which is only given to those that have shown prolonged and outstanding commitment to the group.
The other special honours we are able to award are the Heart of Irchester Players, which is awarded to our longest serving member; the Outstanding Contribution Award; the Dorothy Fletcher Memorial Cup (‘SNAFU Award’), which was created in 2017 to honour the work of the much loved late Dorothy Fletcher – member and Chairwoman during the 80s and 90s; the Best Director Shield; and the Best Show Shield.
Opportunities with Irchester Players
We can offer you a wide range of opportunities whether that is acting, backstage or within our front of house team.
We are current looking for support in the following areas:
- Directors, producers and writers
- Junior chorus (age 9 – 16)
- Backstage staff
- Scenery and set design/constriction
- Costume assistants
- Front of House staff
- Technical staff – specialising in sound, electrics and lighting
Anyone over can become a member of the group provided they wish to further our objective and purpose; anyone wishing to audition for a show must become a member if cast and junior members must be 8 at the date of performance to be able to be a performing member. Our current annual membership fees are:
Children (8 – 13 years): £20
Children (14 – 17 years): £25
Students, OAP’s and the Unwaged: £25
Adults (over 18): £30
Interested in joining us or have any questions? If so please get in contact by visiting the Contact Us page.