Didsbury Players announce a new production
- The amateur dramatics society, The Didsbury Players, announces their new production, Vinegar Tom.
- The production will take place on the 16th and 17th of June at the East Didsbury Methodist Church.
- The Didsbury Players have brought back a sense of community and belonging to the area since the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Tickets for Vinegar Tom will cost £11 and can be purchased via their website.
The amateur dramatics society, The Didsbury Players, reveals their upcoming production, Vinegar Tom.
The production will take place on the 16th and 17th of June at the East Didsbury Methodist Church. This latest version of Caryl Churchill’s musical drama will explore the timeless themes of fear, ignorance, superstition and male prejudice.
Vinegar Tom is set during the infamous 17th-century witchcraft trials in England. The play follows characters like Betty, the teenage daughter of a wealthy landowner imprisoned for her refusal to conform, to Joan and her cat Vinegar Tom, together have cursed the neighbours in their village. A witch finder arrives, bringing with him a storm of superstition.
About The Didsbury Players
The Didsbury Players, formerly Celesta Players, began their journey in 1961 with a community of local artists wishing to perform theatre shows to entertain and bring art and culture to Didsbury.
Since then, the Players have staged dozens of shows at the East Didsbury Methodist Church, which accommodates audiences of over 100 people, as well as smaller shows at the Didsbury cricket club, which lends itself to more intimate settings.
Staging three big productions yearly, the Didsbury Players have performed shows such as Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, and their most recent play, Scrooge The Panto.
Support from the community
The players do not receive funding but rely on membership fees and ticket sales to cover costs and future productions.
They also receive great support from the Didsbury community itself. With rehearsals and performances the East Didsbury Methodist Church is always there to lend a hand. The 306th Scout Group also allows the use of their scout hut for rehearsals on Sundays.
Although grateful for the support, the players aspire to have their own theatre one day.
Kiya Dunn, director of Vinegar Tom and treasurer on the committee said, “ultimately I would love to get a purpose built venue – our own theatre, rehearsal space, storage all in one place.”
“I am appalled that a highly regarded, affluent and desirable suburb such as Didsbury, does not have its own theatre!”
How to get involved
The Didsbury Players are always looking out for new members to audition.
Whether you want to act, direct, market or be part of the backstage production, as long as you’re over the age of 18, you can join them at one of their regular Monday meetings at the Parrswood Inn. The local pub also offers rehearsal space weekly.
Alternatively you can sign up for their newsletter via the Didsbury Players website. This will keep you up to date with their new productions, audition dates and other details concerning the group.
Kaya said, “even though we are not paid for our services, a lot of studying and hard work is involved when it comes to creating productions, and members gain a lot of experience and transferable skills that are highly valuable in their professional careers.”
Impact on their community
The freedom to be creative and engage in a productive hobby has contributed significantly to people’s mental health and well-being, bringing back a sense of community and belonging to the area since the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Kiya said, “Over time, the Players have reached people of different ages and social groups from many different areas of the city, giving them a shared sense of connection to their home and the wider community.”
“Post COVID, being part of a production has encouraged members to see the city and suburb differently and helped them to feel less isolated and more like part of a community again.”
“This is also the same for potential new audiences. After such a long period of isolation, people want to support local groups and get out and do things again. We are providing affordable entertainment that is community-based and easily accessible.”
“Post COVID, being part of a production has helped people feel less isolated and more like part of a community again.”Kiya Dunn, Director of Vinegar Tom
Tickets for Vinegar Tom will cost £11 and can be purchased via their WeGotTickets page.
“Defiance, deviance and death come to Didsbury in June. Be there or bewitched!”