Lights, camera, action!
17 May 2021
Situated in the riverside village of Bourne End, Wharf Lane is a new collection of one- and two-bedroom homes designed for owners and tenants to enjoy all that village life has to offer.
Bourne End may be small in size, but its arts and culture scene is thriving, and one group leading the way is amateur dramatics club Forum Players. With lockdown restrictions easing, we caught up with Kerry Hudson, Chairman of Forum Players, to find out more about the group and how Bourne End locals can get involved.
Hi Kerry, can you tell us about Forum Players and how it started?
Forum Players has been running for 53 years! We’re a friendly club made up of passionate people that love to perform. We have fewer members now than when we first started but nevertheless all share the same love for the arts and enjoy performing for the village. We celebrated our 50th anniversary in 2018 with a production of Aladdin, which I co-directed and produced with one of our longest standing members, Wendy Keeble.
What kind of performances do Forum Players put on?
Our main production is the local pantomime, which is performed in January each year at the Bourne End Community Centre. January has become a tradition; it seems to have been the chosen month to avoid competing with the larger productions and gives everyone something to look forward to in what is otherwise usually a bleak month!
Other than panto, we also aim to bring performances to the stage in spring and autumn every year. It is not always possible and depends on availability of the cast and production team, but we try our best. I am always interested to listen to ideas for future productions!
What shows are you currently planning?
We have a pantomime in the planning stage which will be ready for the January 2022 performances. Our director is very energetic and has lots of exciting plans! We are still mindful of health and safety and plan to keep shows under one hour – this is to accommodate smaller audience numbers and reassure everyone that they are in a safe environment. We don’t plan to have an interval, therefore people can leave the theatre quickly after the performance has finished.
How can people get involved with Forum Players?
We welcome everybody who would like to be involved, in any capacity. We are always looking for new committee members, members to be part of the cast for our performances and production team, including dressmaking, scene prep/painting, lighting etc.
I also look to include other local community groups in our productions and most recently, we were able to invite a local performing arts club to complement our chorus/ensemble and perform some comedy scenes and dancing. We also worked with a local flower arranging group who prepared beautiful pedestal flower arrangements that sat either side of the stage during the ballroom scenes of our Beauty in the Beast production – I’m hoping to work with them again for the next panto.
Outside of panto season, I’m always looking for help with other productions which tend to be something along the lines of a comedy farce, murder mystery or similar. Some years we have been able to offer a performance with dinner served during the interval. Again, I am always looking for help and support in terms of cooking/serving and generally being involved in these fun-filled evenings!
For more information, visit www.forumplayers.com or contact Kerry via [email protected].
If life in Bourne End sounds appealing to you then find out more about Wharf Lane by contacting our team on 01628 918 145 or [email protected].