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Former members invited to join Lichfield Players’ celebrations

A Lichfield drama society will be uniting past and present members later this month in celebration of producing theatre in the city since 1943.

The Lichfield Players will be hosting a 70th anniversary season gala night at the Friday night performance of their next Garrick Theatre production, which will be attended by Lichfield City Mayor, Bob Awty.

Andrew Bodger with some of the current members of the Lichfield Players

Andrew Bodger with some of the current members of the Lichfield Players

“The 70th anniversary season is a particularly special one, as the plays selected represent members’ favourites from over 250 produced since the society began,” said Players Chairman Andrew Bodger.

“We would like to raise a glass to the society’s longevity, and therefore invite all members and former members to join us for a complimentary drinks reception on January 24 during the interval of our big auditorium production Outside Edge.”

The society was born in 1943 with a performance of London Wall by John van Druten at Lichfield’s Guildhall, and while one or occasionally two plays were initially produced each year, this has now increased to five productions every season.

The Players have also produced shows at the Lichfield Festival, taken part in competitive drama festivals and contributed to the triennial Lichfield Mysteries.

Performance venues have ranged from local school and church halls, the historic Guildhall and the city’s Cathedral, and for over 20 years the society’s base was the Lichfield Arts Centre, before moving on to the Civic Hall in 1995. Now the performance home is the Lichfield Garrick where they put on a diverse programme in both the Main Auditorium and Studio.

Their 70th anniversary season opened in October with a sell-out production of An Inspector Calls. Richard Harris’s cricketing comedy Outside Edge in January will be followed by John Mortimer’s A Voyage Round My Father, then A Chorus of Disapproval by Alan Ayckbourn, and in July, to round off the season, Neil Simon’s comedy Barefoot in the Park.

“As with the repertoire of our plays, our membership has grown with the years. While our newest recruits are about to make their stage debut, we have active members who first appeared in the Lichfield Players in the 1960s,” Andrew added.

“We’d love any former members to get in touch and join us for our anniversary gala night to share their past experiences and help us toast the society’s future.”

For more information about the gala night, please contact Lichfield Players Membership Secretary Janet Brunton on 01543 307390 or e-mail lichfieldplayers1@gmail.com.

Outside Edge runs at the Lichfield Garrick from January 22 to 25. Tickets are available by calling 01543 412121 or visiting www.lichfieldgarrick.com.

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