Players Theatre

Shows must go on at the Players Theatre, Hurstpierpoint

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Productions in the Players Theatre on the High Street will continue during the summer as it is proposed that the renovations will now take place in the autumn. It is hoped that the initial work will concentrate on new seating and heating system, making it an even more welcoming place to watch plays, productions and films.

The next production is Rope, by former Hassocks resident Patrick Hamilton, which is being presented by the Players Theatre 2nd-6th April. It’s a mysterious play, a why - rather than who – dunnit! The audience knows from the onset who is responsible for the gruesome murder. The contrasting collection of guests are assembled to enjoy a macabre supper party at the mercy of their hosts’ flawed personalities. Not a play for the kiddies!

Jo Kearns, the play’s director, explained: “Whilst I was suffering from serious illness a couple of years ago, the nurses encouraged me to plan for future events, and to place on a wish list ideas that had previously only been a figment of imagination. As I was keen to direct a play, ‘Rope’ became my directorial debut, which so far has been a challenging but highly enjoyable experience.”

Non-stop Shakespeare by Hurstpierpoint Players

12th-15th October 2017

By Bob Sampson

Hurstpierpoint Players are planning a repeat of the successful Non-stop Shakespeare as a fundraiser to refurbish the Players Theatre in Hurstpierpoint.

As happened in 1999, it is our intention to get all 37 plays read in this 70-hour marathon, and we are inviting our members, friends, schools, professional actors, neighbouring amateur dramatic groups, in fact anyone who is interested, to get involved.

There are also great opportunities for companies to sponsor plays or take advertising space in the souvenir programme. Email shakespeare@hurstplayers.org.uk for details of what’s on offer.

The readings will go on 24 hours a day from 7.30pm on Thursday 12th October until whatever time we finish on Sunday 15th.

If you don’t want to read, please put this in your diary anyway to come along and support those that do! 

We contacted the Shakespeare Centre Library looking for advice on how long we might have to allow if we were to read right through. They said: “You deserve a huge amount of money if you’re going to read through all of Shakespeare’s plays! Going on the productions done here by the RSC, and taking at least half an hour off their running time, it would take anywhere between 60 - 80 hours to go through all the plays, depending on your texts and the speed of your readers.”

The Theatre Museum was really helpful too. Word had it that they had done a complete reading of the plays in 1989. However, it turned out they had missed a few! So it was left to the Hurstpierpoint Players to take on the task in 1999. We have done it before, so now the date is set and the mammoth operation is under way once again.

The Players Theatre building was converted to a theatre in 1976 and it has been apparent for a while now that the theatre building is in need of some significant maintenance and refurbishment work. The seats for example were already 30 years old when they were installed and the heating system has become more erratic and noisy as the years have passed. The Theatre is used by Hurstpierpoint Players, Hurst Village Cinema and Centre Stage Children’s theatre as well as many other theatre and musical concerts. The intention of this refurbishment is to make the place more comfortable for the audiences and users of the theatre.

If you want to take part in this thrilling experience, or just find out more details, send an email to shakespeare@hurstplayers.org.uk