TOUCH theatre and Gweek Players joined forces in September (2-4th) 2021 to stage a production of The Welkin by Lucy Kirkwood. Directed by Kath Archer (TOUCH theatre).
Funny, bawdy and at times bleak, the play, set in the 18th Century but with a very modern tone, tells the story of Sally Poppy, who has been convicted of murder but who seeks to avoid hanging by declaring that she is pregnant. To assess her claim, the judge calls a jury of matrons, and their deliberations are at the core of the drama. It is a serious play about women’s rights and roles, but there is a bawdy, raunchy humour (usually directed at men!) which punctuates the more serious themes.
The play was first performed for a short run at the National Theatre before being closed due to the 2020 lockdown. We were the first amateur companies to get the rights to perform this powerful play following the release from lockdown, and many measures were taken to ensure the safety of the whole cast and creatives as rehearsals began in the early summer of 2021.
Under Kath Archer’s Direction, a wonderful cast was bonded and coupled with creative skill and determination, the collaboration produced a fantastic production that turned brought both new audiences and members to both companies.
All proceeds from the programme sales were donated to Cornwall Refuge Trust.
We normally perform a play twice a year in Gweek Village Hall and, like many other groups, have had to postpone our production, ‘Blithe Spirit’, Noël Coward’s celebrated comedy about a novelist, directed by Mandy Rolleston until it was safe to invite our audiences back to our theatre.
However, never ones to stay dormant, we took an initiative to create an Online Drama in the form of a Murder Mystery. Due to the pandemic, the filming of The Village Hall Murder was completed under Lockdown restrictions meaning that no two members of the society met in person. The play was written by one of our members, David Ivall who cleverly set the action to take place during the pandemic. This was a first for us and we think maybe a first in the am-dram world!
Rehearsals took place on Zoom since December. The cast have filmed themselves (on their phones tablets and on Zoom, etc.), in costume.
The cast’s videos were collated and edited by the director, Emma Phillips, and producer, Amanda Rolleston, to create a one-hour online play launched on 1 March 2021.
We did not charge to see the play, but we gave viewers the opportunity to make a donation to local arts charity Carn to Cove at the end of the production which raised funds of over £1200.
Click the link to watch our ONLINE DRAMA NOW: https://youtu.be/9al4jRIg5hA
Our ‘Raise the Roofs’ events took place on the 20th and 21st July at Gweek Village Hall and the Tolmen Centre respectively.
The events were a huge success thanks to an enthusiastic team of volunteers and performers. A fantastic total of £518.44 was raised for Gweek Village Hall and £691.66 for Constantine WI Hall. A lot of fun was had by cast, crew and audience alike for these brilliant local causes.
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Directed by Margaret Ray.
Described by Lynne Walker (The Independant June 2005) “as insanely topsy turvey as Twelth Night” and Ayckbourn himself “A children’s play for Adults” this is an entertaining satire on literary styles which has the sole intention of being fun.
This production saw sell out audiences and received fantastic feedback from friends and supporters. Delivered with ultimate professionalism and style, this was Margaret Ray’s first outing as Director and she wowed the cast, creative team and viewers alike with an outstanding production.
The writer of Exposure, Frank Whately, is known personally to Director, Sandy Tyndale-Biscoe, and intrigued him by describing a play he’d written about the 19th century photographer Eadweard Muybridge. The play had been well received at the 2003 Edinborough Fringe, but the publishers Samuel French had rejected it as they considered it technically too demanding for amateur production. This, of course, was an irresistable challenge to anyone associated with Gweek Players, winners of the Cornwall Drama Association technical award for our production of The 39 Steps.
In a short play, that allows, indeed encourages, improvisation from the actors, Exposure presents, in a chronological melange (Muybridge was hailed as the “man who stopped time”), important events in Muybridge’s life, with time passing, stopping and reversing.
When searching for something to accompany Exposure, Sandy came across Don Nigro’s Charlie and the Siberian Monkey Goddess. As a component of his The Chaplin Plays, this stands well on its own, and is both funny, moving and philosophically challenging.
Gweek Players were thrilled to be the first am-dram company to be given permission to perform Vice Versa by Phil Porter. A hilarious, madcap farce based on the Roman comedies of Plautus, it was first performed by the RSC in Stratford in 2017 when it was a huge hit with audience and critics alike.
“This Racy Roman RIP-OFF is a laugh riot” (The Guardian)
Gweek Players are delighted to have won the District Achievement award at the NODA 2018 awards night for this production.
DIRECTED BY ALINE TURNER
written and directed by David Ivall
Performed at Trebah Amphitheatre
Gweek Players are proud to be the first local amateur theatre company invited to perform at Trebah Amphitheatre. We then invited our talented member, actor and playwright David Ivall to write a play that would suit the location and for a ‘family’ audience. The play was a perfect marrying of adventure and fun about two children who become entangled with a group of pirates who’ve lost their ship on the Helford.
The play was tremendous fun to perform and saw the joining of our three youngest members who we hope to work with again soon in the not too distant future. The play also demanded lots of period costumes and some of our more intricate set features and props but the whole team pulled together to make this on location play a great success under David’s direction.
The Memory of Water by Shelagh Stephenson
Directed by Angela Wetherill
14–17 March at Gweek Village Hall
It’s curious how three sisters who grew up under the same roof could hold such varied memories of their own childhoods. This is a poignant yet very funny play about sibling rivalry and relationships as three self-estranged sisters reunite on the eve of their mother’s funeral. Stories clash and secrets are revealed. How could they have grown so far apart? Their mother would wonder where it all went wrong?
“Wild humour and bruising emotion” – Daily Telegraph
Winner of the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Comedy
Hay Fever is one of Noël Coward’s most popular comedies. It is a play about an outrageously impossible family (father an author, mother a fading actress, and their son and daughter) who each, independently and without telling the others, invites a guest of the opposite sex for the weekend. The resulting bad feelings, tears, rapprochements and general mayhem become a delight for the audience, but definitely not for the four guests.
Performance Dates 15th – 18th November, 2017.
Directed by Sandy Tyndale-Biscoe
Ladies’ Day is a poignant comedy by Amanda Whittington and Directed by Michelle Dickson.
Four fish factory workers escape their predictable. daily and humdrum lives for a day of sophistication at the races. As the champagne flows unexpected secrets are revealed. ‘Exuberantly up-to-the-minute comedy’ – Guardian ‘With its Yorkshire heart and soul it has all the warmth of a Calendar Girls or a Full Monty’ – Yorkshire Post
This production welcomed sell out audiences and excellent feedback seeing us nominated for Best Comedy Production by NODA Southwest. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Saturday, 4th March 2017.
by Mary Chase
A laugh-out-loud comedy about Elwood P. Dowd, America’s most affable gentleman, and his best friend (that only he can see) a 6’1.5″ white rabbit, Harvey. Set in 1940s America, this is a glamorous stage show about friendship, acceptance and eccentricity and has been loved across the globe since its Broadway Premiere over seventy years ago.
This Gweek Player Production was Directed by Guy Watson, who also starred as Elwood and the production was performed ‘in the round’, a first for the Players and the hall. The production was a fantastic success and the story has really touched the hearts of all of those who took part. Due to the increasing popularity of Gweek Players shows, Harvey! included a Saturday evening performance!
Harvey! was performed at The Gweek Village Hall
19-22 April, 2017
Sat 2.30 & 7.30
The Importance of Being Earnest
by Oscar Wilde
13th – 16th April, 2016
A trivial comedy for serious people directed by Vanda Trotman
The importance of being Earnest was first performed on 14th February 1895 at the St James Theatre in London. It’s a farcical comedy in which the protagonists invent fictitious friends or relations in order to escape burdensome social obligations.
by Patrick Barlow
Total Sell out and huge success!
Gweek Players performed the West End comedy hit The 39 Steps by Patrick Barlow Nov 18 – 21
Or in fact 17 to 21 as due to demand we had to add another date!
This was fantastic for us – new projector, screen, lightest etc – and we have had terrific feedback from our audiences. My grateful thanks to all involved especially the backstage on this unbelievably complicated techie show – Aline Turner, Director
a comedy by Ivan Menchell
All over and done with – even the props have gone back to their right homes!
The Cemetery Club is a funny and heart-warming play. Three New York widows meet once a month for tea before going to visit their husband’s graves. Ida is sweet-tempered and ready to begin a new life, Lucille is the life and soul of the party, but Doris is priggish and judgmental, particularly when Sam the butcher appears on the scene. He meets the widows while visiting his wife’s grave. Doris and Lucille scheme to squash the budding romance between Sam and Ida but are guilt-ridden when this nearly breaks Ida’s heart.Read more
Gweek Players produced On Golden Pond 18-20 March 2015
Gweek Players latest production of ‘On Golden Pond’ by Ernest Thompson was a financial and artistic success. This is a delightful play – almost better then the film. Funny, witty and charged with poignancy.
Norman is an irascible 79 year old with the beginnings of dementia, Ethel his wife adores and is exasperated by him in equal measure. Their daughter , Chelsea, who has a problematic relationship with both her parents but particularly with her father, arrives with her new boyfriend, Bill, and his 13 year old son, Billy.
The young boy changes the old people’s lives and recharges their energy for living – teaching them some interesting vocabulary at the same time!
As a cast we loved doing this play as it had good writing, depth and humour. The audiences were very appreciative and we got excellent feedback – even from CDA who later nominated Sandy Tyndale-Biscoe for Best Actor.
The train has left!
Gweek Players celebrated our 30th anniversary with a world premiere! A specially written comedy drama “The Ghost Express” was performed 28 to 31 May 2014.
The play was a complete sell out and was much enjoyed by our audiences.
” Absolutely brilliant – we loved it”
“You have a hit on your hands”
The plot told the story of a group of railway passengers who find themselves stranded in an abandoned station during the Second World War who are fighting for their lives and the future of their country.. It’s a story about relationships, duty, loyalty and how far people will go to defend what they love. It is a drama but also a comedy!
Director Rob Lambert from Porthleven explains: “This is a play on many levels. Yes, it has a lot of comedy, especially in the first act, but it is about people, about personalities. We’ve managed to assemble an excellent cast, and we are taking the time to hone their performances to a level which would put most professionals to shame. My intention is to get the audience laughing, crying, shouting and cheering and I can see that we’re well on the way to achieving that.”
The village hall in Gweek was transformed. The clock was wound back, and when the audience walked through the door, they found themselves back in 1943. It was an amazing group effort, with the backstage crew working all hours to create the illusion.
Pygmalion is going to be a great production and fortunately I am much better at directing then websites! However you may now use the website to order tickets and it works!!
Or you can phone on 0845 094 8874 or go to Heathercraft in Helston
George Bernard Shaw’s much loved comedy Pygmalion was the basis for My Fair Lady. Professor Higgins decides to teach Eliza, a flower girl, to speak like a Duchess and to shape her into the sort of woman he wants – but Eliza has ideas of her own!
Served with our popular dessert in the interval the play will be a feast of fun. Please note that we are doing a matinee this year on Saturday afternoon – a new idea to see if it is what you, the audience, like.
Gweek Village Hall
Weds 13 (£8) Thurs 14 & Fri 15 Nov (£9) 7.30pm & Sat 16 November (£8) at 2.30
Tickets (price includes dessert) from 0845 094 8874 or Heathercraft, Helston
One night only!
Dressed to Kill!
Friday June 14th at 7.30 pm
Gweek Village Hall
Join us for an evening of mystery and detective work!!
We are holding another of our popular mystery murder evenings with pasty supper and pudding.
You will watch scenes (specially written for us) that lead up to a murder. Then you will have to use your detective skills to work out whodunit!
Prizes for the best answer.
There will be a bar.
Tickets £8 includes supper.
To book seats 0845 0948874
Come to this riotous comedy and have a great evening.
All the usual ingredients of a great Gweek show – great play, great acting and great desserts!
17, 18 and 19 April at 7.30 pm
GWEEK VILLAGE HALL Tickets £9 including a dessert in the interval
Box Office 0845 0948874
Tickets can also be purchased at Heathercraft, Meneage Street, Helston
The Wind in the Willows
Weds 14 – Fri 16 November 7.30 pm
Gweek Village Hall
Box Office 0845 0948874
Heathercraft, Meneage St, Helston
Tickets £8 and £6 (u16)
The Wind in the Willows
Toad, Rat, Mole and Badger’s adventures are well known and loved. In this delightful and funny adaptation by Alan Bennett, both adults and children will be enchanted. Served up with our delicious puddings in the interval, this will be an evening of delight for all ages.
Noel Cowards’ brilliant. witty play Private Lives was a huge success!
Dates 18-20 April 2012
“Private Lives”, thought by many to be the greatest comedy ever written, premiered in London in 1930 and has been produced around the world ever since. The plot resembles that of a tragedy, but Coward fashions from it a fast-paced story, moving from misfortune to full-blown absurdity.
Prone to cynicism and irreverence, Coward’s glamorous upper-class characters seem incapable of taking much of anything seriously for long – a condition which usually proves contagious for the audience as well. He firmly believed the theatre existed for people’s amusement, not to teach or reform.
Glamorous, rich and reckless, Amanda and Elyot have been divorced from each other for five years. Now both are honeymooning in a French resort with their new spouses. When, by chance, they meet again across adjoining hotel balconies, their insatiable feelings for each other are immediately rekindled. They hurl themselves headlong into love and lust (the second act love scene was nearly censored in Britain) without a care for scandal, new partners or memories of what drove them apart in the first place.
In the past the play has attracted such names as Laurence Olivier, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Maggie Smith and John Gielgud. The Gweek Players’ production, directed by the irrepressible Guy Watson, will star Michelle Dickson as Amanda, Sandy Pulfrey as Sibyl, James Care as Elyot and Alan Perry as Victor.
The cast and enthusiastic backup crew aim to recreate the ambience of the 1930’s in Gweek Village Hall. The stage and auditorium will become an exquisite French Art Deco Hotel with a pianist playing the music of the era.
“Private Lives” will open on April 18th for three nights only. Performances at Gweek Village Hall. For tickets – £8.00 including a delicious dessert – call 0845 0948874 or from Heathercraft, Helston.
In the 28 years since the group was founded, Gweek Players have offered Cornwall two plays per year, usually in April and November. Comedies have been the mainstay of the repertoire – they know how much their audiences enjoy a good laugh – but straight plays, thrillers, mysteries, even the occasional classic, have all been included.
Over the years they have established a reputation for putting on high quality, professional-standard shows, and intend to continue doing so for many years to come.
By Phil Woods with Michael Bogdanov
GASP with horror as the Fox snatches Chanticleer, the Cockerel;
THRILL to the hunt for ‘what women most desire’;
SING-A-LONG with the chorus of Peterkin’s fall from grace;
DELIGHT AS May outwits her ancient husband and most of all
ROLICK WITH LAUGHTER at this ‘colourful, boozy, good-spirited, compelling entertainment.’
In modern English this is a great way to revisit or get to know a classic of English Literature. It is a bit naughty so we are not recommending it to under 12s! Think medieval saucy seaside postcard!
Gweek Village Hall
Wednesday 16th – Friday 18th November st 7.30
Tickets £8.00 (includes interval dessert)
or Heathercraft, Coinage Hall, Helston.
MUSIC HALL MADNESS
Supper, Singing and Splendiferous Entertainment
£8 including pasty supper (£5 for under 16s)
Friday 14th May 2010 at 7.30 pm
We hit some technical problems – of which the snow was but one – with our plans to put on a Farndale (panic not – we will do it eventually!). However we came up with the whizzo idea of a Music Hall and Variety Evening with supper. Please come along and join the fun – but book your ticket in advance please. Included in the programme are the Pantaloons; the Manacles Singers; a short comic Melodrama; several sketches and songs – it’s shaping up to be a great evening for us all but
Why are we Fund Raising?
We are raising money to buy our own set of ‘RAISERS’ – the staging that raises the audience up so that you have had such a good view! We have been hiring from another drama group and as they have now put their prices up we have decided that it is time to buy our own set which will be of benefit to everyone who uses the hall. Some members of the Gweek Players have kindly agreed to advance the Players £2,400 interest free so that we can buy a set now but they need paying back as soon as possible!
A psychological thriller
by Richard Harris
A comedy by Olwen Wymark
Directed by Vanda Trotman
|Mr Beamish||John Eddy|
|Mrs Carmichael||Janet Jones|
Reg has invited his pompous boss to dinner; his wife, Geraldine, feels that their marriage is getting dull and is ripe for mischief. Their daughter, Billie, wants to marry the boss’s son.
No-one is prepared for Geraldine’s decision to liven things up by impersonating Reg’s imaginary brother Rollo. Reg retaliates by dressing up as Rollo’s eccentric wife Lilian. When domineering Granny returns unexpectedly the scene is set for a great deal of comic misunderstanding.
This comedy is a rebel’s fantasy; a hostess’s nightmare and an hilarious treat for the audience.
Directed by Vanda Trotman
|Miss Simmons||Anne Brims|
Directed by Janet Jones
|Lettice Douffet||Vanda Trotman|
|Lottie Schően||Janet Jones|
|Miss Framer||Kay Ray|
|Mrs Bardolph||Avril Plunket|
Directed by Janet Jones
Cast (in order of appearance)
|Freda Deacon||Avril Plunkett|
|Mrs Kidd||Mary Druce|
|Margot Buchanan||Aline Turner|
|Lady Buchanan||Vanda Trotman|
|Leo Buchanan||Brian Plunkett|
with Pip Dandy, Rob Druce & Lloyd Jones