Coming March 2020: Duets by Peter Quilter

Coming March 2020: Duets by Peter Quilter.

A gloriously funny examination of the chaotic world of love, relationships and why the grass is never greener.

Duets is a hilarious tribute to the strength and madness of the human heart. Four sets of characters, four crucial moments. Jonathan and Wendy are on a blind date and hoping to get it right this time even though they’ve never got it right before; Barrie is not really interested in women but Janet sees that as no reason to stop trying; Shelley and Bobby have decided to holiday in Spain to finalise their divorce whilst drowning in cocktails; Angela is marrying for the third time to the dismay of her brother Toby and amidst a barrage of bad omens and a dress resembling a parachute.

Box Office details:  Worcester Live

Abigail’s After-show Party

Many thanks to all our wonderful audiences who gave us a warm reception every night with Abigail’s Party, and well done to our cast and crew! Feedback was really positive and we had a great week. The review from our sterling NODA area rep, Bruce Wyatt, is now online at https://www.noda.org.uk/show-reports/abigails-party-1571131052

We will be bringing news of our next show, in March 2020, soon – stay tuned!

Abigail’s Party: Meet the Cast – Christine King

Christine King plays Beverley in Abigail's Party

Christine King plays Beverley in Abigail’s Party

SJPs talk to Christine King, who plays the iconic part of Beverley in Abigail’s Party.

Looking back over almost 40 years, Christine has acted in too many shows to mention them all but they include, Move Over Mrs Markham, Don’t Just Lie There Say Something, The Opposite Sex, Habeas Corpus, An Ideal Husband, Local Affairs, The Edge of Darkness, Party Piece, Bedroom Farce, Takin’ Over the Asylum, One Man Two Guvnors and Elsie and Norm’s Macbeth, along with directing Shadows/Monkey’s Paw, ‘Allo ‘Allo, Up Pompei, The Vicar of Dibley and Seasons Greetings.

Of her long career with SJPs, Christine says, “Our Vice President Patricia Norris persuaded both myself and my husband Trevor to join after seeing SJP’s 1981 production of Not Now Darling – we joined a week later and here we are going into our 39th year with the group!  During my time with SJP, I have held every committee role and when not acting have worked backstage as Stage Manager, prompt, props organiser, lighting and sound as well as making the tea and coffee!  I feel truly honoured to have been part of such a wonderful group.”

Christine plays Beverley in Abigail’s Party.  “We all know someone like Beverly,” she says of her character, “but probably wouldn’t want to admit it.  She is undoubtedly a social climber but without the grace to go with it.  She is also quite a sad character when you look deeper into things, childless and very little direction in life and married to someone whom she admits she probably wouldn’t have married if they had lived together beforehand. ”

Christine is looking forward to bringing Beverley to the stage.  “The role is such an iconic one and a real challenge to get inside her character. I really hope I am able to do justice to the role.”

Tickets for Abigail’s Party are available now from Worcester Live Box Office.

Abigail’s Party: Meet the Cast – Julie Sadler

Julie Sadler plays Angie in Abigail's Party

Julie Sadler plays Angie in Abigail’s Party

Find out more about the cast of our forthcoming production, Abigail’s Party.

Julie has been in numerous plays with the SJP’s, too many to mention, but some of her favourites have been the dramas of Day After the Fair, The Little Foxes and Edge of Darkness and the comedies of Don’t Just Lie There Say Something, How the Other Half Loves, ‘Allo ‘Allo, Season’s Greetings & Outside Edge to name but a few among particular highlights have been fulfilling a lifelong ambition to play Annie in all 3 plays in Alan Ayckbourn’s The Norman Conquests.

She has also directed for the SJP’s, both comedies & dramas, of which she says, “my favourite production for the SJP’s has to be One Man Two Guvnors as I invested so much of myself in that show as I directed it, played the role of Dolly, designed the set and did the front of house photos – I consider it my greatest personal achievement with the SJP’s and I was so lucky to have the most amazing cast who realised my dream and brought it to life.”

Julie joined the SJP’s after completing her degree and returning to Worcester.  “The SJP’s were recommended to me by a friend, Paul Clarke, who I’d previously been in drama groups with at both Tech and at the Arts Workshop and who was a member of the SJP’s. I joined the group and Paul left it 2 weeks later as due to his work he was moving away from Worcester.”

Julie plays the character of Angie in Abigail’s Party, of which she says, “this is the second time I have played this role for the SJP’s.

“I would describe Angie as looking up to Beverley and having just bought her first house with her husband Tony, Angie is aspiring to achieve the same material comforts which she see that Beverley & her husband Lawrence have.

“Angie is incredibly tactless, however, I think this is born of naivety rather than malice and her mouth definitely works faster than her brain as she has a tendency to speak/ask questions before thinking about what she is saying/asking. However, although Angie appears meek & childlike and only interested in the mundane and commonplace, much to the annoyance of her husband, she comes into her own at the end of Act I and Act II where it is revealed that underneath Angie’s apparent silliness is the tough, practical reliability of an experienced working nurse.
She is great fun to play as she says things that most of us would only every think and never voice!!”

Tickets for Abigail’s Party are available from Worcester Live Box Office

Abigail’s Party: Meet the Cast – Adam Bullock

Find out more about the actors behind out latest production, Abigail’s Party.

Adam has been with St John’s Players for 9 years.  Previous acting credits: Last Tango in Little Grimley, ‘Allo ‘Allo, Up Pompeii, The Vicar of Dibley, Dangerous Obsession, Season’s Greetings, Yes Prime Minister and Elsie and Norm’s Macbeth.  Directing credits:  April in Paris and The 39 Steps.

Adam first joined St John’s players at the suggestion of his office colleagues who he says “politely suggested I needed an outlet for my sense of humour!  This was about the time we were casting ‘Allo ‘Allo and I have gone on to act frequently since, as well as branching out into directing, poster design, web admin, and anything else that needs doing!”

Of his role as Tony in Abigail’s Party, Adam says, “I’m enjoying the challenge of getting into a character whose surface simplicity actually masks a lot of complexities, finding ways to convey what’s going on inside someone who doesn’t necessarily say a lot – he’s very monosyllabic, and not really most people’s idea of a good party guest. The play’s quite unflinching in the way it takes a mundane situation and peels back the layers. There’s some quite honest portraits of people we all recognise – not least ourselves – in the characters.”

Tickets are available from Worcester Live box office

Abigail’s Party: Meet the Cast – Kerry Horne

Kerry Horne plays Sue in Abigail's Party

Kerry Horne plays Sue in Abigail’s Party

We introduce the cast of our forthcoming production, Abigail’s Party.

Kerry makes her St. John’s Players debut as Sue in Abigail’s Party, having previously performed in Aladdin, What I Did at School Today, Love and Money, Cinderella, and Agatha Crusty and the Village Hall Murders with Ombersley Dramatic Society since 2016.

On joining St John’s Players, Kerry says, “As you can see I have been with ODS for 2 years having started amateur dramatics again in 2016. I was looking to challenge myself and perform in an actual theatre! My relatives saw SJP’s performance of The 39 Steps and gave rave reviews so I applied to become a member.”

Kerry plays Sue Lawson in Abigail’s Party.  She says, “Sue is a quietly spoken, polite “mousy” character who is clearly awkward in the social setting of the party and would rather be somewhere else!

“I am looking forward to portraying Sue’s awkward demeanour in Abigail’s party – contributing to the cringeingly funny black comedy and trying to reflect the typical social scenes and attitudes of the 1970’s!”

Tickets for Abigail’s Party are available from Worcester Live box office

Abigail’s Party: Meet the Cast – Barry Ellis

Barry Ellis plays Lawrence in Abigail's Party

Barry Ellis plays Lawrence in Abigail’s Party

In the first of a new feature, we get to know a bit more about the members of our repertory who are currently busily rehearsing our forthcoming production, Abigail’s Party.

Barry has performed regularly for St John’s Players over the past 9 years, including :- ‘Allo, ‘Allo, Bedroom Farce, Up Pompeii, One for the Road, Absurd Person Singular, The Opposite Sex, Vicar of Dibley, Takin’ Over the Asylum, April in Paris, One Man Two Guvnors, Season’s Greetings and The 39 Steps.

Barry has also been a member of other theatre groups, including the Swan Theatre Amateur Company (STAC). Barry joined St Johns Players at the suggestion of Christine King – his on-stage wife in this production.

Barry is very pleased to be part of St John’s Players’ production of Abigail’s Party.

“It’s a play I’ve wanted to perform for a number of years and I think it is particularly suited to the Vesta Tilley studio. The audience will feel like they are part of the gathering in Laurence and Beverly’s lounge.”

“My character, Laurence, is a hard working estate agent, who aspires to the finer things in life – and wants to be sure that everyone knows it. If only his wife and more recent incomers to the area could be more like him.”

“I’m really looking forward to sharing St John’s Players’ production of this 1970s classic with audiences in the Studio – and having an excuse to sport a dodgy bright shirt and facial hair !”

Tickets for Abigail’s Party are available from Worcester Live box office.

Our Next Production – Abigail’s Party

For the 2nd production in our 70th anniversary year, the St John’s Players are maintaining the theme of 70 and have appositely chosen the 1970s classic, Abigail’s Party by Mike Leigh.

It will run from 9 – 12 October 2019 at the Vesta Tilley Studio, Swan Theatre, Worcester.  Tickets are now available from Worcester Live Box Office.

British suburbanites Laurence and Beverly are entertaining their new neighbours, Angela and Tony, as well as Susan, whose teenage daughter, Abigail, is having a party to which Susan has been dis-invited. Over drinks and snacks, clichés and fatuous small talk abound. The tension escalates as the marital strain between Beverly and Laurence surfaces. Susan’s anxiety over Abigail’s party accelerates as rock music and God-knows-what permeate the room. As Beverly and Angela offer some supremely tactless remarks, reality breaks through the smugness as the evening climaxes with a tragic incident.

A dark, thought-provoking play interspersed with black comedy.

No admission once the performance has started.

An amateur production directed by David Scott.

By special arrangement with Samuel French Ltd a Concord Theatricals Company.