HISTORY OF THE ORCHARD PLAYERS
By Hazel Hole
The Orchard Players was formed in 1972 when a small group of enthusiastic amateurs met at the farmhouse of the local apple farm to discuss the setting up of a local drama group. It was decided to go ahead and The Orchard Players was formed, taking the name from the local apple farm.
For several years the group held play reading evenings in members houses before putting on the first public performance of a one act play at the local primary school. This was well received and encouraged a few members to consider something more challenging.
3 members formed a sub group in 1978 to develop ideas for a pantomime. One member became the musical director, one the choreographer and the third the director/producer. No funds were held by the group therefore the Capel Community Council (as was ) was approached for a loan of £50 to enable a village pantomime to go ahead. The 3 members guaranteed to return the £50 with interest if possible and agreed to make up any shortfall themselves.
A very keen and talented cast came forward and rehearsals took place at Bentley Village Hall with the panto staged at Capel Village Hall. So, Mother Goose was born and took to the stage in January 1979 directed by Hazel Hole with the other two members of the subgroup becoming musical director and choreographer. A profit was made and the £50 loan was fully repaid, with interest and the group then had funds to mount further shows.
Thus The Orchard Players was formed.