Charlea Burwood

I’ve been part of The Orchard Players since I was old enough to join the group at 9 years old, performing for the first time in A Christmas Carol. Music and signing has always been my passion, so being part of the group allows me to live that passion.
During my time with the group, I’ve been involved with almost every aspect of putting on a production, including performing in both principle and chorus roles, being part of the back stage crew, assisting with hair and makeup, choreographing for the group and, more recently, I’ve been part of the production team for both summer show and panto. 
I joined the committee in 2018 as a way of giving something back to the group that I had enjoyed being part of for so many years. Currently I co-organise publicity with the lovely Bex. I have also helped to organise our involvement in local fun days, been part of fundraising efforts, completed membership surverys and other general commitee tasks. I’ve so enjoyed seeing the group change, evolve and improve over the years and it’s a pleasure to now be involved in helping to develop the group by being part of the committee. 

Cheryl Burton

 Vice Chairman

Have been hooked by the performing bug since the age of around 8, performing with a local brownie group, through high school with the youth club pantomimes. Moved to Sproughton in the early 80s where I got involved in plays, directing panto’s for the local youth club and then performing in panto for many years with Sproughton Players. My first panto with the Orchard Players was ‘Babes in the Wood’ as Maid Marion and have now played every role in panto (except Dame – will leave that to the boys!) and also regularly performed and directed for the gorup.  I also have a love of sewing and costume design and enjoy being involved in the wardrobe side of things. Being part of the committee I hope to represent the membership and see the group grow and evolve in the coming years.

Judi Burwood

I joined the Orchard Players in 2000, initially to have some space and time out from a busy working and family life. Over the years as my children got older they also joined the group as did my husband who provided backstage support for a number of shows. A testimony to the family approach within the group.

I was drawn to the group as I’d always been involved in music in some way or another since my school years. Over the years I have undertaken chorus as well as solo/principal roles and now more recently find myself in charge of backstage where I still can’t resist the urge to join in and sing!

This is my second stint on the committee undertaking the lead for child protection. As a group we are committed to providing a safe environment where everyone can enjoy themselves and thrive.

There’s drama both onstage and off, but it’s fun and it’s lovely to be a part of the group.

The Orchard Players Newsletter February 2019

The Orchard Players February 2019


Current Stuff

Hello and welcome to all you lovely OPs!! Ok then wow!! Here we are already in February! A slightly depressing yet amazing month for readthroughs and Valentines!!!!

Now there is a LOT to get through so listen carefully!!

You may have noticed that we very recently staged our pantomime (Rapunzel, in case you'd forgotten) and WOW!! What an utter blast! Newsletter is proud of you all!

With amazing feedback and fabulous fun had by all it was a raging success! We sold a SHED load of tickets! We can ALL look forward to the next AGM to get a look at those figures!! ALL. Another huge "THANKS" to everyone who was involved in making this show the Spectacular Spectacular that it was. Mwah!

Additionally our after show party was held on Thursday the 17th, you may remember, and WHAT A PARTY IT WAS!! So much food, superb turnout, great tunes (cheers again, Ray) and some fine "Macarenas" and "Saturday Night"s were witnessed!



That's right. What is it? When is it? Who is it? Why is it? Let me tell you, there are a million questions flying around and some of them are weird!!

Anyway you may have seen on the reverse of the panto programme that our Summer production is entitled "An American In Suffolk" and it is a musical. Act 1 is set in....well Suffolk, in the 1940s during the time when American pilots (thousands of them!) came to the UK to aid the war effort. Act 2 is set during the 1950s following on the story of characters from Act 1. The songs are obviously from these decades. That's all that needs to said at the moment!

Show week for this should be the first week of July, as usual which is the 4th, 5th and 6th. So free up those diaries. If you could also free up your diaries for Thursday evenings leading up to this date and some Sundays too then even better!

It will be directed by one Cheryll Burton and will be ably assisted by Charlea Burwood and Bex Nicholls.

Dates for the readthrough and auditions are....I can now OFFICIALLY ReVeAl.....Readthrough on THURSDAY THE 21ST OF FEBRUARY with the auditions on SUNDAY THE 24TH OF FEBRUARY. So be there or be exceedingly square!!!

Annual General Meeting

Well, this is personally one of my favourite times of the year, as i'm sure it's yours too! Our one time as a family to discuss everything group!! This momentous occassion will occur on THURSDAY THE 25TH OF APRIL 2019 so if you could all make an appearance and show that interest, committee would be thrilled!!

Capel Fun Day 

Once again Capel is holding it's annual day of fun fun FUN and we intend to be a part of it because we are fun people. It's on Saturday the 8th of June 2019. Committee will ask around for help nearer the time and it's likely that we'll be doing a bit of singing on the day as part of a Summer show teaser!! We expect a good group turnout. Love yoooooou!!

Quiz Night

There will be a quiz night in the next handful of months. That's all you need to know at the moment. If you're interested (why wouldn't you be??) then start thinking about your teams!!!!

We're such HOT STUFF

Newsletter is delighted to announce that our Panto 2018, "Aladdin", directed by Rob Maplestone, has been nominated for the Best Pantomime Award from NODA!!! Congratulations Rob!!

And the awesomeness just keeps flowing! If you'd like to turn your attentions to the NODA report accompanying this newsletter then you can read all about how amazing we all were in "Rapunzel". Pats on the back all round!!

Pantomime 2020

I cannot believe how organised this group is, It's inspiring! The committee are currently receiving/entertaining/opening an ear for proposals for panto 2020....just typing that year is disorientating me!! Newsletter is uncomfortable. So if you have an idea and you're so excited that you just can't hide it then  committee looks forward to hearing from you! Don't be shy! You know and love committee and committee loves you!


Ok I think that's it. Not much more to report but trust me....when that news breaks, I'll be lettering it to you!!

Love you all

Me xxxxx

Sue Maplestone

I have been involved with The Orchard Players since my daughter Lucy and son Rob became members, over 20 years ago.
I joined the committee not long after and took on the role of Treasurer in May 2000.

I also sell the tickets for both shows, at which I am responsible for ‘Front of House’ where I organise a raffle, sell programmes and ice creams.

Over the years with the help of my husband, John, we have organised quiz nights in the village hall to raise much-needed funds for the group.

Emma Cole

I joined The Orchard Players in May 2015 ready for the Summer Show.
Before this I hadn't even heard of the group - if it wasn't for Jenny working with my mum, I probably still wouldn't!

I had just finished a Level 4 Creative Practitioner diploma in Musical Theatre, but was unable to pursue a career in this due to several injuries and operations so was hoping to find something to fill the empty gap - which I did. I really enjoyed the Summer Show, and even Choreographed some of the dances!

After, I decided to audition for the Panto, where I was delighted to play the part of Wendy, in Peter Pan. Due to Lynn and Becky asking me so nicely, I decided to join the committee.

I feel like my experience and professional training can really add to the group, and push us forward to do some brilliant things!

Lynn Perera

Hi, my name is Lynn Perera. I was an active member of The Orchard Players in my youth, regularly participating in summer shows and pantomimes.

I rejoined in March 2014 when I took part in the summer show ‘Let’s Go to the Movies’.
I am now on the committee as Membership Secretary.

My main responsibility is to issue and collect membership forms and fees. So, if you have any membership queries then please don’t hesitate to ask.

I am also one of the group’s choreographers creating dances for both adults and junior

Val Munns

I live in Bentley and am retired.

I work as a volunteer in Bentley Community Shop and as an usher at the New Wolsey Theatre.

I have been a member of The Orchard Players since 1990
I have been involved in most of the productions since then, playing roles ranging from major principal parts to small chorus parts, and also helping backstage.

I have been a committee member for much of the time, and have taken a spell as chairman and as treasurer.
I am currently on the committee and am responsible for hall booking and the website, amongst other things.

During my time with the group, I have produced and directed a number of shows, which include 4 pantomimes and 3 summer shows. Two of these have won NODA Awards.