Whitstable’s Lindley Players

Lucie moved to wonderful Whitstable almost a decade ago, noting “a real community feel in Whitstable, it’s a friendly place to live and has a bustling, lively atmosphere for such a small town”.

 

They’re not the only reasons why Lucie has stuck around, no, she’s now part of Whitstable’s unique character and heritage as she runs the Lindley Players youth group. Lucie is well and truly a crucial part of the organisation nowadays being “the Publicity Officer, in charge of the website, social media and the mailing list for the theatre. I also act a bit and am currently musical directing the pantomime”. Despite all of that CommunityAd did manage to sit down with Lucie and chat about the joys of local theatre.

 

What was the catalyst for you getting involved and when did you do so?

I first joined because I wanted to be on stage, but stayed because there are so many opportunities to try new things when you’re a company of volunteers who run a theatre! I joined in 2013 and tried a bit of everything. There’s plenty to do and you can dip a toe in or throw yourself in completely – it’s a great hobby, if a little all-encompassing at times!

 

Just how good does it feel to be able to put on productions again after such a long lockdown-induced absence?

When our first show opened post-lockdown, the sound of the audience cheers in response to Dan The Archivist’s opening line ‘Welcome Back!’ was amazing to hear. I think people needed us as much as we needed them! However, we were lucky in that we could spend lockdown making much needed improvements in the theatre – installing new lighting and camera equipment, as well as repainting almost every wall available! It’s a big building and needs a lot of upkeep, so the downtime was used effectively.

 

Performance and theatre have so many benefits to an individual’s wellbeing, have you seen this or experienced it yourself?

If you come along to any pantomime rehearsal you’ll see this immediately! A bit of singing, dancing or acting can turn a bad day into a good one. We’re all ordinary people with various levels of experience but when you’re putting on a show together, it’s like a family.

 

Why is it so important for the local community to support theatre productions and local theatre groups now more than ever?

Theatre took a huge blow during the lockdowns. We were (luckily!) financially stable enough to manage, but many companies struggled. Money troubles aside, the lack of theatre deprived many people from their social environment, and their chance to connect with people. Supporting amateur and professional theatre is so important to help the people get back on their feet, just as much as the theatre companies themselves.

 

Are there any gigs you’re particularly looking forward to in 2022?

We have many hirers already filling up the calendar, special mention goes to Theatrecraft, who are a local amateur group, just like us, finally being able to put on their postponed show ‘Allo ‘Allo which was originally scheduled for 2020. I’m sure people will be thrilled to hear that Neil Duncan will be back with his Elvis tribute act in February, and of course we already have four National Theatre screenings lined up.

 

What have the Lindley Players got up their sleeves for 2022?

We finally get to put on Flare Path! Yay! It’s a complete banger of a play, set in a hotel near an RAF Bomber Command airbase during the Second World War. It’s funny, it’s dramatic, it’s heart-warming… you will love it, and we can’t wait, because it was the show that was due to open the week the first lockdown was announced. The set stayed up for months in the vague hope that it might get to happen, but eventually we realised we’d have to completely reschedule. We start rehearsals again in February and tickets will be on sale soon! Before that we have Aladdin, our first panto since January 2020, and half the tickets have already gone so get in there quickly! Afterwards we have the brilliant comedy God of Carnage, followed by the hilarious One Man, Two Guvnors. Auditions for those last two are early in 2022, so keep an eye on our website for more details…

 

What would you say to readers who fancy becoming a Thespian or helping out on a production, why should they make 2022 the year they join the Players?

There is really something for everyone, and it costs us a mere £20 for a year’s membership! We always need help because we put on so many shows a year, and they all run separately from each other, with different teams of people. There are tons of members who aren’t that interested in watching plays, but they enjoy the creativity of painting, lighting, or building the set for a show.

If you just want to fill up an evening or two and would like to help out in some way, we always need bar staff, front of house staff, ice cream sellers, tea and coffee makers. If you like theatre, enjoy the idea of putting on a show, but have no experience or interest in being on stage, you could come and prompt, or PA a show. There will definitely be something you can do, just pop down during box office opening hours (Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-noon) or during a coffee morning (Saturday 10am-noon) and someone will take you round the theatre and find something for you to do.

 

Anything else you’d like to add at all please feel free?

Our box office is open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-noon. You can visit in person or call 01227 272042 to book tickets. Alternatively, go on our website to find out more about the shows we have available, and things you can do to get involved.

 

To get involved with your local Lindley Players or to enjoy their shows from the safety of shadowed seats, visit their website, Facebook @Playhouse.Whitstable, or Twitter @PlayhouseWhit today.

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