History-The Leverstock Green Players


A Potty Potted History Of The Leverstock Green Players

NAME :-The Leverstock Green Players, or L.G.P for short. It is believed that there has also been a group in the village at one time called The Leverstock Green Village Players.

BASE :-Leverstock Green Community Centre (members can also be found looking bleary eyed in the Leather Bottle).

FORMED :- Traditional belief is that the Players formed circa 1976/77. However, there is in existence, a photograph of The Leverstock Green Players dated 1956. This appears in a local history book about Leverstock Green and Bennetts End written by Barbara Chapman. Who this group was though remains a mystery.

STAGE PRODUCTIONS :- No fixed format, which enables The Players to present various styles of production; Revue, Variety, Old Time Musicals and Pantomimes. Along the way two shows have had story lines; "APPLE SAUCE" (1980) and "OUR ONCE A YEAR DAY" (1998). Several shows have had themes.

Shows combine of comedy, acting, singing, dancing and the occasional cross-dressing. Special effects, in the form of ultra-violet light, have been utilised in many imaginative ways. With the exception of the serious "Pandora's Box" and a Native American sequence, these have mainly been light hearted and sometimes (although not intentionally) comical.

Films have also been used during productions, most notably in "SPACE FANTASIA" (1989), which showed the moon landing during it's 20th anniversary and also in "STAGERAMA" (1994) which featured Elvis Presley performing Heartbreak Hotel.

REHEARSALS :-The Players rehearse at the Community Centre in Leverstock Green every Thursday night from 7.45pm to 10pm, although this can vary should the need arise.

PERFORMANCES :-The number of performances has varied across the years, originally being one night only, to the current four nights across 2 weekends. Saturday afternoon matinees have been performed for Pantomimes, although it has been a long time since one of these has been staged.

The Players currently perform two full shows a year, in January and July.

OUTSIDE SHOWS :-For many years, in addition to the main shows, The Players used to perform extra shows. These were where organisations and mainly rest homes for the elderly invited the group along to perform for them. On three occasions The Players have performed at the Royal Star and Garter home in Richmond and once at the Queensway Hall in Dunstable.

The Golden Age for these type of shows was the 1980's. So popular were The Players of the mid 1980's that they were forced to restrict shows to a maximum of 4 per month, as some members of the group found that the shows were infiltrating their personal lives. Around the turn of the Millennium, outside shows had become difficult to adminster as many new faces had joined the group and the enthusiasm was never quite the same. A decision was eventually taken to stop them all together, but who knows one day they may return.

CHARITY :-The Leverstock Green Players have been party to charitable events. One show was so successful that it helped to raise enough money to purchase a guide dog called Tapper. The name was inspired by the show's title "THE WHEELTAPPERS AND SHUNTERS CLUB". This show was inspired by a television series. Sadly, its co-host, comedian Colin Crompton contracted cancer, he then became keen on raising money to help in the research of this complaint, even though it was too late for him. This in turn led the Players' then president, John Kennedy, to suggest that the group donate some of the money raised through shows to be put to this cause. This has since become normal practice for the group, although the charities have varied through the years. It is customary nowadays for any money made from the nightly raffle at shows to be given to charity.

DRAMA :-Cicra 1981 The Players considered having a drama section, but the idea was dropped when it was found that the most covenient night for rehearsals was oddly enough a Thursday so members wouldn't be able to cross between the two sections.

During the 1990's the void for a drama group in the village was filled by The Leverstock Green Amatuer Dramatic Society (LADS).

Anyone who thinks our information is incorrect (if you knew the source then believe me there is a good chance of this !!) or would like to add to our dossier, please contact a member of the group or use the e-mail address on this website.