Drama group is primed for Keeping Up Appearances

Members of The Whitechapel Players in rehearsals
Members of The Whitechapel Players in rehearsals

A theatre group is asking for new people to keep up appearances for its latest production.

The Whitechapel Players is casting the net for its next set of stars to perform in Keeping Up Appearances, a play based on the BBC sitcom centred on the eccentric and snobbish middle class social climber Hyacinth Bucket, who insists that her surname is pronounced “Bouquet.”

There will be a read-through at Whitechapel Village Hall on Thursday February 16 at 7.30pm, with auditions on Sunday February 19, at 2pm.

The play will be held between April 26 and 29.

Jozanda Summerbell, who is organising the auditions, said: “The Whitechapel Players has always been a very local group, which has grown by adding friends of friends.

“But as people are getting older, we are keen for new members from Longridge, Garstang and Preston. I live in Fulwood and it is only 20 minutes away.

“We chose Keeping Up Appearances as it is a well known play, so hopefully this will entice people in. The play is a stage version of the popular BBC sitcom. It has the same characters that people know and love.

“The plot is centred around Hyacinth putting on an art exhibition at the local village hall but it clashes with her neighbour’s play. She then wants a main part, much to her neighbour’s annoyance.”

The Whitechapel Players was founded in 1970 by the then headmaster of Whitechapel School, Trev Birdsall.

Membership was restricted to local residents but this proved to be limiting so talent was sought further afield and now the group has about 40 members, with nearly 70 plays performed.

One great production was Calendar Girls in 2012, which even included a calendar and raised £3,000 for Rosemere Cancer Foundation and Cancer Help.

The Players also have Luvvies Awards, where bizarre categories are devised and presented to the winners. The thought originated from the well known Oscars held in America.

Jozanda added: “The Players are a closely knit group who are always keen to encourage new members to join especially young members. They can learn all aspects of acting, stage production, back-stage duties, lighting, sound and front of house.”

The group has spawned many local talent, including 18-year-old opera singer Olivia Singleton, who has sung alongside Britain’s Got Talent runner-up Lucy Kay and male classical group Blake at the Symphony at the Tower event for St Catherine’s hospice.

For more information visit www.whitechapelplayers.btck.co.uk and facebook.com/TheWhitechapelPlayers.