THREE theatre groups have joined forces in order to host a week of open air theatre. Chesham Theatre Company, Panda Players, and Chesham Bois Catholic Players have teamed up to host Chesham Open Air Theatre 2012 taking place at The Bury, in Church Street, Chesham from Saturday, June 30 to Saturday, July 7.
The performances will take place in the grounds of The Bury thanks to the permission of IBB Solicitors, which is based there.
The groups are all now busy rehearsing ready for the opening next weekend.
Chesham Theatre Company member Rachel Shand, who is on the central committee for the festival, said: “Rehearsals are currently going strong with set pieces being built, including beach huts, and we're all looking forward to seeing how it will all be put together in the great outdoors.
“I’m really looking forward to it, I think it's going to be great. I'm really looking forward to when the rehearsals get going in The Bury.”
All the groups will be putting on different genres of theatre to make sure there is something for everyone.
Ms Shand added: “The plan was to try and put on different performances to try and appeal to as many people as possible. We have something for the kids, something humorous and a musical.”
Panda Players will be taking on the musical by celebrating 60 years of British musicals with a ‘Jubilation’, which will include the best songs from the stage including The Boy Friend and Oliver! through to Sunset Boulevard and Billy Elliot, performing hits such as What Kind of Fool Am I?, Any Dream Will Do, and Tell Me On A Sunday. The group will be putting on four performances on Saturday, June 30, Monday, July 2, Wednesday, July 4 and Friday, July 6 at 7.30pm.
Chesham Theatre Company is hoping to bring a smile to people’s faces with its performance of Sandcastles by Bob Larbey. We all like to be beside the seaside and as everybody knows, an Englishman’s home is his sandcastle. Stan, Bernice, Billet, William and Margaret Patterson have been taking their holidays in the same resort for years.
They do not exactly rule the waves but they have turned the area around their beach huts into a cosy little fiefdom. And then along comes Doug, with his nubile nieces. They do not give a hoot for beach hut protocol – they just want to have fun in the sun. Throw in awkward women and the stage is set for a fun packed evening. There will be four chances to catch the show on Sunday, July 1, Tuesday, July 3, Thursday, July 5, and Saturday, July 7 at 7.30pm.
Chesham Bois Catholic players will be keeping the children and young-at-heart adults entertained when it presents Roald Dahl’s much-loved story Fantastic Mr Fox. The story follows the vain attempts of three farmers, Boggis, Bunce and Bean, one fat, one short, one lean, to get rid of the fox who regularly steals food from their farms. They try to kill him by any means possible. Outwitted at every turn, the farmers’ ploys backfire. Fantastic Mr Fox devises a plan which will ensure full stomachs for not only his family, but all his friends, who celebrate with a sumptuous feast.
There will be three performances on Saturday, June 30, Sunday, July 1 and Saturday, July 7 at 2pm.
The doors will open 90 minutes before all the shows are due to start so attendees have plenty of time to find the best spot in the house and enjoy a picnic in the grounds. There will also be a tuck shop with treats available for children and adults alike.
Audience members do not have to fear getting drenched if the heavens open up because cover will be provided to ensure they can enjoy the show while remaining dry.
However, the same cannot be said for the actors...
“It will be great if the weather holds out,” Ms Shand said. “However, if not we will carry on any way and the audience members will be under cover but it will be a great test for the actors!”
Well as they say, the show must go on!
Children are also being given the chance to win a ticket for themselves and an adult by entering a competition. Children are being asked to draw their favourite character or characters from Fantastic Mr Fox. Entries need to be handed into Chesham Library, in Elgiva Lane, Chesham by Monday, June 25. The Mayor of Chesham, Councillor Colette Littley, will pick the winning entry.
All drawings must have the child’s name, age, and the school they attend or their guardian’s contact details.
The groups are already starting to think about next year’s festival and hope to make it even bigger.
Ms Shand added: “Hopefully next year it will be much bigger. These things can only grow.”
Tickets cost £10 (full) and £8 (conc) per show or a season ticket for all shows can be bought for £25 (full) and £20 (conc).
Tickets are available by calling 01494 580 327, emailing 2012CheshamBoxOffice@gmail.com or by popping into Perfect Pitch, in High Street, Chesham.
Saturday, June 30 – Fantastic Mr Fox at 2pm and Jubilation at 7.30pm
Sunday, July 1 – Fantastic Mr Fox at 2pm and Sandcastles at 7.30pm
Monday, July 2 – Jubilation at 7.30pm
Tuesday, July 3 – Sandcastles at 7.30pm
Wednesday, July 4 – Jubilation at 7.30pm
Thursday, July 5 – Sandcastles at 7.30pm
Friday, July 6 – Jubilation at 7.30pm
Saturday - July 7 – Fantastic Mr Fox at 2pm and Sandcastles at 7.30pm