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On with the show for charity champions The Community Players

Community Players in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz which is running at Hasland Playhouse.
Community Players in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz which is running at Hasland Playhouse.

The Community Players of Chesterfield launch their latest fund-raising show this month after raising nearly £90,000 for charities and good causes during the past 29 years.

They present their all-singing, all-dancing production of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” at Hasland Playhouse Theatre from Thursday, January 25, to Saturday, February 3 (excluding January 28, 29, 30).

This year’s panto sees two new script writers taking the helm - Linda Barker who is a retired nurse and Stuart Buckton, an IT manager at DXC Technology.

Kaye Gilbert, a teaching assistant at Barlborough Primary School continues her role as director, choreographer, and musical director of the production.

This year has been particularly hard for the Community Players after they lost a much-loved member, Carol Waterhouse, to cancer earlier in the year. With some of Carol’s family already actively involved in the players it seemed very fitting that the rest of her family join the players both on and off stage as well as this year’s production being dedicated to her.

Susan Hutchinson has done a fabulous job with this year’s costumes and Jamie Valentine has surpassed himself with the designing and painting of the new sets. The pantomime cast includes Megan Burdon, Angela Burns, Amanda Close, Hannah Fagan, Sean Fagan, Kaye Gilbert, Maria-Louise Gilbert, Hayley Heath, Jill Hesketh, Lucy Johnson, Mark Johnson, Charlotte Jones, Tom Oxley, Julie Sykes, Jamie Valentine and Courtnay Wattam. 
Within a week of the cast starting their rehearsals for this year’s production they were informed that the rehearsal space had been condemned. Having nowhere to rehearse it was a race against time to find another suitable place at short notice, fortunately Medisys Global Solutions Ltd & Amethyst Property Solutions Ltd based in Staveley came to the rescue.

Since 2003 the company has staged their shows in Hasland Playhouse where their performances have been enhanced by the lighting and sound expertise of Peter Davies and Tom Bannister, both members of Hasland Theatre Company.

Tickets cost £7 each and are on sale via Paul Gilbert on 07470070319, with all proceeds going to local charities and organisations.