THE HOSPITAL PLAYERS: A POTTED HISTORY
1960s - 1980s
The cast of ‘Irma La Douce’ (1966) featured only one (albeit very important) woman
By the 1960s, the steelworks provided a regular supply for young men, allowing The Hospital Players to stage plays with all or predominantly male casts, like 'Seagulls Over Sorrento,' ‘Journey’s End’ and the musical ‘Irma La Douce.’
In 1963, we staged our first children’s play, ‘Toad of Toad Hall,’ and went on to stage a series of children’s shows through to the 1990s. These shows, with their large casts, offered newcomers a chance to ‘tread the boards.’
However, by the late 1960s, we only had about seven active members. A successful production of the Alan Ayckbourn play ‘Relatively Speaking’ (featuring just 4 actors) began to restore the Society’s fortunes. Since then we have performed another 11 Ayckbourn plays, and we reprised ‘Relatively Speaking’ in 2009.
During the 1970s, the Country Arts Association contracted ‘travelling directors’ to promote theatre in the country. Several of these directors worked with us, resulting in productions such as ‘Hotel Paradiso,’ ‘Saturday, Sunday, Monday’ and ‘Canterbury Tales’ (1979).