Two and Two Make Sex
By Richard Harris and Leslie Darbon
Staged as part of the Civic Theatre's 20th birthday celebrations
Tuesday 9th to Saturday 13th May 1978
Assistant Stage Manager
Set Construction and Painting
Costumes and Furnishings
Joan BrownChris Spindley
The Hospital Players were formed in 1943, an idea of a group of firewatchers at the then named War Memorial Hospital. Their aim was to raise money for the Hospital and a cot was installed in our name in the Children’s Ward.
The main pioneers were Mr. Edwin Price, Mr. Harold Curtis and Mr. Fred Crisp (then one of the officers of the Hospital).
Rehearsals in those early days were held in the basement of the hospital and our first productions were staged at the Old Palace Theatre in Cole Street (now the Classic Cinema).
One performance only was given at the Theatre, but each play was taken for “one night stands” in village halls and R.A.F. and Army camps in the area.
These trips out, the difficulties to overcome and the great fun which ensued will long be remembered by the then members. There are two members still with the group from those early times – Joan Brown and Phyllis Dadd.
After the closure of the Palace Theatre, productions were put on in local school halls or the Youth Centre until, in commons with the other local societies, we moved with great thankfulness to the newly built Civic Theatre.
With the nationalisation of hospitals, find raising was no longer a necessity (although we make annual donations to the League of Friends). However, because we could no longer use Hospital premises for rehearsals, it became necessary to find other accommodation. A nissen hut was purchased and erected in East Common Lane for both rehearsal and storage purposes and on the disintegration of this we moved to the Old Library at High Street East, which we shared for many years with the Little Theatre Club.
The group is often asked why it retains the name of the Hospital Players, when it has so little contact with the Hospital. We are of the opinion that, as the town’s oldest existing dramatic society, it is only fitting to retain this line with our original formation.