Nantwich Players

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About us

Nantwich Players theatre

NANTWICH PLAYERS was founded in 1927 as Nantwich Play-Reading Circle and is a registered charity. Our main activities are producing seven plays a year (one always staged by our Youth Theatre) and holding regular Tuesday social events. This season we have held play-readings and workshops, gone bowling and contributed to events in the town and had a summer party at the Acklam’s home.

Each play has a different director, and every single play involves new members in one role or another. If you can, or would like to, act, paint, sew, design, serve behind the bar or many other activities that take place off-stage, join us. This is a hobby which can take a lot or a little of your time. Why not give it a try?

Our theatre seats 82 people all with a good view of the stage. Six plays and a Youth Theatre production each year means that the building is in almost constant use. Rehearsals are held on Mondays and Thursdays for the main productions, while the Youth Theatre rehearse and hold workshops during their Friday meetings. Occasionally we are able to hire the building for other activities please contact us for details

Social events take place on Tuesdays. Four Newsletters are sent out each year to Members and Friends.

The Youth Theatre has its own programme of events including theatre workshops and the opportunity to take part in the senior productions.

Two members of The Players have a prepared talk illustrated by a PowerPoint display called "NANTWICH PLAYERS - PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE". This has been presented to several local groups and has been very well received.There is a long history of theatre in Nantwich and The Nantwich Players are proud to be a continuation of that legacy. Join us in a journey exploring theatre in the town from the 1700’s and the history of The Nantwich Players right up to the present day...and beyond!

If you or your group are interested, please email info@nantwichplayers.com, and we will contact you with more details.

History

Nantwich Players have been entertaining audiences since 1931 - having been founded as the Nantwich Play-Reading Circle in 1927. In the early days members were a group of people who loved plays and met to read them in each other’s homes. Play-reading remains part of our current activities with one scheduled most months throughout the year.

Nantwich Players Theatre old building

The theatre when it was our scenery store - as pictured by The Nantwich Chronicle in November 1977

But some members wanted to share that love of plays and started presenting plays to the public in various locations. In early days some were staged in the now-demolished Town Hall by the River Weaver near Welsh Row bridge.

Before the Players’ Theatre opened in 1983 - in a building that was originally constructed in 1724 - we used the Civic Hall for productions. The old Quaker Meeting House off Pillory Street was in use as a council store and the Players rented space for storing scenery etc. When a play was scheduled, the scenery was transported across town to the Civic Hall on a Sunday morning. Technical and dress rehearsals were held, then three performances took place and scenery duly returned to the store the following Friday. (Saturday evenings at the Civic Hall were for dances run by the hall authorities). Rehearsals were held at a variety of venues over the years - in upper-floor rooms of local pubs, in church halls, etc.

None of this was very convenient and by the late 1970s some members were thinking about finding a "place of our own" where we could rehearse, construct the scenery and perform all in the same place. This would give the cast chance to become accustomed to the set they would act on (which way the doors opened - left or right, how much space there was around the scenery etc). Much better than working to chalk marks on the floor of a hired room.

As we were looking for a suitable building which we could afford to buy and run, Nantwich Town Council decided to demolish this little gem of a building because it had become nearly derelict. Bravely the committee decided to spare them the cost of demolition and put in an offer to buy it. Our offer was accepted and the building transformed into the 82-seat theatre which is our home today. At last we had a place to meet, to rehearse and stage our productions.