Irchester Players

Location Irchester
Contact Alex McKenzie - alex.mckenzie@irchesterplayers.co.uk
Rehearsal Venue Parsons Hall
High Street
Irchester
Northamptonshire
NN29 7AB

We are a performing arts charity based in Irchester, on the east of the county of Northamptonshire. The charity’s membership represents a broad cross-section of society coming from all over the county; and our members range from young to old. As a performing arts charity Irchester Players has a clear mission to widen participation, access, training and education in the performing arts by all people from all walks of life. It is the charity’s ethos to deliver this through community lead and based work.

We rehearse every Wednesday night in the upper rooms of the Irchester Working Men’s Club, and closer to each show we rehearse on Sundays at Parsons Hall itself. Our charitable objectives are as follows:

  1. To advance, improve, develop and maintain public education in, and appreciation of, the art and science of dramatics and music in all its aspects by any means the trustees see fit, including through the presentation of public concerts and recitals.
  2. To advance education for the public benefit of young people in Northamptonshire and the neighbouring counties of England seeking an education or career in the dramatic arts, dance or music through the provision of financial assistance, informal training and teaching, and the opportunity to practice and develop the craft of dramatic arts, dance or musical theatre.

We aim to stage three community based shows every year; a family pantomime in early to mid February, the a revue and play later on in the year – usually around May and October. In addition, we also like to get involved with the local community and run events, shows and revues for other bodies in the village of Irchester and surrounding areas. We also provide access to informal training and education in he performing arts, through workshops and other events for the public and our members.

The charity also has a specific youth element called Irchester Players Youth. This element of the charity focuses on delivering our second charitable objective to training and education young people in the arts. We started life as a members association on 28 January 1977, making the organisation 40 years old. However, the members association was actually active a few years before this official date. Players first began as a play reading group in the 1970s, which met on regular occasions to read plays of the members picking. A small group of members decided to move on to acting and set about staging shows and galas for the local community of Irchester and Wollaston – with a regular slot being dedicated to performing for a mother’s group. Between 1974 and 1975 this small group of actors was coached by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and went on to enter into various play competitions, at which a number of titles were won, including a county title in April 1975. Over this period the group was operating mainly from Wollaston Comprehensive School. Then in 1977 the group moved its focus to Irchester and staged its first ever pantomime, Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp, which ran for two days – 28 and 29 January 1977.

There have been a number of big milestones over the years, inducing moving locations in 1994 and winning our first Noda Award in the early 00s, but none are as big as becoming a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, which occurred on 21 April 2018, when members voted to adopt this new legal structure. Thank you for reading about Irchester Players. Please like our page to stay up-to-date on all things Players!

Irchester Players Charitable Incorporated Organisation

Registered Charity Number 1178179