Am-dram group's annual pantomime sets sail for Beckenham for the first time

News Shopper: Am-dram group's annual pantomime sets sail for Beckenham for the first time Am-dram group's annual pantomime sets sail for Beckenham for the first time

A passionate am-dram group is moving its pantomime venue into News Shopper’s realms for the first time in more than 50 years.

St Mark’s Players are proud to be bringing their family show, Robinson Crusoe, to Beckenham Public Hall in January.

For the past 53 years, the group has performed its annual pantos and summer musical shows at The Stanley Halls in South Norwood.

However, the Grade II listed venue is closing at the end of December for repair, leaving the Players to find a new home for their 2013 production.

Chris Smith-Gillard, chairman and musical director, said: “We are thrilled to have finally agreed dates to perform at the excellent Beckenham Public Hall.

“Our pantos and shows are totally home grown from writing our own scripts, directing, providing the scenery and costumes to having our live band.

“We pride ourselves on affordable fun-filled family pantomimes for children of all ages and the young at heart, whilst at the same time raising funds for local charities.

“The Beckenham Hall is very well maintained and welcoming and has the advantage of easy parking.

“It is quite a challenge to perform in new surroundings, but we are treating it in true Robinson spirit – as an adventure.

“The staff have been extremely helpful in trying to accommodate us and we are very much looking forward to performing there.

“This year we are supporting St Christopher’s Hospice and Demelza Children’s Hospice.”

There will be six performances of Robinson Crusoe, between January 19 and February 2.

The adventurer will be setting off in search of treasure with family and friends aboard Captain Thunderguts’ poor excuse for a ship.

His journey is sure to be full of fun, laughter and possible danger – but if there’s treasure to be found then hoist the main sail.

Writer and director, David Ryland, is one of the original Players and has been in all 53 shows.

He said: “It is a little strange for me as this is the first time I have not been part of the panto cast in 54 years.

“However, I decided to put all my energies into directing this time and watching my vision come to life on stage.

“St Mark’s Players pride themselves on providing traditional family entertainment with slapstick, rollicking songs and the ever-popular audience participation whilst supporting local charities.”

Be sure to book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Visit boxofficediva.com or call 0208 2892674 for tickets.

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