A WINCHESTER amateur theatre group is celebrating its 50th birthday this year.

The Worthy Players was established in 1973 and has put on more than 150 shows including pantomimes, drama, comedy, variety and music hall.

To mark its birthday, a special anniversary booklet is being produced including photos from previous productions, stories and memories from the last five decades from current and past members. A 50th birthday party is also planned for the summer.

The players are returning to their 1970s roots as part of the celebrations, with their latest production of Some Mother Do ‘Ave’ Em. The play, in arrangement with Concorde Theatricals Ltd and written by Guy Unsworth and Raymond Allen, is based on the popular 1970s sitcom featuring the accident-prone Frank Spencer and his long-suffering wife Betty.

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It will be one of the most challenging and ambitious productions ever undertaken by the amateur dramatics group. Chairperson Martin Pettigrew, who will direct the show, said: “We were keen to find a play which celebrated the group's 50-year history and this version of Some Mothers Do ‘Ave’ Em only recently made available by Concorde Theatricals Ltd seemed appropriate and contemporary enough to compliment other recent successes by the group including Cash on Delivery last year and Vicar of Dibley in 2019”.

Rehearsals for Some Mother Do ‘Ave’ Em are well underway, with a complicated set being constructed and the technical team working out how to recreate Frank’s legendary mishaps and disasters. 

The show will take place at the Jubilee Hall in Kings Worthy from May 19 to May 20 and then again on May 26 to May 27. All performances will commence at 7.30pm except on May 27, which will instead start at 6.30pm.  

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All tickets are available from April 3. For more information and ticket sales visit theworthyplayers.co.uk.

The group plans for two productions per year, one taking place in late Spring and a Christmas Pantomime. During rehearsal periods for these shows, the group meets on Tuesday and Wednesday nights at the Jubilee Hall and is always keen to welcome new members whether budding actors, backstage or front of house.

Plans are also already in place for this year’s panto in December which will be Dick Whittington, the same panto performed in the very first production 50 years ago.