History

Photographs from various albums

 

 

Trinity Players Pantomimes

Trinity Players’ pantomimes

Although the Trinity Pantomime was revived in the 21st century, here is a cutting from the Barnsley Chronicle about the Under 30s Society pantomime.

A notable Trinity Member from this production of Babes in the Wood (1956) can be found. Read on…

Trinity Players pantomime in the 21st century:

               Jan 2010                                                 Wizard of Oz and Elvis

               Jan 2011                                                  Cinderella

               Dec 2011                                                  Aladdin 

               Feb 2013                                                  Dick Whittington and His Cat

               Jan 2014                                                  Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood

               Jan 2015                                                   Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

               Jan 2016                                                  Jack and the Beanstalk  

               Jan 2017                                                  Sleeping Beauty

               Jan 2018                                                  Cinderella

               Jan 2019                                                 Scarlett and the Enchanted Forest  

               Jan 2020                                                Aladdin 

Trinity Youth Theatre 1970s

The beginnings of youth theatre within Trinity were first mentioned in letters between the church and Trinity Players. On the 23rd August, 1977 there was a request from the Minister for the Players to help the Number 2 Club (N2C) with a drama section.

At a Players committee meeting, it was decided to send the committee to talk with those interested with a view to forming a Junior Section of Trinity Players, ideally not at a N2C meeting night but before say a Players night, providing the membership is not limited to members of the N2C. At a TP general meeting, on 5th September, 1977, the committee wanted to extend interest to both N2C and N1C.

The minister was to be informed that it could not be done on ‘club’ nights but the Players would consider forming a Junior section of the Players of all interested whether members were or were not members of N2C or N1C. The letter was sent the next day to the minister.

The minister, Mr Anderson, replied that the Leaders (of the clubs) were not ready for the Players to visit as they were busy with their own re-organisation. There was no objection to the Players proceeding with their Junior Section with the support of the church. A visit would be fine in due course being understood that it “may be far better to explore your development across the whole church and beyond rather than wait for us.”

At the general meeting of the Players on November 7th, the Players began the creation of the Junior Section and the first meeting of the Junior Players was held at 7pm on Wednesday, 11th January 1978.

Drama on the Move productions

Here is a summary of this fascinating period of Trinity Players’ history.

1978 Beside the Seaside
St Luke’s Church , Worsborough Common 17th Oct
Trades Hall, Racecomon Road 18th Oct
Broadway Pensioners Club, Moorland Avenue 20th Oct
Clayton West URC 21st Oct
Co-op Guild Arcadian Hall, Market Street 24th Oct
Mapp&Staincross Community Centre 31st Oct

1979 Cat Among the Pigeons
Co-op Guild, Arcadian Hall, Market St 23rd Sep
Trades Hall, (Barnsley no1 OAP Assoc) 24th Sep
Broadway Pensioners Club, Moorland Ave 26th Sep
Skelmanthorpe Darby & Joan Club 29th Sep
Mapplewell&Staincross D&J club 30th Sep

1980 Strike Happy
Wade Street Methodist Church, Pogmoor 21st Oct
Trinity URC, Farrar Street 22nd Oct
Broadway Pensioners Club, Moorland Ave 24th Oct
Mapplewell & Staincross Community Centre 28th Oct
Trades Hall, Racecommon Rd 29th Oct

1981 Crystal Clear
St john’s Church School Hall, Dodworth 19th Oct
Co-op Guild Arcadian Hall, Market Street 20t Oct
Trinity URC 21st Oct
Broadway Pensioners Club, Moorland Ave 23rd Oct
Clayton West URC 24th Oct
Wade Street Methodist Church 26th Oct
Mapplewell & Staincross Community Centre 27th Oct
West Melton URC 28th Oct
Woodlands Residential Rest Home 29th Oct
St Luke’s Church, Worsborough Common 30th Oct

1982 The Devil a Saint
Dodworth Church 25th Oct
Mapp & Staincross Darby & Joan Club 26th Oct
West Melton URC 27th Oct
Wade Street Methodist Church 28th Oct
Broadway Pensioners Club 29th Oct
Clayton West URC 30th Oct

1983 Man for The Job
West Melton URC 14th Oct
Woodlands Residential Rest Home 16th Oct
Mapp & Staincross Darby & Joan Club 17th Oct
Trinity URC 18th Oct
Wade Street Methodist Church 19th Oct
Broadway Pensioners Club 20th Oct
Wombwell Methodist Church 21st Oct

1984 Basinful of the Briny
St Thomas’ Church Hall, Gawber 14th May
Trinity URC 16th May
West Melton URC 17th May
Broadway Pensioners Club 18th May
Wombwell Methodist Church 19th May
St Edward’s Church Hall 21st May
Mapp & Staincross Darby & Joan Club 22nd May

1985 Friends and Neighbours
Silkstone Common WI 13th May
Trinity URC 14th May
Wath Wednesday Club 15th May
Pogmoor Methodist Church Wade St 16th May
Buckley Church, Sheffield Rd 17th May
Wombwell Methodist Church 18th May
Mapp & Staincross Darby & Joan Club 21st May

1986 The Love Match
Silkstone Common WI 12th May
Pitt St Methodist Church 13th May
West Melton URC 14th May
Trinity URC 15th May
Buckley Church, Sheffield Rd 16th May
Wombwell Methodist Church 17th May
St Edward’s Church (for Save the Children) 19th May
Mapp & Staincross OAPs (members only) 20th May

1987 Job for the Boy
1988 Fools Paradise
!989 Honey Pot
1990 Cat Among the Pigeons
1991 ?
1992 These Ghoulish Things
1993 Look Who’s Talking
1994 Two one act plays performed as a reading

Drama on the Move

According to some of the more established members of Trinity Players, perhaps Drama On The Move (DOTM) was the most exciting and thorough rewarding and enjoyable activity undertaken by the members. The undertaking involved much hard work but it appears extremely worthwhile.
For over 16 years from 1978 until 1994, the Players performed as many full length plays at a variety of local venues, reaching audiences and, no doubt in the process, gaining new audiences in the process for plays at Trinity Church. Much money was raised for worthy charitable causes at a range of levels.

It appears that before DOTM, Trinity Players had already established the touring tradition with One Act plays performed for pensioners’ clubs and hospitals in the Barnsley District. Margaret Midgley, the Players’ secretary, wrote to The English Theatre Guild in June, 1978 applying for the rights to perform the full length play “Beside the Seaside”. A polite if humble request was to seek a reduced rate as no charge was made for admission at the various venues, Trinity Players charging for a small fee towards performing rights and production expenses.

Being a church group and raising money for the Church and Trinity’s production costs, Margaret hope that the Guild would look kindly upon Trinity Players. Within the week, The English Theatre Guild allowed a half performance fee rate for each performance. ( for the record that was £4 plus 32p VAT instead of £8 plus 64p VAT! ).

In the following years, the deal was struck by Margaret with Samuel French, who continued to offer an acceptable concessionary price for the rights. In arriving at the fees, Samuel French required the number of shows planned and the planned size of audiences for each venue.

The secretary had considerable work to do, most being done by letter in gathering the data and contacting Samuel French. However, the pattern was now set and the ball began to roll.

A play at last..

Finally, the major objective of Trinity Players came to fruition with Boeing Boeing, the play planned and cancelled in 1974 and which was presented as a reading performance late in 1974. The same cast finally came together in 1975, on stage, with lights, costume and set. Let the Chronicle say it all:

What of course followed was a string of productions, generally two a year with one in spring and another in autumn. Generally, they were comedies and very often northern in character. 

Occasionally a title was revisited. People joined and stayed, people came but once. Such is the nature of societies. No doubt there was conflict and arguments within the society but that is what tends to happen in most societies over time. 

There were exciting and adventurous activities which this document will describe in later chapters but now perhaps, now that Trinity has achieved its major objective, to look back at what was going on before 1973, the year of Trinity Players year of creation.

 

Boeing Boeing to take off?

The 16th January saw a request for 8 copies of Boeing Boeing by Marc Camoletti at a cost of £4.25. The planned first rehearsal was for “Tuesday of next week”. And so the wheels were in motion. A busy contribution to Church life in the run up to Christmas and now copies of their first chosen full length play were on their way. A date was set for the production, that being 6th to the 10th March 1974.

The Players received outside request to provide “some dramatic entertainment at a coffee evening” for November 1974 for St john’s Church, Wombwell. The entertainment was requested to be about an hour without the Players were not expected “to go to any great inconvenience”. It was decided to decline the request but perhaps a seed was sown for the development of a later and exciting chapter in the life of Trinity Players. Out of house requests were only an addition to the in house requests. A contribution to Easter celebrations in April 1974 was declined due to the Players’s commitment to producing their first full length play.

But the play seems to have run into problems. Casting difficulties and membership commitment to the play made the answer a no to the church, especially as many members would be away at Easter. This letter of reply indicated that Boeing Boeing had been postponed from March to 15th to 18th May.

A letter, from Margaret reads quite disappointedly from the Players point of view. The play was now not on the cards. The Players threw themselves into the church activities offering to take part in services on the 5th May performing “Suffer Little Children”. The piece was virtually written by the Players. There was another offer of performing to support Missionary Sunday (?). The lack of a play but desperately wanting to perform and keep interest alive within and without the Players performed a reading of “My Flesh, My Blood” by Bill Naughton. The play had been performed by Farrar Street Players in 1965 and the audience “were given a good evening’s entertainment.” (programme available).

At the AGM of 1974, there were 17 members in attendance and in the conclusion to her report to the AGM, Margaret Midgley acknowledges that the Players have made their mark and achieved the aim of contributing to the “total witness of the Church and make a real contribution to worship”. But she ends by saying that the Society is ”doomed to failure” if the objective to do plays is not made.
The dates for an autumn production had already been applied for and the Players accepted the new dates of October 2nd to 5th, 1974. “Let us hope for more success in 1974-75” wrote Margaret at the end of her AGM report.

The Players began the year with a balance of £60.81. The year’s activities saw subscriptions add £3 with the wine evening adding a further £2.57. The play readings brought in a further income of £5.73. The major expenditure was £10 listed as Gift Effort.

In June 1974, the Players received at their request a copy of an extract from the Report to the Church Meeting. It expressed gratitude for the Players’ participation within the worship structure of the Church year and its special occasions….”when they are able.” It continued.” I can understand…and also accept that they have high standards…and only produce the best…and I would plead for a policy where the young and interested but not so perfect have at least a back door…and that some productions are arranged less for the leading artist….and more for the enthusiast…who one day…may be great.” (The ellipses are in the Trinity typed copy).

It is after this that the dates in October became unavailable. Something seems to have spiked the wheel of progress however. No play was produced. The dates were no longer available. The Players could only offer a reading performance of Boeing Boeing on 15th October. Although the audience was small in number, they were greatly appreciative of the high standard of production.

Supporting Church Activity

The Players presented “Where the Saints have Trod” during the Sunday evening service of 21st July. A three act performance [cast list available]was given with 13 members taking part on stage. The Players received thanks “for not only their fine performances, but also for their co-operation and help afterwards in serving refreshements” £16 was collected for missionary funds.

Where The Saints Have Trod

Act one: Missionary HQ, Antioch. 49AD
Narrator Bill Moss
Paul (a missionary) Felix Squires
Barnabas (his colleague) Eric Cook
Mark Eric Bray

Act two : The house of Lydia, a fashion buyer

Silas (Paul’s young assistant) Keith Bowker
Epaphroditus (Clement’s son) Peter Bray
Euodias ( a middle aged spinster) Margaret Midgley
Syntyche (——–ditto—————-) Barbara Spence
Lydia ( a fashion buyer ) Jean Cook
Clement (the town gaoler ) Eric Cook
Charis (an ex-fortune teller ) Susan Fletcher
Party Guests Other members of the cast

Act three : Spouters’ Corner (SC)

Dionysius (Secretary of the SC Association) Eric Bray
Intellectual (Knowledgeable woman ) Sandra Carter
Epicurean girl (Feather brained) Susan Fletcher
Stoic woman ( middle aged, hymn booked) Sandra Thornley
Yob Keith Bowker
Damaris (teenager) Susan Hardy
Hecklers Other members of the cast

And new curtains were on the way! Quotes were obtained from Zerny’s at 70p a yard with Franklin’s of Sheffield coming in with 65p a yard for a 48 inch width.

And so 1974 slipped by. Another theatre visit was successfully organised. This time to the Crucible Theatre in November to see a performance of ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’. A party of 33 attended, members and friends. Notably, among the young cast were David Neilson (Roy Cropper) and Pam Ferris (Call the Midwife, Darling Buds of May). [Incidentally, The Crucible had on offer a three course special party menu for £1.85! Extra fish course for 45p!]

Come and Behold Him was presented on the evening of Sunday, 22nd December. This production involved seven children from the Junior Church and with the choir made this “ …a colourful, moving production.”

So, once again a new year beckons. 1974 and still without a full stage production, the Players had spring dates and a play in mind which, and, despite their frustrations of being unnoticed or relying on their Farrar Street reputation which was fading and now out of the restrictions made upon the use of that former name, Trinity Players were about to take to the stage.

The Next Steps 1973

What happened after the intial meetting on February 22nd 1973 with the church, were events that would end up with a constitution and much activity but no productions. Disappointing for a theatre group that had been very active, well known and successful. The group was not without drive and direction.

Most of the early energy was spent in the set up of the group. Margaret Midgely’s reply to the minister was not at all cowing in tone. Trinity went on the front foot. For the first year only one play was anticipated. This was not to be for reasons you will discover. She went on to say that Farrar Street Players had had 41 years of building a name and could command five hundred seats sold in a week.

Old issues were challenged. The previous chapter made mention of membership and openness of the group. Margaret states that Farrar Street Players were only a church group but became open prior to this ‘new society’. Going on, she states that Trinity will ‘fit in’ within the constraints, saying that homes could be used earlier in the rehearsal period.

Despite this concession, Margaret, in a hand written note states quite clearly that “We have no intention of becoming a ‘house group’ and it is essential that rehearsal accommodation be found on church premises.” Further, it was added, ”…we cannot see it in our way possible to produce a play under your (LGA’s) proposed condition…. The Players would welcome further discussion” and requested the Minister to “leave this point open in your report to the elders…” The joint committee of the elders proposed ‘The New Players group’

The main points were set out as follows:
The new society will be invited to contribute to the total witness of the Church and in consultation with the Minister and Elders make a real contribution to worship.
At this point the minister added in a communication to the Players…”Like other church organisations, you will be free to involve people who are not members (of Trinity United Reformed Church) and have effective control over your society….you will…be a fully Church related group which means no more than sharing the full aims of the church and presenting your reports and financial statements.”
At last, this clarity allowed Trinity Players could draw up a constitution and a first meeting was held on Monday, 9th April, 1973.

Its prime objective was to further the dramatic arts by performance of plays and aid the church financially. Subs were set at 25p with 15p for concessions. All in all, this was duly sent to the Minister and Trinity Players would meet on the 30th April to draft a programme. The Barnsley Chronicle reported the change in name with a quote from Bill Moss. “The current interest and numbers are very encouraging indeed. A number of play readings will be held throughout the summer and autumn and a full production will be presented in spring, 1974”

The creation under the name of Trinity Players

On February 22nd, 1973, the first meeting of the Players committee and the Minister, Lionel G Anderson was held. The name Trinity Players was decided upon. For that first year, that decision was the clearest and easiest made. Farrar Street Players were reborn with a new name. An alternative name suggested was Christchuch Players.

Trinity’s early aims were modest. They would limit their productions to one play. Readings would be held on ‘their’ night which was the first Monday of the month and the first such meeting was planned for the first Monday after April 1st.

It now emerged that the newly formed Trinity Players’ further requests set them upon a collision course with the church.

Trinity Players, under their earlier name of Farrar Street Players, clearly had a following that they were obviously keen to maintain. Although their initial production aims were modest, being one play a year, they wanted their previous audiences to be in no doubt that it was business as usually for Farrar Street Players.

In putting on their planned one production demanded time and space within the church’s calendar. The Players requested a rehearsal time of seven weeks, including play week. This was interpreted as three nights of those seven with a full week of the play’s run. Scenery was to be erected two weeks (the two week block) prior to the run. The seating for the production was set at 150.

After the meeting the Players received a letter dated March 1st, 1973. It was from the Minister. Mr Anderson initially recognises the ‘positive approach taken that evening’ (22/2/1973). And as to the former name of the Players, he said, “It is so vital to the ‘New Church’ that the two former churches
( ie Farrar Street and Regent Street) die completely on March 1st”

Trinity simply wanted to use their former name to promote their new identity. Lionel Anderson conceded that the only the first play only could use this link and he was not agreeable “should a second play be presented….not agreeable to any further mention of the former name.”
Farrar Street Players had been established for the previous 41 years.

On Trinity Players’ request that the group be an open society, that is involving no-church members he had this to say. “You will….be a fully church related group, sharing the full aims of the church, presenting reports and financial statements. …Trinity Players will be free to plan, arrange meetings and need permission of the church for the use of buildings and for the performance of plays.”
He did agree to the two week block for rehearsal time “if advised early enough” but seven weeks at three nights a week was “clearly just not on…..Quite honestly, I could never agree.” He added that it “make any real church life just impossible.” As for two plays, 14 week of the church “just not dare involve itself”. (Where the notion of two plays comes from at this stage I am not quite sure but the quote is of the time.)

The minister suggested use of private home for rehearsal but arrangements for rehearsals in the church would need to be by arrangements with other organisations or plotted liaising with other groups under a co-ordinating committee or Leaders’ Conference.

In Trinity Players response, Bill Moss acknowledged that this was the situation. We “will have to see what happens now.”

Photographs from 1950s to the 1990s

 

 

Some past programmes 1950s onward

 
 
 
 
 Here are further programmes from various sources. There may be some overlap with Barbara’s programmes.

Farrar Street Programmes

Barbara Parkinson’s (nee Jenkinson) programmes

Players press cuttings from 1950s to 1990s

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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