Taverners The local amateur dramatic group

A brief account of our parish theatricals.

There has long been interest in the village for amateur theatricals and entertainments; Ken Doughty gives an interesting account of some of them in one of his articles published in The mAGpie which you can read here;  “Know Your Parish

Following this tradition, in 2009 Ron Skeates gathered together a collection of very amateur would-be thespians who might be interested in setting up another theatrical group. Fortunately we also had some interest from others who had had more experience; Suzy Owlett, Yvonne Knapman and Bob Burr had all trodden the boards professionally, and Astrid Kemble, Richard Bain and John Ashton had taken part in other local productions. With the help and experience of a “real” actress, director and producer Fay Gordon, who had recently moved to the village, The Taverners was formed.

The first production was a pantomime “Snow White in the spring of 2010; this was followed by several revues and murder mystery plays, and in 2011 another pantomime-type play “Seasonal Scoop”. A full production of Aladdin was then put on the next year in the village hall. Several short Christmas revues have also been produced in the Fisherman’s Rest in December to mark the village Christmas tree lights turn-on.

We were fortunate in having the skills of many local people in our productions. Fay brought so much expertise to our performances including original ideas, clever set design, beautiful costumes and wigs, and above all of that she had the ability to teach and encourage the performers and backstage crew into creditable and very enjoyable performances. We also had the professional skills of John Ashton painting many of our sets, and Chris Reynolds, Rod Laidler and Steve Coggins in making them. John Coates and Fay wrote scripts, and Penny Schroeter was our musical director throughout. There were many memorable actors and performances; Ron Skeates is much missed as our King and/or Father Christmas, and Bob Burr threatened to be forever typecast as a Dame. Each year a new group of  children from the Primary School was involved in our productions, and we have had great support from some of our non-acting members who provided all sorts of help backstage – props, dressers, prompting, lighting and sound, and most importantly, interval refreshments!

The Taverners eventually decided to call an end to its productions. Fay Gordon, the backbone of all of our theatrical performances, left the village to move up-country with husband John (often cast as King or Emperor in our productions), and the death of Ron Skeates was also a sad loss for the group. Younger members went on to Kingsbridge Community College, exams, and other school commitments, and several other members have moved on elsewhere, or have become involved with other community  organisations or events. However, the interest and enthusiasm for the Taverners, both as producers and performers, and in the reception of their audiences, has shown how much this community has to offer – and if anybody felt that they would like to put on any other plays, pantomimes or entertainments, there would be plenty of talent, and very receptive audiences!

 



  • Snow White performance in the village hall

    Snow White performance in the village hall

  • Seasonal Scoop cast members

    Seasonal Scoop cast members

  • The Villain with friends

    The Villain with friends

  • Christmas Revue in rehearsal

    Christmas Revue in rehearsal

  • Christmas Revue - rehearsal

    Christmas Revue - rehearsal

  • Snow White - Courtier blowing his own trumpet!

    Snow White - Courtier blowing his own trumpet!

Contact Details

For more information please contact:

Neill Schroeter – Membership secretary
Tel: 01548 550983
Email: [email protected]

Amy Clayton - Secretary
Tel: 01548 550682
Email: [email protected]

Join Us

The Taverners is a small but friendly group, and since we began in 2009 several new members have joined us. Membership is free, and no one needs to fear stage fright - we are always delighted to welcome anyone to join us whether they wish to be on stage or not.