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Backstage with the Clevedon Players
By Jo Cooper
Clevedon Players 1980s production THIS STORY LAST UPDATED:
04 March 2003 0626 GMT

The Bristol area is thriving with amateur thespians, treading the boards for our entertainment.
The cast from a performance 20 years ago
:: This story

> For a full listing of Am-dram productions
Click here

> Internet links

Avon Association of Drama

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So who are these groups and what do they get up to?

Well, here to tell us what really goes on behind the curtain of amateur dramatics,
is chairman of one highly successful group, Jo Cooper of the Clevedon Players.

I have been a member of the Clevedon Players for over 25 years. The group was formed in 1962 and presents four plays each season.

We are very lucky to lease our own headquarters, The Stables, based in former outhouses behind the Clevedon Community Association and Princes Theatre.

We share The Stables with The Clevedon Comedy Club and each group has designated evenings when they can use the rehearsal rooms.

All the scenery is stored and worked on in this building and we also have an extensive wardrobe with many original period items.

Our membership comes from as far afield as Bristol and Weston-super-Mare and we have over 100 members, ranging in age from 18 to 92.

More men

There is a great mix of people in the group but we could always do with more men!

The oldest member is our secretary, Kath Cridland who still plays an active role in the group.

She can still remember the last line of "Arsenic and Old Lace"!

A different person directs each of our plays and they would normally choose what we will perform.

We know what our audience likes and try to provide it.

I am taking a supporting role in our current production, "A Trap for a Lonely Man".

The part is that of a witness, who, for reasons best known to herself, is prepared to support whichever side pays her more.

Keeps you guessing

The play is described as a psychological thriller and certainly keeps you guessing until the very end.

A man reports his wife missing and is contacted by a priest who claims he has found her. But when the lady arrives the husband says she is not his wife.

There appears to be some conspiracy as various witnesses declare that the lady involved is, indeed, Madame Corban.

The failure of the police to believe the man’s story makes him think they are all trying to drive him mad.

The plot twists and turns and the mystery is sustained until the very end.

This play was first presented to The Players about 20 years ago, by the same producer, Jean Harding.

We felt it was a sufficiently powerful and entertaining script to merit a repeat performance.


Six members of this cast are retired so it suits us to hold some of the rehearsals during the day, which is a useful addition to the usual three evenings in the week.

The play can be seen at The Princes Hall, Clevedon, on 20th, 21st, 22nd March at 7.45pm.

Tickets are priced at £6 (£4 for concessions and juniors) which can be obtained on the door or in advance by ringing 0781 6158445.

If you are involved with a local amateur dramatics company and would like to see your group up in lights on the website that loves Bristol - Email us at:




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