Acting Up in Rye was formed in Spring 2013. Our first production ‘A Day of Reckoning’, a comedy by Pam Valentine, was directed by Rowena Sterry and staged at Rye Community Centre, which was decked out in bunting to create a village fete atmosphere. In 2018 we voted to change the name back to Rye Players.
Revue with supper ‘Hocus Pocus’, directed by Fiona Osborne.The Community Centre was decorated with a Halloween theme – bats, skeletons and other effects. The cast included a number of younger members, it was nice to see so much budding talent.
- ‘The Volunteers’, a comedy set in a charity shop by Hilary Mackelden, directed by Tony Thomson at Rye Community Centre. A great show, thoroughly enjoyed by all (even Hilary herself in the audience Saturday night)!
- Murder Mystery Evening
- World War 1 review, ‘Smile Boys” That’s The Style!’ – a joint venture with Icklesham Players, directed by Del Smith.
- The pantomime ‘Old Mother Hubbard’, played to near-capacity audiences.
- ‘(Un)Lucky in Love! A Night at the Opera’
- ‘Starting all Over’ – a light comedy by John Peel
- Comedy thriller ‘Wanted One Body’ , very well directed by Janet Stott
- Pantomime ‘Dick Whittington’, directed by Del Smith, reprised at Icklesham in February 2016.
- In 2016 we ran several fundraising events, including Sing-A-Long Sound of Music and a Garden Party at Rae Festing’s garden in the High St, raising money to pay for hire of our new premises.
- ‘Curtain Up!’ a comedy by Peter Quilter. Daughter Theresa (Helen Gray), trapped between the demands of her mother, Pam (Patricia Driver) and new woman, Jackie (Sarah Givertz). Waspish arguments between Pam and Jackie provided bitter-sweet moments in comic situations. Former PA, Sharon (Clare Murray), all punk hair, studs and tattoos, and the gran, Betty (Carol Gasson), had the funniest lines.
- The pantomime Cinderella, played to full houses.
- We also ran several fundraising events, including Sing-A-Long Sound of Music and a Garden Party at Rae Festing’s garden in the High St, raising money to pay for hire of our new premises.
- Mamma Mia!, another successful fundraising event at the Community Centre.
- The Playgoers/The Stepmother – A double bill of Edwardian drawing-room farces directed by Janet Stott
- Aladdin – The Pantomime – Directed by guest director Judy Welsh
In 2015 Acting up in Rye acquired The Old Scout Hut by the Leisure Centre for a costume and scenery store. With the aid of a grant from the Wind Farm we renovated the property, installing a new kitchen, costume and scenery racks. This involved a lot of hard work from the committee and some members, building and painting. Guttering was renewed, drains dug out and roof repaired. We also use the space as a rehearsal venue. A Grand Opening was held in May, performed by Chris Emson, Chair of the committee. This was especially significant as she was Akela in Rye and very involved with Cubs and Scouts for many years.