Sponsorship for Thame Players helps shows and theatre

Pat Shepherd, chairman of Thame Players, with Simon Vickers, CEO of Rectory Homes.
Pat Shepherd, chairman of Thame Players, with Simon Vickers, CEO of Rectory Homes.

Amateur theatre in Thame has been given a huge boost with a new sponsorship dea.

Rectory Homes, the Haddenham-based developers and builders, are renewing their sponsorship of Thame Players.

The sponsorship, extended for a further year with a review in 2019, follows Rectory’s previous three-year sponsorship of the Players which ended in March.

Thame Players Theatre Company, an amateur theatre group and charity run by volunteers, have been successfully staging their own high-quality productions as well as a varied range of guest shows for almost 75 years.

Rectory Homes’ sponsorship of Thame Players has two strands. One relates to creative development, enhancing productions through the addition of special effects such as musical accompaniment and lighting, as well as the hire of authentic costumes and props.

Thame Players’ highly ambitious outdoor production of Macbeth in 2016, set in the original period, would have been difficult to stage without the benefit of Rectory’s funding. The popular Christmas pantomime has also benefited through the addition of spectacular special effects.

The other strand relates to improvements to the theatre, a former church hall. More than 100 years old, it was converted into a theatre by Thame Players over 40 years ago. Rectory’s support has enabled Thame Players to fund long-term technical improvements, such as back-screen projection which achieves special effects and scene changes more effectively and rapidly than previously possible.

Future improvements include the installation of a new internal acoustic door, co-funded by South Oxfordshire District Council, a redesign of the theatre frontage (with additional sponsorship from other sources), and improvements to the side access. On the creative side, Rectory’s contribution will help Thame Players host celebrity appearances, often requiring sizeable fees, and build in special effects for forthcoming productions such as Oh, What a Lovely War!, set for September.

Simon Vickers, founder and chief executive of Rectory Homes, said: “We are delighted to have been able to help Thame Players, a gem of an asset to the town, and we’re looking forward to continuing to support them over the next year. We take sponsorship at a local level, through the enhancement of community facilities such as arts and sports provision, very seriously.”

Pat Shepherd, chairman of Thame Players, said: “Rectory Homes have supported us magnificently over the past three years. Their generosity is highly appreciated and we look forward to continuing to work with them. Rectory’s support, advice and encouragement are tremendously valued and, by sponsoring Thame Players, Rectory are also contributing to the diversity of arts and entertainment provision in Thame.”

Thame Players’ forthcoming productions at the Players Theatre include Murdered to Death, May 8-12, and A Comedy of Errors July 10-14. For tickets call 01844 217228 or e at www.thameplayers.co.uk