Groups join forces for farce

Members of the cast of The Miser, the first-ever joint production by Fylde Coast Players and Lytham Anonymous Players
Members of the cast of The Miser, the first-ever joint production by Fylde Coast Players and Lytham Anonymous Players

Two of the Fylde’s oldest amateur theatre groups have joined forces to present a production for the first time in their histories.

Fylde Coast Players, which next year celebrates its 70th anniversary, and Lytham Anonymous Players, founded in 1932, are to perform Molière’s comic play The Miser – outdoors in Lowther Gardens.

They have come together as Lytham Players for the one-off joint venture – and it will also be the first time either group has staged an outdoor production.

The play is being directed by National Operatic and Dramatic Association regional award-winner Heather Cartmell, who is a member of both groups and has been responsible for some of Lytham’s most highly acclaimed productions.

She said: “The idea came about when we were told that Lowther Pavilion would be closing for several months because of the rebuilding work which meant we’d have to look for alternative venues for our summer productions.

“Discussions between the two groups took place and a joint production seemed the best solution and we were all keen on doing an outdoor performance in Lowther Gardens.

“As it happens, the theatre isn’t closing now after all, but we still wanted to go ahead outside.”

The performance is taking place in front of the floral clock in an area which can accommodate about 200 people.

“This is an informal setting and those who attend should bring their own chairs, picnics and whatever they need to enjoy the fun,” added Heather.

“The play itself dates back 350 years but our production is a 1950s translation from the original French and in modern-day language which will appeal to people of all ages.

“Audiences can look forward to bright costumes, fast banter and plenty of audience asides. A real French farce – definitely one for the whole family!

“There’s a big cast of 15 players which has been drawn from members of both groups. Everyone is working very well together and we’re having fantastic fun at rehearsals.”

Lesley Jarvis, chairman of Lytham Anonymous Players, said: “We’re thrilled about this joint production because had the theatre closed we were facing a real problem.

“Several of our people are also members of Fylde Coast Players and this has provided a wonderful opportunity for us to work together for the first time.”

Teresa Mallabone, chairman of Fylde Coast Players, added: “We are delighted to be presenting this great comedy with our friends at Lytham Anonymous Players. It will be a unique occasion.”

The Miser is being performed in Lowther Gardens from Wednesday, July 13 to the following Saturday at 7ppm each night. Tickets details from (01253) 794221.