Heath Players at Boxhill




 

 

A Brief History of The Heath Players

 

 

When Mary Breaks, then Chairman of the Headley Amateur Dramatic Club, moved to Box Hill in 1962, she called on the Cresswells to ask if Geoff would take part in Headley's next production "Beside the Seaside". Thus she had forged the first link between the two communities which led to the formation of the Heath Players in 1963. There were as many Box Hill members as Headley by that time, so a meeting was called to discuss a new name and Greta Cresswell's suggestion of Heath Players (the Heath being the natural link between Headley and Box Hill) was accepted.

 

 

Headley's amateur group began 1947, having evolved from W.I. members' productions of one act plays. These remained the format until 1951 when David Butler, a Pilot Officer from Headley Court, produced and acted in the first three act play "Quiet Weekend" by Esther McCracken. During rehearsals for this production, David was demobbed and went on to R.A.D.A. The Company helped him with his train fare and he learnt his lines in transit! He became a well known actor and writer. Another well known name who produced for the Company was Mrs Terry Thomas who then lived at Headley Grove.

 

 

All this time the plays were put on in Headley Village Hall which was also used for school dinners, so in term time the set had to be dismantled after each performance and the heavy oak tables which were used for the stage, stowed away. When the plays were occasionally performed at Headley Court and R.A.F. Chessington, how the proper facilities were enjoyed!

 

 

When the newly-built Box Hill Village Hall opened in 1972, the Heath Players decided to make that venue their permanent home, and celebrated with two one act plays followed by a mega production of "The Rape of the Belt". Since then the players have gone from strength to strength with performances varying from Gilbert and Sullivan to Shakespeare and Mediaeval Miracle Plays. In 1987 the Players won the UK Festival with the second act of Noel Coward's Private Lives. In 1996, in collaboration with the Gage Players from Walton-on-the-Hill, the Players staged the World Stage Premiere of Pip Burley's adaptation of "The Slipper and the Rose" at the Riddell Hall in Walton-on-the-Hill

 

We are now a considerable number of years on from those beginnings but it should be noted that the red velvet curtains still in use were made originally for the old stage at Headley by Mary Breaks!

 

 

 

 

 

 



Original programme for an event marking the opening of the Box Hill Village Hall in 1972





Productions 1947 - 1967


Quiet Weekend Ghost Train Beside the Seaside
Bonaventure Badger's Green White Sheep of the Family
Indoor Fireworks Fresh Fields Fumed Oak
Isn't Life Dull Without the Prince Red Velvet Goat
Three in a Room Murder at the Vicarage The Camel's Back
Rookery Nook Sailor Beware The Secret Tent

 

 

 

Productions since 1972

 

1972 They Came to a Cottage

The Rape of the Belt
1973 Separate Tables

Old Time Music Hall

Waiting in the Wings

Trial by Jury

The Mistletoe Bough
1974 Thieves Carnival

Arsenic & Old Lace
1975 Gigi

Old Time Music Hall

A Flash of Gold

Gaslight
1976 The Curious Savage

Blithe Spirit
1977 Plaza Suite

Vivat, Vivat Regina! With The Gage, Jubilee Production
1978 Wilt Thou Take This Woman?

Double Yolk
1979 Lloyd George Knew My Father

Toad of Toad Hall
1980 The Rescue Festival entry

None the Wiser

The Day after the Fair
1981 The Unvarnished Truth

Murder in Company
1982 A Bite of the Apple Festival entry

Cinderella

Aunt Edwina
1983 The Bald Primadonna Festival entry

Midsummer Night's Dream

Miss Letitia
1984 Present Laughter

The Cocktail Party

The Bells
1985 Epsom Reviewed

A Tomb with a View

A Christmas Carol

The Hollow Crown
1986 Private Lives

When We Are Married
1987 Private Lives Festival entry and National Championship Winners

The Farndale Macbeth

Nosferatu

Cup Final
1988 Lord Arthur Savile's Crime

Headley Miracle Plays

Habeas Corpus

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
1989 King Herod Festival entry

Death Trap

Pygmalion
1990 Cause Celebre

The Bespoke Overcoat

The Flesh Game

Woman in Mind
1991 The Bespoke Overcoat Festival entry

Dear Charles

Romeo and Juliet
1992 Pack of Lies

After Magritte

California Suite

Babes in the Wood
1993 The Understanding

The Vigil

I Thought I Heard a Rustling

The School for Scandal
1994 Take Away the Lady

The White Cat
1995 Kindly Leave the Stage

A Bite of the Apple

She Stoops to Conquer
1996 Italian Evening

The Odd Couple

Letters from Lovers

The Slipper and the Rose Co-production with The Gage
1997 Dead Ringer

Celtic Evening

Mother Goose
1998 On Golden Pond

Fumed Oak

Last Tango on Box Hill

Separate Tables
1999 Murder at the Vicarage

Flaming June

A Lad in a Manger
2000 The Darling Buds of May

Black Comedy
2001 Shed Aid

The Heiress
2002 The Junipere Affair Co-production with The Gage
2003 Dead and Alive
2004 Plaza Suite, Act 3
2005 Plaza Suite, Act 3 Leatherhead Festival entry

84 Charing Cross Road
2006 Toad of Toad Hall Co-production with The Gage
2007 A Respectable Funeral
2008 Quartet

A Respectable Funeral Leatherhead Festival entry

Two Radio Plays
2009 England and St George

Dick Whittington
2010 Caught on the Hop
2011 In Room Five Hundred and Four, and Songs of the Forties

The Drunkard, and Victorian Evening Co-production with The Gage
2012 The Droitwich Discovery, and Shakespearean Evening
2013
Memories and Melodies


A Quizzical pre Christmas Cabaret

2014 A Trio of Tales

A Month of Sundays

2015 A Friend of Ronnies

Don't Blame it on the Boots

2016 The Last Bread Pudding

What's Cooking?

2017 Sparrows and Seagulls