The Chatsworth Players are at it again – going on tour with their autumn production for six consecutive nights in different venues.
Lindsay Jackson, who is directing the company, said: “We toured with our first two or three productions over ten years ago. We decided to do so again this time because we feel that everyone will want to see John Mortimer’s wonderful adaptation of A Christmas Carol, and it’s extra special if you can see it without having to travel too far.”
Touring, though, is a lot more work. Every night is like a first night - lighting, sets, costumes and props have to be transported around and adapted to different stages.
Lindsay said: “It’s challenging, but that makes it more exciting and fun! Luckily, one of our new backstage crew with professional organisational skills has taken on the role of tour manager, which is fantastic.”
The production is special in other ways too. The unusually large cast of 20 includes half a dozen newcomers aged under 16 – and the society’s youngest-ever performer in the shape of Tiny Tim! The involvement of children throws up various complications, as there are legal responsibilities to ensure that they are kept safe.
Lindsay said: “It’s been an absolute joy, though, to see their development, their growing confidence and the wholehearted way in which they throw themselves into the performance.”
By happy chance, A Christmas Carol is on the current GCSE English literature curriculum. Lindsay, herself a former teacher, knows how helpful it can be to see a live performance of a story that is being studied, so she is hoping that there will be some students in the audiences next month and that the Players can play a small part in helping them to love this Dickens story.
Starting on October 21 at the Whitworth Centre in Darley Dale, productions are at Youlgrave Village Hall, Bakewell Town Hall, and Tideswell Fountain Square
Church, reaching Chatsworth House for the Friday and Saturday performances on October 25 and 26.
The Players and Chatsworth will also host a celebratory black-tie pre-theatre dinner before the Saturday evening performance. ‘Why not dust off your tuxedo and join us there!” said Lindsay.
Tickets are available from the website www.chatsworthplayers.com