Drama group Parish Players hope Covid isn’t a show-stopper

An amateur dramatic society is hoping to raise hundreds of pounds in a bid to stay afloat following the financial devastation of lockdown.

Parish Players, which has been based in Merton Park since the 1950s, has created a GoFundMe page to help fund their pantomime performance of Camelot in May this year.

They have raised £1,490 so far but need to reach £2,000 to “get things back on an even keel”.

Along with putting on performances, members said the main focus of the group was the social side, meeting lifelong friends and partners in a community.

Parish Players last performed in January 2020. That year they rehearsed The 39 Steps but the performance was cancelled in the early days of coronavirus. 

With this cancelled, and pantomime Camelot postponed earlier this month, they received no income but still had to pay for production costs.

This included building the sets, making the costumes, and hiring the props, pyrotechnics and hall. 

Now, the non-profit organisation is struggling with debt and at risk of closure. 

Rehearsals for their January 2016 performance of Cinderella

Caroline Chick, a 34-year-old child psychotherapist, from Merton Park, who has had four generations of her family involved in the Parish Players, described  the group as a special place.

She continued: “We’re just keeping our fingers crossed we can keep it going.”  

Amanda Roberts, 49, from New Malden works for St Mungo’s homeless charity and has been part of the group for 13 years.

She said: “It was the one outing of the week where I didn’t have to think about nappies. Or if I did need to bring the babies with me, I could.”

If you’d like to support their cause you can visit the GoFundMe page here

If you’re interested in joining, email [email protected].

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