BPG ……HOW IT ALL STARTED
In 1980 Richard Mooney decided to form a panto group, they called themselves The Royal British Legion Players. Richard wrote the first production, “Dick Whittington” and with the help and direction of Dorothy Pounting they performed it in 1981 at the Victoria Hall to great acclaim. All proceeds went to local charities. The first members to take part included, Tony and Margaret Crawley, Irene Cruickshank, Anne Adsett, Margaret Haines, Rhoda and Anita Buckland-Large, Yvonne Finch, Mary Forster, Wynn Mooney, Teresa Mills, Les Hovard, Vernon Rowledge and “Smithy” Smith. Musical Director was Nancy Cole.
Richard became the first Chairman and the annual membership was set at £10. (It is not a great deal more now at £18!). In 1982 they became Bourton Panto Group.
Over the years there have been many memorable productions and moments. Following the end of the show “Me and my Girl” in 2004, Richard arranged for an amazing afternoon to be held in the grounds of “The Glebe”. The owner Mrs George was so supportive……everyone was in costume and had their photographs taken with an amazing old car.
Two of the productions were held at The Cotswold School, namely “Oliver” in 1993, “The King and I” in 1995. This was to facilitate a larger venue with tiered seating and were sell-outs!
Flying became commonplace for Anne Adsett. For one production Anne was cast as a fairy. She flew from the back of the hall and landed on the stage. Joyce Walsh as choreographer taught Anne the finer points of “flying through the air with the greatest of ease”. The stunt cost £1000!
Watch this space for further glimpses of the past!