The ghost of theatre past helping venue's future

The Voice of The Players Theatre at 120 years old.

The Voice of The Players Theatre at 120 years old! Picture: Lowestoft Players - Credit: Lowestoft Players

A crowdfunding campaign to replace a condemned heating system at the home of a popular theatre group is continuing to attract "amazing" community support.

Since the Lowestoft Players launched a Crowdfunder appeal to Relight My Fire! on Monday, November 23 they've been astounded by the community response.

Within the first 24 hours of the Crowdfunder campaign, £8,370 had been raised to help replace the group's 30-year-old boiler at its home at The Players Theatre on Battery Green Road in Lowestoft.

Now almost £14,000 has been raised within two weeks as part of the £35,000 appeal.

The 30-year-old boiler in The Players Theatre. Picture: Lowestoft Players

The 30-year-old boiler in The Players Theatre. Picture: Lowestoft Players - Credit: Lowestoft Players

Members of the talented Lowestoft Players have now included an online film to promote their campaign.

Ryan Takman, creator and technical team member of the Lowestoft Players for 10 years, said: “Producing a video during lockdown, albeit a very short one is not ideal.

“We had planned to shoot new video clips but the Covid lockdown prevented us from getting together to do that.

Most Read

"We therefore had to use existing footage from our previous shows and photographs from our archives.”

“The one piece of new video which was created for the film was the 120-year-old face and voice of the 120-year-old The Players Theatre, played by Martin Wilson, a member of the Lowestoft Players for over 40 years.

Martin Wilson (right) playing Prime Minister Harrold Wilson in the stage show of Made In Dagenham, performed at The...

Martin Wilson (right) playing Prime Minister Harrold Wilson in the stage show of Made In Dagenham, performed at The Players Theatre in 2018. Picture: Lowestoft Players - Credit: Lowestoft Players

"Martin was filmed at a distance by a work colleague so no Covid rules were broken.”

Mr Wilson said: “The voice of The Players Theatre was a last minute decision.

“I didn’t have much time to prepare but as soon as I knew that it was going to unfortunately be me, I stopped shaving!

"I also went to bed quite late before the day of filming after enjoying one or two pre-Christmas drinks at home. I got up early in the morning and a light dusting of make-up was all that was needed!”

Martin performed his piece in front of a green screen and Ryan was then able to use his home computer to superimpose the figure onto the front of The Players Theatre.

Ryan Takman, from the Lowestoft Players, creator of the short film to promote the Crowdfunding campaign

Ryan Takman, from the Lowestoft Players, creator of the short film to promote the Crowdfunding campaign. Picture: Lowestoft Players - Credit: Lowestoft Players

The film is set to the backing music of Re-Light My Fire, with it finishing with a very cheery and glorious chorus of the hit song performed by some of the Lowestoft Players’ singers.

Visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/players-theatreinfo to donate to the appeal.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter