Our 55th Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on Tuesday 21 March at our Theatre, the Players Theatre.
Although the meeting focussed on the 2021/22 financial year, it started by remembering five members who had sadly passed during 2022:
Mike Mills, a wonderful performer and singer who played many leading roles in the 1970s and 1980s.
Derek Monument, also a great performer who in his later years very much enjoyed meeting and greeting theatre goers and selling programmes whilst carrying out front of house duties.
June Glennie, not strictly a member, June brought her dance school to perform in many pantomimes over the years. June also choreographed many productions for the society.
Bob McNeil Watson, the musical director for the Lowestoft Players for 23 years. Bob had an amazing musical talent. “If you could hum it, Bob could play it!’ Nick Garrod, Chair of the Lowestoft Players reminisced.
Sadly on Christmas Eve 2022 Emma Pullum lost her short battle with illness. At just 40 years old Emma left behind her husband Andy, member of the back stage crew, son Alfie, aged 13 and daughter Summer who turned nine over the weekend. Alfie and Summer are child performers with The Players. After supporting her family with their theatrical interests for a number of years, before her illness Emma became a popular theatre bar volunteer.
Emma Pullum, with her husband Andy and children Alfie, 13 and Summer, who has just turned nine.
Photo credit: Sam Markwell Photography
On a happier note Nick Garrod explained to all present that a new management structure had been implemented over the last year – An Executive Committee, responsible for strategy, a Production Group – responsible for deciding upon and executing all productions, and finally an Operational Management Group. The Operational Group takes responsibility for the Players Theatre and a costume store in the Town. This includes maintenance, health and safety, events, marketing and developments.
The Chair of each of these groups presented a report on their activities over the year, Jenny Wright, Paula Crisp and Graham Jermyn respectively. Maurice Garrod, Director of Finance also presented a report. He explained that the past 12 months had been financially challenging and like for most organisations rising energy costs are of particular concern.
Four large scale productions had been performed during the financial year by the Lowestoft Players – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – the first post-pandemic production which was a phenomenal success. The Vicar of Dibley – the first play performed by The Lowestoft Players since 2013, and Beauty and the Beast – the first pantomime performed at the Players Theatre.
“It’s been a fantastic year for us” concluded Nick Garrod. “Despite the financial and post-pandemic challenges we can all feel very proud that we have been able to continue to stage quality productions.”
“To be able to carry on in the future we need to attract new members, both on and off the stage. We will always welcome anyone who has enthusiasm and commitment.”
It was announced that the pantomime for January 2024 will be Cinderella. This will be staged at The Marina Theatre.
The meeting finished with the presentation of long service awards, including an award for 40 years to Jenny Wright. During her 40 years Jenny had carried out just about every role imaginable for the society both on and off stage with involvement in 116 shows.
Long service awards were presented to members of The Lowestoft Players at the AGM. Left to right: Paula Crisp, 10 years; Lynda Morgan, 30 years; Ben Norman, 10 years; Jenny Wright, 40 years and Georgi Warren, 10 years. Jill Emmerson and Dave Evans had also accumulated 10 years’ service but they were unable to attend the meeting.
Photo credit: Emma Cullen
Our next production to be staged will be The Hunchback of Notre Dame. There will be 10 performances from 19 to 27 May 2023.