Welcome to The National Archives

As the summer progresses, we were pleased to welcome our members and friends to join us at an informal play reading evening at The National Archives on Wednesday.  Attendees were shown around The Events Space and were treated to a stellar performance directed by experienced member,  Laurie Coombs and starring Genni Trickett, Elizabeth Parker, Mia Skytte, Polly Beauwin and Alison Arnold. Considering only 2 (and a half) rehearsals were undertaken, we were all overwhelmed by the excellent performance and people were excited to experience our new space first hand for the first time!

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The view from the Events Space looking out over The National Archives
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The play reading in full swing

Needless to say, the committee left full of  ideas for staging our first full show, Three Bags Full, in November.

Also this week, new director Lily Tomlinson got started with rehearsals for her play  reading on Wednesday 22nd August back at the Scout Hut.  Although only 3/5 of the  cast could be present, it was a great start to what looks to be a very funny evening. Get the date in your diary now!

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Finally, after some interesting research into different versions of the play, we are pleased to announce that our second show at The National Archives will be The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, directed by Sarah Hill who recently appeared as Mrs French in Ravenscroft and has previously helped out with lighting and tech support at Q2 over the years. We are extremely excited to have Sarah on board to direct for us.

Don’t forget that the read through and auditions for Three Bags Full are coming up  and our AGM is on Wednesday 5th September too!

See you at the picnic on Sunday!

 

Summer Readings

Over the summer Q2 Players host three rehearsed readings in the Scout Hut from 8pm. These readings are  for members,  potential members and their invited guests and are always well attended. Potential directors are invited to submit a play to the committee and select actors from our members who will then rehearse the play 2 or 3 times.  Summer play readings have then sometimes gone on to be performed as full productions in later seasons. There is a small cover charge to attend our summer readings, however, this includes your first drink free.

The first of our summer readings is this Wednesday 11th July (unfortunately clashing with a certain sporting tournament that England seem to be doing quite well in) and is directed by Alison Arnold, who is a first time director with Q2. Alison has a strong cast which includes Hugh Cox, Wendy Grossman, Cat Lamin, Paul Huggins, Jess Warrior and Craig Cameron-Fisher with a guest appearance by Chris Hodges.

Our second summer reading on 1st August is limited to members only as this is a special welcome event for us at the National Archives. The piece will be directed by experienced director and former chair, Laurie Coombs whose cast includes Genni Trickett, Polly Beauwin, Elizabeth Parker, Alison Arnold and Mia Skytte.

The final rehearsed reading will be directed by new director Lily Tomlinson, we are delighted to support Lily  with taking her first steps towards directing. Keep your eyes open for casting updates soon.

Our summer picnic will also be on Sunday 5th August  so hopefully we’ll see lots of our members there!

Clarification – THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES STEPS IN TO RESCUE LOCAL THEATRE GROUP

We have been asked to make clear to readers that the Alexandra Hall is a part of the Kew Community Centre and administered by the Kew Community Trust. There is no suggestion that the Q2 Players have had to leave as the result of any action taken by St Luke’s Parish Church. We apologise to the Church officers if our announcement has been unintentionally misleading.

The National Archives Steps In To Rescue Local Theatre Group

Q2 Players, Kew’s only amateur theatre group, was on the brink of disbanding last month, until they were spectacularly rescued by an unusual saviour – The National Archives.

The group has quite a history, having been performing in the borough for nearly fifty years.  During this time they have staged a wide variety of plays, ranging from Dickens to Tolstoy to Terry Pratchett, bringing affordable and accessible theatre to the residents of Kew.  Originally known as the Nondescripts, they first performed in St. Anne’s church hall, then moved on to St. Luke’s church hall, both of which have now been repurposed as private homes.  Q2 Players and Richmond Arts Club then joined forces in the Methodist Hall, Kew Road (now private flats) and later moved on to the Barn Church Hall.

For the last thirty years their biannual productions have been staged in the Alexandra Hall of St. Luke’s Church in The Avenue, in friendly partnership with the Kew Community Trust, until recently headed by David Polya.  However, following Mr. Polya’s retirement, significant increases in the hall hire fees left them facing the bleak prospect of having to move out of Kew – or even close the group down permanently.

With time and options running out, they decided to approach The National Archives for help. The National Archives had recently opened a brand new and very smart Events Space which is ideal for Q2 Players’ productions; however, with the theatre group’s limited funds, they held out little hope of being able to afford to hire it.  Nevertheless, they put their case to The National Archives’ Venue Management and Services team, who offered them their support.  The team devised an arrangement which will enable Q2 Players to not only perform in the Events Space twice a year, but also to be involved in and support The National Archives in their regular exhibitions and events.

Harriet Muir, Chair of Q2 Players said: You can imagine our elation when at crisis point, with Q2 Players facing moving out of Kew or closing down altogether, The National Archives stepped in with enthusiastic support to provide us not only with a new venue for our shows, but also the potential for exciting collaborative events. We are extremely grateful to Lee and the team, and we look forward to a happy and inspiring future with them.

Lee Oliver, Head of Venue Management and Services at The National Archives said:

We are very pleased to be able to offer this venue to the Q2 Players for their upcoming shows. We look forward to working with them in the future and inviting their audiences into The National Archives.

The happy and community-spirited collaboration will begin on 18 May, when Q2 Players will be involved in the Archives At Night event “Law Breakers and Law Makers”, charting the course of the suffrage movement. Q2 Players’ next full production, Three Bags Full by Jerome Chodorov, will also be staged in the Events Space at The National Archives, from 22 to the 24 November.

Ravenscroft – Cast Announcement

It’s been a tough couple of weeks, with the read through and auditions for Ravenscroft and we were awed by the incredible range of talent that we had – Inspector Ruffing could’ve been cast three times at the audition!!

After a lot of thought, we are pleased to be able to announce the cast for Ravenscroft which will be:

Inspector Ruffing – Craig Cameron-Fisher
Marcy – Genni Trickett
Mrs Ravenscroft – Alison Arnold
Gillian – Jacinta Collins
Dolly – Lily Tomlinson
Mrs French – Sarah Hill

Thank you to all involved and remember to email q2players@gmail.com if you would be interested in helping out backstage!!

 

Arabian Nights Photos

We are perhaps the luckiest theatre group in South-West London as for Arabian Nights we were graced with TWO incredible professional photographers coming along to take rehearsal shots. It will take me some time to whittle the amazing pictures down to less than 100 for the website, but in the meantime, Q2 Players would love to extend a huge thank you to both Rishi Rai and Ben P G – we honestly couldn’t have asked for a more complimentary pair of photographers.

Take a look at a couple of their photos below:

Arabian Nights a Huge Success

After a few hurdles on the road, we are pleased to announce that the first two nights of Arabian Nights have proven to be a huge success, with audiences leaving full of praise.

It has been a tough road with cast changes and chicken pox, but once again, Q2 have pulled it off.

There are still a few tickets left for the matinee and evening performance tomorrow so make sure you book now while you still have a chance!

Cat

Urgent – help wanted

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we are searching for a man to play Ali Baba in Q2’s production of Arabian Nights, playing dates 23-25 November in Kew. This will double up with several other smaller parts, including a Tailor, Preacher, Fakir and an adventurous young man. The production is very movement-based, so will require good mobility, but nothing very athletic!

The play is written to be done in an imaginative style – logic goes out the window, but there is great scope for fantasy and invention.

Rehearsals are Wednesdays and Thursdays 8.00-10.00pm and Sundays 2.00-5.00pm

Please email q2players@gmail.com if you think you can help!!

Thanks