Thespians and their audiences have been lapping up the opportunity to look back at Wick Theatre Company’s history.
Celebrating its 70th anniversary, the Southwick company has put together an exciting heritage exhibition offering a well-presented feast of information for theatre lovers, as well as anyone interested in the history of the town.
Setting the scene is the very earliest history of the company, illustrated with papers, programmes and cuttings collected by the late Betty Dawes, founder member and president for many years.
Rosemary Bouchy, from the publicity team, said: “Among other items of interest there’s a very basic programme which was also used instead of a ticket, thus avoiding a tax on ticket sales. Rather different to the sophisticated colour versions we use today.
“A display of unusual props includes a large pair of automated false teeth that chattered away inside a pair of underpants for a scene in Are You Being Served in 2006 and an absolutely splendid wooden leg, made for Accidental Death of an Anarchist in 2016.”
There is an impressive gallery of black and white portraits showcasing the founders and other early members.
Informative boards illustrate the highlights of each decade, including the formation and subsequent improvement of Southwick Community Centre and The Barn Theatre, where Wick is one of three resident companies.
An £8,800 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund enabled curator Amanda Evans and Peter Joyce, custodian of the archive, to include a television room and audio stands, where visitors can listen to members’ memories.
The exhibition, Bringing Theatre to Southwick for 70 years can be visited at Manor Cottage Heritage Centre, Southwick Street, Southwick, on Saturdays, July 14, 21 and 28, 10.30am to 12.30pm. Entry is free.