The Gallery Players was formed in 1985 by Pat Taplin to produce rarely performed plays and musicals that larger companies would find uneconomic or which only use a few actors. The company quickly established a reputation for quality and excellence. The Groups aims are broadly speaking:
- To exploit a niche for staging productions that are progressive and exciting in both content and execution.
- To embrace both new and established works
- To act as vehicle for engaging new talent as well as established members
- To foster a group of actors and technicians that are truly a community
- To foster links with schools and colleges
We generally stage three productions a year, a mixture of plays and musicals.
Performing lesser known shows is always difficult, particularly when it comes to building an audience and balancing the books, but by sticking to our aims we have grown an audience, that, hopefully, trust us to produce interesting work.
Although we have a strong pool of performers & technicians new blood and talent, on & off stage, is always welcome.
The Gallery Players founder was Pat Taplin, who sadly passed away in 2012; she had great vision and hopefully this will be carried forward by the new steering group. That steering group is Wade Ablitt, Dave Borthwick, Helen Clarke, Will Dowe, Steve Taplin and Steve Wooldridge.
We encourage other directors to take the reins of their own pet projects, allowing them to cast freely and create individual shows with the backing of our excellent technical and production crew. Our only insistence is that the final show should entertain and stimulate our discerning audience and should exude that sense of professionalism we strive for.
Gallery Players have won several awards including the NODA Eastern Area Shield for Best Production with ‘Carnival’ in 1999 and the Councillors Cup in 2000 and 2003 for ‘The Baker’s Wife’ and ‘Kiss Me Like You Mean It’. Our Motto is ‘making theatre exciting’, which we like to think we do, most of the time!
In 2020/21 another Chapter in our history will start when we will take over The New Wolsey Studio in St Georges Street Ipswich and have a ‘home’ for Gallery! It will be known as The Gallery Studio Theatre. As well as presenting all our shows there we will welcome other theatre, community and business groups to use it for their rehearsals, meetings, workshops as well as shows.