Top hatters rise from the ashes

A LOCAL theatre group is marking its 20th anniversary with a celebration concert featuring musical numbers from shows the group has performed over the past two decades.

The Phoenix Players have drawn attention from professional dramatists including Kit Orton, who wrote them a letter of support, and Jonathan Williams. The group originated from The Top Hatters theatre company, who formed in 1946 and were run by the ‘incomparable’ Roy Darby.

Phoenix Players secretary Di Newman said: “When Roy retired at the end of 1991 it seemed appropriate to change the name as Top Hatters was synonymous with Roy. Roy himself chose the name Phoenix Players as he knew the new company was arising from the old.”

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The show will include popular numbers from The Sound Of Music, My Fair Lady, Blitz and Bye Bye Birdie, along with many more from the 40 shows they have performed.

Di said: “We are doing this show to raise funds to enable us to put on our next show. Money is very, very tight and we have the rights to perform The Young Ones – the first amateur company to be allowed to do this new adaptation of the film that starred Cliff Richard.”

An Audience With The Phoenix Players is on May 12 and the ticket price includes cake in the afternoon and cocktail snacks in the evening. At 2pm and 7pm at Houghton Regis Memorial Hall. For tickets call the box office on 01582 596659.

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