Show must go on say Barton Players after ‘devastating’ equipment theft

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help replace equipment
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An amateur theatre company has been bowled over by the response from the public after thieves stole around £5,000 worth of equipment kept in storage.

The Barton Players lost electrical equipment, a significant amount of stage legs and clamps and a long ladder, which they believe were stolen for the metal content, during the break in on March 30.

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But secretary Keith Badham said the players have been thrilled with the response to an appeal for help and support and have promised the show will still go on.

Equipment from the Players was stolen last weekEquipment from the Players was stolen last week
Equipment from the Players was stolen last week

Local companies and amateur groups, including Westoning Players, have offered help and equipment and the group is determined to continue with plans to perform Blithe Spirit next month as part of their 40th anniversary celebrations.

"Without people's generosity we would not be able to put the show on,” said Keith. "It's brightened our days up a lot, we were absolutely devastated when we found out what had happened.”

The Players are also planning to go ahead with their popular summer school, now in its 19th year, which encourages youngsters in the village to get involved in the arts. Past members of the group have also got in touch offering help and support to keep the productions going.

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Keith said the Players were now hoping people would support the club by buying tickets for Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit on May 30-31 and June at the Village Hall. Tickets are now available at The play tells the tale of a man who accidentally resurrects the ghost of his former wife during a seance.

The Barton Players in their 2023 show A Christmas CarolThe Barton Players in their 2023 show A Christmas Carol
The Barton Players in their 2023 show A Christmas Carol

The group has around 30 members, and Keith described it as being like a family.

"It’s a real family affair,” he said. “We have even won some awards over the years.”

He is also asking for people to keep an eye out for the stolen equipment. He said: “If you are offered anything like this, or see it for sale, please contact us to let us know. We are sure the police will be interested.”

There is also a Just Giving page for people who want to support the group.

"We have been blown away by the Just giving side of things,” said Keith.