Shooting at Shotover - June 2014
Sequel to Death in a Most Peculiar Manor performed in July 2010. Todd Weinstein (Peter McCulloch) returned to Shotover Manor to film his production of 'Germinator'. Lance (Ryan Cooke) has grown up and was now head of the house, but it seems not great at making sensible decisions. A mix-up with a body found on the estate, and a missing person, later found to be one kidnapped Chuck Westwood (Mike Gibson) required intervention to establish the facts. In walks Mr William Wilby (Peter Ward), once Inspector, now retired and a private detective, who uses a novel way of uncovering the culprit by staging his own death.

Diana Parsmint (Jules Burgum) is released from prison and returns to the manor hoping to get a staring role in the film. Lady Teagle-Bland (Alison Merryweather-Clarke), beside herself with guilt confesses to the kidnapping. Belpull (Graeme Cranfield) all the while supporting Lady Teagle-Bland in her endeavours to protect the Shotover way of life. Foxy Foxton (Jaimie Bunting) once again providing us with his inevitable humorous involvement. We won't mention the Mushroom pie!

An outstanding cast played the two nights to a very happy audience and even the writer Roger Mathewson came along to see us.

Dick Whittington - Feb 2014 An old fashioned pantomime with the good and the bad, and of course they all live happily ever after, yes even the baddies. We start with young Dick (Emily White) being sent on his way to London where unbeknownst to him, he meets his greatest enemy, King Rat (Jaimie Bunting). Along the way Dick is helped by the kind people of London, and secures employment in the home of Sir Edward (Ryan Cooke). Here he falls in love with Alice (Phillipa Noble). Unfortunately his arch nemesis reappears and causes trouble. Poor Dick is sent far away on a mission to deliver some important papers. He has a great adventure and on his return and is reunited with his love. There is also a surprise for Dick’s Aunt Arabella (Alison Meryweather-Clarke) and watch out for a very cheeky cat, Jess (Kitty Taylor) along the way.

George the Gladiator - Feb 2013 The almost true story of the invasion of NorʼLye and how brave George stands alone against the might of the Roman army. Featuring a breathtaking chariot race and terrifying gladiatorial games. Eat your heart out Russell Crowe!

The Scarlett Pumpernickel - Feb 2012 Based in a French village, the local Mayor Gaston (Jaimie Bunting) is ousted from his position by Chauvelin (Olly Roy) the evil Director of Public Safety and his imbecile guards (Ollie Moss and Caitlin Garrison). The Scarlett Pumpernickel, who we find out is really Percy (Megan Wilks) saves the day and falls for the Comtess de boudouir, aka The Golden Gooseberry (Grace Harrison).

A cameo appearance from our regular Graeme Cranfied as the Duc in prison, together with a strangely haunted Chateau provided an interesting setting involving ghosts, skeletons and moving suit of armour. Lot's of songs, dancing and general frivolity ensued.

Collette (Anne-Marie Warner) and Alfie (Jake Woods) fell in love after Alfie tried to teach Collette a dubious Y-dance!

All of the above supported by a great chorus, featuring old and new, some surprisingly strong voices too.

Cause for Alarm - June 2011 Adam Trellows (Peter Ward) comes for a Health & Safety visit to the energy plant and after a silly simple mistake some hillarious moments ensue.

Paul James (Jaimie Bunting) is the plant manager, together with the Technicians Stephen (Andy MacLarty) and Keith (Steve Massie), and the onsite Health and Safety Officer (Rebecca MacLarty) try to put thngs back in order. Supported by Christine (Bryony Woodruff) the PA and Morag (Alison Merryweather-Clarke) the cook with an attitude.

Snow White - February 2011

Death in a Most Peculiar Manor - July 2010 Tomorrow is the glorious twelfth of August and at Shottover Park Sir Edwin Teagle-Bland is preparing for the first shoot of the season. His wife Wilhelmina is trying to carry on life in a   normal way. Sir Edwin, however, does not know that his wayward son, Launcelot, has been sent down from University for taking part in protests for socialist democracy. At the same time, an American film producer, Todd Weinstein is visiting the manor to see whether it would make a suitable location for a period thriller. A young neighbour, Miss Diana Parsmint, has been invited for dinner. Lady Wilhelmina’s sister is a Hollywood actress, Emilia Whitehart, and  Lady W. has returned from visiting her in the U.S.

Each of the characters has a secret: Sir Edwin has a hidden side to him and is not the simple character that he likes to portray. Lady W. has been having an affair with Todd Weinstein while in the States and this is his real reason for visiting the house. Or so she believes. But could it be that he is in reality casing the joint with a view to stealing her famous diamond tiara (the “teagle tiara”) which she was silly enough to boast of when they met in America? Launcelot has run up gambling debts while at Oxford and is desperate to inherit the estate. He has also got Victoria pregnant but has no intention of marrying her. Victoria the maid has lost her pet mouse, Percy. She is currently engaged to Albert the footman and he thinks that he is the father of her baby by immaculate conception. Miss Diana Parsmint is being pursued by Sir Edwin. Belpull the butler knows everything that is going on but says nothing. He also has a secret. This knowledge gives him power but also makes him vulnerable. T.J. Weinstein explains that he has come to Shottover to view the house as a possible location for his next film. He has in mind a gothic thriller in which a Victorian boffin creates a mechanical creature to perform the functions of a major domo.

While this is going on, all Sir Edwin can be bothered with is getting his guns ready for the grand shoot tomorrow. Also on his mind is the possibility of writing his memoirs. Until, that is, a sudden death occurs at Shottover.

am so honoured to be given the chance to direct a play with the Windmill Players. I am even more overwhelmed by the hard work and effort put in by ‘the team’. It is humbling to see that so many are willing to give so much time and effort to bring this challenging piece to the stage for your enjoyment.  - Director

Cinderella - February 2010

Wind in the Willows - July 2009 Mole has a sudden case of spring fever, gives up on his house-cleaning, and wanders in the fields and meadows. He finds himself by a river (he has been such a stay-at-home that he has never seen it before) and meets the Water Rat, who invites Mole onto his boat, something else he has never seen before. "Believe me, my young friend," Rat says dreamily, "there is nothing —absolutely nothing —half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats".

A world of friendships, the joy of carefree wandering, of picnicking, and playing has opened up for Mole. The Water Rat, the Mole and the Badger go to Toad Hall to try to help their friend Mr. Toad who has a bad habit of taking up new hobbies and abandoning them a short while later. He also has a penchant for fast cars and reckless driving. His irresponsible living and extravagance leads to the loss of his home to the barbaric weasels. Toad is always boasting of his adventures and in this tale he has quite a few. After escaping from prison, taking a fast train and a slow barge Toad returns to his three friends and they go into battle to regain Toad Hall.

I have had great pleasure in directing such a lovely cast, they give up so much of their time to be able to entertain you. Saturday morning rehearsals will never be the same without a game of Wii tennis to finish with.
Many thanks also to the crew who work so hard behind the scenes as without them things just wouldn’t happen.

Aladdin - January 2009 Aladdin, the innocent son of a Chinese washer-woman, is tricked by the evil sorcerer Abanazar into retrieving a magic lamp from a subterranean cave. Aladdin is smart enough (or perhaps lucky enough) to realise the lamp’s power and win the hand of the beautiful Princess. The Princess, however, is dumb enough to hand the lamp straight back to Abanazar. It looks for a moment as if the forces of evil might win the day – but everything turns out all right in the end as Aladdin retrieves the lamp and defeats Abanazar in a battle.

Directed by Andrew Walter and Produced by Steve Massie and supported by an on stage cast of 26, this was another amazing production delivery involving interesting props, including a mangle, a life size cut-out of a cast member and even a swimming pool! Attended by over 300 patrons over 3 performances, the feedback gleaned from audience members was wonderful. A big thank you to the audience too, who didn't let us down, with all the booing and hissing and cries of 'behind you'. A real community moment for the history books.

Salad Days - June 2008 Our first musical, an amazing mix of fun and frivolity. Salad Days was a happy, summery musical show with a touch of nostalgia. The story opened at a University as two newly graduated students were trying to decide what to do with the rest of their lives. Jane’s mother was desperate for her daughter to meet and marry some socially acceptable young man, while Timothy’s parents seemed only to want him to start earning some money. The pair met a host of bizarre characters over the summer, most of whom were full of well-meaning advice, and events took more than one unexpected turn before all was resolved at the end. The music varied from lively dance numbers to lyrical melodies, all of which combined to create a mood of light-hearted innocence and fun.

Produced by Nicky Walter and supported by an on stage cast of 25 and our largest crew so far, this was a fantastic combination of talent from our friends the St. Mary's Choir and Windmill Players. We look forward to working closely together in future productions.

Treasure Island - Feb 2008 Sailing onto the stage directed by Steve Massie, Treasure Island relayed the story our heroine young Jemima Hawkins who with her Protector, Lady Trelawney, a rather spirited personage and her trusty companion Miss Livesey, an avid collector of rare butterflies, stumbled across a treasure map hidden in a trunk. Under the stewardship of the stalwart Captain Smollett they set sail from London Town to find fame and fortune. A motley crew abound, a fearsome looking one legged Cook with a Parrot named Captain Flint and female type persons! on board a ship, surely not, it brings bad luck, or so they say...

Robin Hood - April 2007 We brought to you our very own version of the classic tale of Robin Hood – 'panto' style! Not exactly TOTALLY historically accurate, but where's the fun in that? Robin Hood is the archetypal English folk hero; a courteous, pious and swashbuckling outlaw of the medieval era who, in modern versions of the legend, is famous for robbing the rich to feed the poor and fighting against injustice and tyranny. He operated with his fellow outlawed yeomen, named the "Merry Men", from their camp within Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire. All the famous characters were there; Robin Hood, Little John, Will Scarlett, Robin's sweetheart Maid Marian as well as the evil Sherriff and Prince John, as well as a few classic pantomime characters….."OH YES THERE ARE!" Directed by Caz Woodruff the production involved no less than 25 adults and children.

Oliver Twist - Feb 2005 The Charles Dickens classic novel, adapted for the stage by director Steve Mellin, was the Windmill Players' biggest production to date. 28 cast members portrayed 40 characters between them to tell the story of Oliver Twist to sell-out audiences on both nights of the production. An unbelievable effort from all cast and crew made this a very special show with lavish costumes, interesting sets, professional lighting and sound provided by Prism-AV and great songs.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - Feb 2004 Performed over three nights, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" was a magnificent success and played to packed houses on all evenings. L. Frank Baum's 100-year old story was magically brought to life by the cast and crew who had updated the story a little, just to 'make it our own'. There were all the usual characters; Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion and the Witches, but there were appearances by Richard Branson and a mobile phone! The major change from the original story was that it was not based in Kansas, but in North Leigh...After all, "There's no place like home!"

Alice's Tea Party - Jun 2003 A summer revue of songs, sketches and music was performed 'al fresco', and greatly enjoyed by the audience and the performers alike. Luckily the rain held off long enough!

Sleeping Beauty in the Wood - Jan 2003 The first Windmill Player's pantomime was staged in January 2003 and played to full houses on both nights. Music for the pantomime was provided by friends of Witney.

Victorian Evening - Nov 2002 A Victorian weekend was planned by the Memorial Hall committee, and the newly formed Windmill Players were asked to provide an evening's entertainment for the event. The Friday evening's programme included songs from hit West End musicals performed by the younger members of the group, a monologue and a one-act play "The Twelve Pound Look".


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