Highcliffe Charity Players
presents Goldolocks and the Three Bears

Nov 2015

This New Year, the award winning Highcliffe Charity Players’ eagerly awaited classic family pantomime at the Regent Centre is the traditional favourite GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS. There are ten performances from 16th – 23rd January 2016, including three matinees, a mid-morning and a tea time ‘meet the cast’ show. Tickets are £10.00 - £13.50 and, as usual, profits will go to local charities.
Who’s been eating my porridge? Animal magic has ensured that Goldilocks and the Three Bears has enchanted generations of panto-goers, and HCP’s new production not only has the ‘Bear’ essentials, but  a menagerie of animal magic.  For Goldilocks is the daughter of circus owner and panto Dame, the outrageous Ma Barnaby. 

So Roll up, Roll up, as Barnaby’s Circus comes to Christchurch. It’s the greatest circus in town, but the evil Baron Von Trappem, with his hapless duo Dunn and Dusted, plans to put them out of business by stealing their animals for his zoo! Goldilocks must save the circus – and Antonio, the romantic Romany (and – of course – the loveable Three Bears) are on hand to ensure a happy ending.

Ensured, too, is HCP’s renowned panto formula for a fantastic fun evening – great sets and costumes, popular show songs, dazzling dance routines, slapstick humour and plenty of audience participation (Oh yes you will!).

Says HCP Chairman Georgina Smith, herself an award winning principal boy, director and choreographer: “Goldilocks was the first panto the Players ever performed at the Regent Centre back in 1986 and we’ve done it twice there since. But this spectacular circus themed version by Peter Long and Keith Rawnsley adds a really exciting and colourful twist to this well-loved tale.”

And for the first time in its 45 year history, HCP’s larger-than life Dame is played by a woman – popular comedienne Christine Duell, Well known to HCP audiences for her many comic character roles she says: “Although I played the Dame for many years with Burley Players, it is a huge honour to now play Dame for the area’s premiere pantomime company, Charity Players. After all, there is nothing like a Dame!”

Playing Goldilocks is 17-year-old Highcliffe schoolgirl Georgia Hilliard. “I have always loved performing”, says Georgia, “and finally built up my confidence to audition for a principal role this year. I was overwhelmed to get the part and couldn’t believe my luck, but now I’m really excited.  Bring on the porridge!” Joining her as the principal boy, Antonio, is Jade Morrell, whose last role was Lily in HCP’s Annie.

The evil Baron is played by long time HCP regular, Dave Coward, and Dunn and Dusted, the bungling Baron’s ‘Brokers Men’, by two more HCP favourites, Mike Young and Pete Whitaker.  This year’s comic lead, the Dame’s gormless son Barney, is taken by HCP stalwart Malcolm George, who is hotly pursued by the giddy Mayor’s daughter Penelope, played by Laura Ward, who is making her panto debut. The Mayor himself is taken by HCP veteran David Gillard MBE and the story teller, Romany Rose, by Beth Chumley. Father Bear is David Fitzgerald, Mummy Bear, Kate Cheetham and Baby Bear,17-year-old Elle Paskins, in her first panto role.

Jointly directing Goldilocks is husband and wife team Shelley and Adam Venables. “This is my second time in the director’s chair”, says Shelley, “but it’s great to be sharing the role and exchanging ideas.  And we are fortunate to have such an enthusiastic and wonderfully talented cast of both HCP favourites and terrific newcomers.”  Adds Adam: “I work on the operations side at the Regent Centre, so I’m delighted to have the opportunity to actually direct a live show there. Just brilliant!”
HCP’s Lucy Lamb is choreographing her first ever show. “Dance is a passion,” she says. “I am really enjoying venturing into the world of choreography and have worked hard to hopefully create some show stopping numbers!” And completing the production team is HCP’s Musical Director, Stuart Darling.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears runs at the Regent Centre for ten performances from 16th to 23rd January 2016. Tickets (£10.00-£13.50) are on sale both at the Regent Centre Box Office (01202 499199) and online: www.regentcentre.co.uk  


Highcliffe Charity Players
presents Sunset Boulevard

May 2015

The award winning Highcliffe Charity Players are staging their first Andrew Lloyd Webber musical – his West End and Broadway smash hit Sunset Boulevard.  This magnificent tale of faded glory and unfulfilled ambition is presented at the Regent Centre, Christchurch, for five performances - including a Saturday matinee - from Wednesday 13th to Saturday 16th May 2015.

Based on Billy Wilder’s classic 1950 film, Sunset Boulevard charts the abortive comeback of faded, aging silent-screen goddess Norma Desmond, who lives in the past in her decaying mansion on the fabled Los Angeles street. When she accidentally meets struggling young Hollywood screenwriter Joe Gillis in dramatic circumstances, she sees in him an opportunity to return to the big screen, but their subsequent passionate and volatile relationship leads to an unforeseen and tragic conclusion.


Highcliffe Charity Players donate £1,100 to Cystic Fibrosis

May 2015

The award winning local amateur theatre group, Highcliffe Charity Players, has donated £500 to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and £500 to one of its members - 19-year-old Charles Michael Duke, who has the disease. HCP also passed on a further cheque for £100 to Charles, given to the Players by the Rotary Club of Southampton West for the charity of HCP’s choice.

Charles Michael Duke, who lives in Hordle, has been a member of HCP for four years. Last year he both directed the Company’s mini panto, Cinderella, which was seen at local holiday parks, and appeared in HCP’s main panto Treasure Island at the Regent Centre.  He has been involved in amateur theatre in the area since he was five, and has always been determined that the life-limiting genetic condition from which he suffers would not stop him from pursuing his ambition to become a professional performer


Christchurch schoolgirl lands role of 'Annie' with HCP
October 2013


A Christchurch schoolgirl has landed the coveted title role in the award-winning Highcliffe Charity Players' musical Annie.

13-year-old Lucy-May Alner, a pupil at Twynham School, will play the child lead when the show opens at the Regent Centre, Christchurch on 28 May.
Lucy-May was chosen from 53 hopefuls aged between 8 and 13, who competed for the role over a six-week series of 'Annie' Audition Workshops with the show's Production Team.

Says Lucy-May, who lives in Christchurch: "It's a dream come true! I have always wanted to play Annie – I first saw the film when I was six and watched the DVD so much. I loved the music immediately and soon knew all the words. I especially liked Sandy the dog! I feel so lucky to have been given this amazing opportunity – I can't wait to get up on stage to play Annie."
Lucy-May has been performing since the age of eight and has already appeared in Oklahoma! at the Pavillion in Bournemouth, Whistle Down the Wind at the Regent Centre and Bugsy Malone at The Mayflower in Southampton.

Kate Claxton, the show's Director says: "I have been delighted and astonished by the amount of talent the girls have shown throughout the workshops. They have all worked so hard.

"Lucy-May stood out because of her incredible ability to perform with maturity and confidence in all of the disciplines. She has a wonderful stage presence and I was drawn to her lovely smile, impeccable dance skills and her focus in the workshops and in the auditions. I am so excited to be working with her."
Rachel Howarth,10, from Bransgore has been chosen as her understudy, and will perform the role of Annie for one performance on the Saturday 31st May matinee.

Annie runs at the Regent Centre for five performances from 28-31 May 2014 (half term week). Tickets are on sale at the Regent Centre Box Office (01202 499199

HCP sing at Stopmin' on the Quomps Launch!

October 2013

Adrian Dwyer (centre), Chairman of Stompin' on the Quomps, pictured with members of Highcliffe Charity Players, who provided the entertainment for a supper cabaret evening held at The Captain's Club, Christchurch, to thank sponsors, volunteers and friends of Stompin' on the Quomps 2013.

HCP win best float at Highcliffe Carnival!
December 2012

New Honorary Member for HCP

April 2012

A member of HCP for over 35 years, local developer and estate agent Stuart Tizzard has been made an Honorary Member of Highcliffe Charity Players for his loyal service to the Society.

The award was announced at this year's recent AGM, when HCP Chairman Georgina Smith presented Stuart with an engraved plaque to go on a seat at the Regent Centre, where he has performed so many memorable roles with the Company over the years.

Said Georgina: "When he isn't busy working or spending time with his family, Stuart enjoys half killing himself racing cars, boats and most recently, picking up speed on a pushbike. Yet he has always found time and remained loyal to Charity Players. He has performed in numerous revues and played some brilliant parts in musicals such as Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls and his most lovable character, Andy Capp. Adding to his talent, he was able to step in, literally at the last minute, to take over for Tony Smith (HCP's co-founder) who had suffered a heart attack in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (in 1990), performing on stage with the script and no rehearsal, but still having the ability to entertain a hall full of people.

"However, he is probably best known for pantomime – first taking on comic side-kicks such as Buttons (in Cinderella) and then moving on to play Dame. Stuart has a wonderful comedy brain, over the years thinking up and performing a variety of outrageous, innovative routines with three legs, swinging boobs and extending arms, which made people cry with laughter! There is no better tonic in life that a good laugh and Stuart has provided the Players and audiences alike with plenty."

Thanking HCP, Stuart replied: "I feel touched by such a lovely gesture from the Charity Players. Over the years I have had so much fun and laughter with them and I look forward to more, (provided I can still get a part!). HCP are such a hugely talented bunch of people and put on shows to rival even the top professionals. I've been so lucky to have been a part of them for so long."
Charity Players now have eleven Honorary Members who have given dedicated service over a number of years, of which Rosemary Barty, Ann Smith and Joan Stones are all founder members. Many still support the Company including sourcing and making props, selling programmes, prompting and helping with catering at summer revues.

Highcliffe Charity Players donate £1,500
to worthy local causes

December 2011

Award-winning local amateur theatre group Highcliffe Charity Players have donated £1,500 to local causes - £500 jointly to Christchurch senior citizens and the Twynham School Innovation Project, £500 to Highcliffe Residents Association for their Old School building renovation work and £500 to Becky Kilford, for her forthcoming Macmillan Cancer Trust Charity Walk on The Great Wall of China.

The cheques were presented by HCP Chairman Georgina Smith who said: "Charity Players love performing, but we also get great satisfaction from being able to support local charities, and we are delighted that this year's donations benefit local people, young and old."

£500 was presented to Brenda Traylen MBE for the fifth year running, to help fund the fish and chip supper she organises for the less mobile in Christchurch every Christmas. "It's wonderful of HCP to continue to help us," said Brenda. "We take out 60 senior citizens who enjoy a meal, as many drinks as they like, and receive a bag of presents from Santa. For many, this is their first outing in months."

The donation was shared with Liz Perry of Twynham School for her Innovation Project. Explained Liz: "We regularly arrange challenging, fun days out for pupils who are in foster care. These outings raise their aspirations and make them feel more valued, which helps to improve their performance at school and their future prospects." Liz was accompanied by 17-year-old Shara Shillcock, who explained how the project had boosted her confidence and she was now at Bournemouth and Poole College studying Animal Care, and 14-year-old Amber Cole, who told how the outings had helped to make her life brighter and more worthwhile.

£500 was presented to John Mather (Chairman) and Vernon Lester (Treasurer) of Highcliffe Residents Association C.I.C. who are currently restoring the grade II listed Old School building in Lymington Road to retain Rainbow Pre-School and create a central community centre for Highliffe. Thanking HCP John said: "We have had to spend a little more than we first anticipated on renovating this 1860s building, but we hope that the whole of Highcliffe, young and old, will benefit. We will start some exciting new community activities shortly and hope to get younger people involved as well. Also, the Pre-School can now plan towards a solid future to teach the next generation."

£500 was presented to Becky Kilford, owner of The Galleon in Highcliffe and a former HCP member, who will be walking part of The Great Wall of China next September for Macmillan Cancer Support. "I am honoured and touched that Charity Players thought of me and my charity for a donation," she said. "Having lost both my Dad and Grandad to cancer, it was a charity I really felt I would like to contribute to. I will be walking up to eight hours a day, covering around 80km by the end of the nine day hike."

The presentations were made during a break in rehearsals for HCP's next pantomime - Red Riding Hood - which runs at the Regent Centre, Christchurch, over ten performances from 21st to 28th January 2012.

The Players will also be giving hundreds of pounds worth of free tickets for their panto to deserving local groups.

Lewis & Viv Torrington
- Honorary Members

March 2011

Lewis and Viv Torrington have been made Honorary Members of Highcliffe Charity Players.

They were also presented with a plaque engraved with their names to go on a seat at the Regent Centre (in the Charity Players' row), together with flowers and a bottle, at HCP'S AGM on March 22.

Said HCP Chairman Georgina: Smith; "Lewis and Viv are very special to the Players - they seem to have been in the Company forever. They are at every show, working behind the scenes, often without being made a huge fuss of and sometimes without even being asked. Somehow they are a part of us and I can't imagine putting on a show without them. So we would like them to accept these gifts with our love and thanks for everything they do."

Thanking the Players Lewis replied: "Viv and I have been with the Players since its first production in 1972. Although we both initially took part in performances, we 'retired' from the stage when the Company moved to the Regent Centre. Indeed, for many years now, I have never actually seen an HCP show as I've always been helping backstage!"

Charity Players now have ten Honorary Members who have given dedicated service to HCP over a number of years, of which Rosemary Barty, Ann Smith and Joan Stones are all founder members. Many still support the Company including sourcing and making props, selling programmes, prompting and helping with catering at summer revues.