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Gallery at 35

An online celebration of 35 years of exceptional theatre!

Can you remember what was special about 1985? The first mobile phone call in the UK was made? Live Aid? Cherry Coke was introduced? Whitney Houston released her first album? Eastenders premiered on TV? Well, while these are all true can I just give you two words:-

Cowardy Custard

A little known show by that master of sophisticated wit Noel Coward and the first show by a theatre company with no name! ‘directed by Pat Taplin …‘ was the credit above the title. Very shortly after the group did have a name The Gallery Players.
The legend behind the name? There are two schools of thought, to ‘play to the Gallery’ or the fact that early meetings were held above the Taplin Gallery in Woodbridge, you take your choice, even founder Pat Taplin wasn’t quite sure!!

Now, fast forward 36 years and that small company, started by a group of friends, has presented over 100 shows in theatres large and small, involving hundreds of talented performers, artistic geniuses, wonderful technicians and glorious scenic designers & builders and has built an enviable reputation for ‘making theatre exciting’!

2020 was Gallery’s 35th year and a Grand Gala was discussed with potential involvement of many performers and directors old and new. The year was to be ‘topped off’ with the acquisition of our own theatre space The Gallery Studio Theatre. What could go wrong??

Well I don’t have to spell it out do I?

We couldn’t let our Anniversary pass without acknowledging it, but in the midst of a global pandemic we also had to reimagine what we could feasibly do. So we decided to give all of you, our lovely friends and members old and new, a present to savour from the comfort of your own sofas, a ‘virtual’ concert.

‘Gallery at 35’ was first broadcast on our YouTube channel on April 3rd 2021 and is now available to watch anytime. Hopefully it will bring back many happy memories of musicals and plays from our 35 year repertoire that you may have been involved with or watched.
Wade Ablitt masterminded the concert and has coordinated an exciting mix of songs and chat to bring a taste of what has made Gallery special. We even have a sneaky peak inside The Gallery Studio Theatre as we first got the keys back in 2021.

With lockdowns and many restrictions we couldn’t physically involve all our numerous, wonderfully talented fellow cohorts. We hope and trust you understand how much all of you mean to us and to the past and future of Gallery Players. Your combined talents and support will always be reflected in all we do, ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’ comes to mind!

We haven’t ruled out a live Grand Gala with a larger involvement once we are able, but we may have to postpone this to 2025, our 40th Anniversary. So be warned people keep your tap shoes polished and keep stretching!

But in the meantime please enjoy ‘Gallery at 35‘. The concert costs nothing to watch, but we have set up a donation page and if you feel you’d like to help us maintain our wonderful theatre space and contribute to our ‘Are you sitting comfortably?’ campaign

Now we can all perform/enjoy live theatre together again, please accept this virtual concert as our ‘THANK YOU‘ for supporting us during those dark days, we missed you all.

Yours Theatrically,

Gallery Players Steering Group:- Dave, Helen, Steve T, Steve W, Wade and Will

When and Where?

Originally broadcast Saturday 3rd April 2021

Online – via our YouTube Channel