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1950

Birth of Wick Theatre Company

Betty Dawes speaks of these early days in this video

Unity Players : 1949 – 1951

1949

November 18 – Shoreham Herald

“After two years of effort, Unity Youth Club has at last managed to form a drama group.  The first class will be held in the Civic Restaurant, Fishersgate, at 7 o’clock on Monday evening.

Until now the club has been baulked of its dramatic ambitions for want of an instructor.

Now Mrs Elizabeth Penney has stepped into the breach, and it is anticipated that her wide experience will not only give the group a flying start, but will enable the young players soon to play an important part in local drama.”

1950

April 15 – Shoreham Herald

“The Unity Youth Club [Drama Section] staged their first production before a large and appreciative audience at the Red Triangle Club, Southwick, on Saturday.

The production consisted of four plays, a thriller, two comedies and a drama. The casting and production was in the capable hands of Peter G Elder and the founder of the drama section Mrs. E. Penney.

The four plays – There’s Money Coming To You, Raikes Cross, by Stuart Ready, Before You Roast Your Beef, by T.B. Morris, and La Strega, by S. Fone, proved to be a great success.”

Young Wick Players : 1951 – 1962

1954

June 4 – Shoreham Herald – page 5

“Young Wick Players win with a Fry production”

THE Young Wick Players formed the winning group at the first festival of arts and crafts to be held by Southwick and Fishersgate Community Association at the Community Centre on Saturday.

They achieved distinction by their presentation of Christopher Fry’s A Phoenix Too Frequent. The producer was Elizabeth Penney, who ably staged the piece with a cast of three – Betty Carpenter [Dynamene], Betty Gedge [Doto] and Ian Elliott [Tegeus-Chromis].

The adjudicator, Miss M. Parry, said “Costume and movement were excellent. I congratulate you on attempting a play of this kind.”

Wick Theatre Company: 1962 –

1961

April 21 – Shoreham Herald

“Is the title, The Young Wick Players, a misnomer for an amateur group that has members with ages ranging from 14 to 45?

The Players claim that they are being constantly being misrepresented as a junior Southwick Players, whose rivals they, in fact, are. They are asking, if they should find another name for their group. For example, should they call themselves the Wick Theatre Group, The Wickers Drama Group, Southwick Thespians and so on?

If any reader of Fanfare can think up a title that is likely to properly identify this hard-working group of people who have staged so many excellent productions in the past, there is little doubt that the Players will send him or her free sets for their next production.

If readers write to Fanfare, SHOREHAM HERALD, their suggestions will be forwarded to the Players to select the title they prefer.”

1962

Brighton & Hove Gazette

GROUP DROP ‘YOUNG’ FROM THEIR NAME

“It must be about a year ago that the Young Wick Players first considered changing the name of the group. At that time many people, including myself, thought it would be a mistake.

However, in the meantime it has become increasing obvious to the Young Wicks that they were missing out on audiences because far too many people were of the opinion that the Young Wick Players were just a bunch of kids. I fact, of course, they are a many-sided, talented and comprehensive group with quite an age range.

And at a recent annual meeting they took the plunge and became the Wick theatre Company. Of course, the group have their “bunch of kids” in the 20-strong “Under 21 Group” and a very talented bunch they are, too.”