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Teme Spirits; Background and history

TEME  SPIRITS

OUR HISTORY

Teme Spirits Light Entertainment Society was formed in 1971 by a group of people interested in theatrical entertainment, namely Zoe Price, Mary Marriott, Sue Phillips and Jean Williams.

Over 40 years later the Society is still going strong with over 30 members, aged 15 to 70, with a wide range of skills that cover not only the performance side but also stage management, lighting, sound, wardrobe and make-up.

Over recent years the productions have alternated on an annual basis between a pantomime one year and a major show the next. Several pantomimes and original musical shows have been written by members as well as some original songs. We find that this way there seems to be something to entertain everyone.

Since our first show we have had numerous backstage stalwarts – some for a short while and some we can’t get rid of!! Zoe Price produced Old Tyme Music Hall in 1972 and 1973 and Derek Evans also produced two shows. Sue Phillips followed with numerous memorable productions, some with assistance from our current producer, Carole Pigram, who has been in the Society for 50 shows and producer for over 40 of them.

We have been fortunate to have had wonderful musical directors from Jean Williams to our present indispensable Katie Mohamed. Our fondly remembered Freda Harroway continued staunchly to support us even after retiring on her 25th show at the age of 89.

The Wardrobe Department has survived with just four people. Mary Rowlands began, followed by Liz Shaw. Edwinda Owen first became wardrobe mistress in 1977 for Aladdin and went on to stitch and pin for 30 productions. She was partnered by Sandra Sharp for several of them who has stitched for 20 shows herself to date, as well as four years as stage manager.  Sandra has latterly been aided by Val Bailey.  Our costumes are also made available to other organisations and individuals for a small donation.

The job of stage manager is demanding, having to oversee the design and construction of the sets as well as manage a crew for scene changes with speed and silence! Vic Vickery held the reins for many years and then the job fell into the industrious hands of Ann Lloyd, Mike Reakes and Alan Whitefoot. Jo Packham is our current stage manager with her first show being Dick Whittington in 2009.

We all want to be seen so we are very grateful to our lighting teams from Roy Machin who shone for the first 15 shows to Dave Hawkes for his 17 show record. Craig Gerrard and Les Bufton have also done us proud. Marty Jones lights up our lives now and has for company Paul Whitefoot who has produced all the sound effects for more than a dozen shows.

There are so many more people who have helped us behind the scenes from Mary Marriott, Gladys Moore, Lois Hawkes, Carole Oliver and Petra Archer in the make-up department; Joyce Lloyd, Mandy Eccles and currently Nikki Warwick on prompt; Betty Capner, Ann Clarke and currently Carol Powell on props to Marjorie Wanklin, Norah Barratt, Winnie Davies and Joan Siviter overseeing the audience refreshments plus numerous helpers in all departments.

Front of house has had its fair share of helpers in the guise of husbands and friends, Malcolm Pigram, Ted Spencer, Alan Whitefoot, John and Julia Roberts to name but a few and we are very grateful to all of them.

There are, of course, numerous others that have helped us over the years and played an enormous part in our productions whether it be backstage, front of house, refreshments, ticket sales, photographers and, of course, past and present cast members; unfortunately we cannot name them all but without them and our ever loyal audiences Teme Spirits would not exist.  

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