The Ruthern Valley Players were formed in 2015 after a group of local people got together around a kitchen table and formed an amateur dramatic group with the purpose of putting on a pantomime for the local community. A core group was assembled consisting of residents of the parishes of St Breock, Withiel and Saint Wenn.
The first pantomime (‘Cinderella’) was performed at Withiel Village Hall in January 2016. It featured twenty-five actors and a production team of fifteen. Capacity was increased in the following three years with six hundred people attending adaptations of Aladdin and Jack and the Beanstalk and a self-penned piece called ‘Babes in Hustyn Wood.’ The enterprise has expanded to the extent that over seventy people are now involved in putting on the Players’ four performances.
In addition, the Ruthern Valley Players have arranged, in the last two years, drama workshops for local children during their summer holidays. The workshops culminate in short performances for parents and other audience members. This year they performed adaptations of three Roald Dahl stories. 2019 also sees the Player’s inaugural autumn performance, a farce entitled ‘Oh Duck’ and written by one of our foremost performers, Emma Peck.
The group has become a member of the Cornwall Drama Association and the 2018 performance of Aladdin was assessed by Association judges. Comments included ‘This production was a delightful community event’ and ‘A wonderful array of costumes, very good make-up and delightful and innovative dancing’.
The Ruthern Valley Players benefits support from the Withiel Playing Fields Association and numerous local businesses who advertise in our programmes. Funds are raised via various activities held at Withiel Village hall including pub nights, quiz nights and play readings. Community funds deriving from a local renewable energy site have allowed the group to invest in musical and sound effects equipment and a container for storing costumes and props.