Watch the Bancroft Players’ Earnest production online as QMT Live is launched

PUBLISHED: 17:17 18 June 2020 | UPDATED: 18:51 18 June 2020

The Bancroft Players' stream of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest can be watched online on Thursday, June 25. Picture: supplied by The Queen Mother Theatre

The Bancroft Players' stream of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest can be watched online on Thursday, June 25. Picture: supplied by The Queen Mother Theatre

The Queen Mother Theatre

With theatres closed for the foreseeable future, The Queen Mother Theatre in Hitchin is bringing the entertainment straight to your home with a new series of online streams.

The first ever production of The Bancroft Players was Pygmalion. Picture: supplied by The Queen Mother TheatreThe first ever production of The Bancroft Players was Pygmalion. Picture: supplied by The Queen Mother Theatre

From next week you can watch a series of online live and pre-recorded shows from The QMT from the comfort of your own home.

The QMT may be closed to the public, but the theatre’s members have been busy behind the scenes during these challenging times.

Happily grabbing a lockdown cocktail, the Bancroft Players have been settling down with Zoom each week to watch other members perform playlets, some written by members.

The Players are now expanding their online activities to friends and patrons.

A copy of the original programme of The Bancroft Players' 1945 production of Pygmalion. Picture: supplied by The Queen Mother TheatreA copy of the original programme of The Bancroft Players' 1945 production of Pygmalion. Picture: supplied by The Queen Mother Theatre

Thursday, June 25 sees the launch of QMT LIVE, with a summer programme of recorded plays plus live-streamed events.

For the more creatively minded, there will be workshops to participate in along with theatre members.

First on the cards for QMT LIVE is The Importance of Being Earnest, the Bancroft Players’ sellout performance from last year.

If you missed Oscar Wilde’s classic or already seen it, enjoy it online. It’s free to all.

The pre-recorded live stream will take place on The QMT Facebook page – Facebook.com/TheQMT – on Thursday, June 25 at 7.45pm.

It will be preceded by a live interview with the director.

Artistic director Rory Reynolds said: “Like all theatres we are unsure when we will be open for customers but as soon as we’re allowed to open our doors, we will – we promise.

“In the meantime we are providing a programme of plays and lively activities. We hope to see you online!”

This is the Bancroft Players’ 75th anniversary year and although celebrations have put on hold for now, Keith Crook, a past treasurer of the society, has compiled much of the history of the Players.

Reflecting on how things have changed since he became a member in 1973, Keith said: “The Bancroft Players have adapted and evolved since 1945 and built their own Queen Mother Theatre in the heart of Hitchin.

“Even if difficult circumstances, we remain innovative and are proud to bring you shows and short plays online in our 75th year, until we meet again.”

Looking beyond these challenging times, local theatregoers can look forward to some exciting developments at The Queen Mother Theatre as plans take shape to provide improved facilities for members and patrons.

For more on The Queen Mother Theatre, visit www.queenmothertheatre.org.uk


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