Southside Players launched in 1987 with our very first production of “Bedroom Farce” by Alan Ayckbourn. Founder members, of who there were about 10, were all previously members of the Intervarsity drama group in central London, and a small select group, a number of whom are still members today, found out they all lived near each other in the SW area and so decided to form a new local group.
Our home for many years was St Luke’s Church Hall on Ramsden Road. We rehearsed and performed here until 1999. Eventually we had no choice but to move, largely because we were very soon going to be homeless as they were going to pull it down and build a new hall, but without a stage. We were fortunate enough to find Chestnut Grove and we have very happily been there ever since.
The move to Chestnut Grove meant a move from a proscenium arch to an intimate “in the round” performance space. It also required us to be more adaptive and flexible, as well as efficient in our “get ins” and get outs”, with set building, technical rehearsals and dress rehearsals all happening over the same weekend. We have adapted beautifully to our second home which now offers us a wonderful and versatile venue. Our audiences have also now come to appreciate the intimate nature of the venue, and what was at first a little daunting for us all is now a positive asset.
Today, Southside has grown to over 60 members and we are looking forward to continuing to deliver high quality “drama on your doorstep” to local audiences.