Lancing Repertory Players performing pantomimes with passion in our community

After speaking to the @Lancing_Rep on twitter I met up with the Lancing Repertory Players at their HQ in Lancing to watch a rehearsal and see how preparations for their new pantomime “Ali Baba” are coming along.

The Lancing Repertory Players have been producing and performing pantomimes and plays locally for over 60 years. In 1953 they staged “Jack and the Beanstalk” at Lancing Parish Hall. It was the first full scale pantomime to be staged in Lancing by an adult amateur group since the Second World War.


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Photos: panto costumes, make-up session, page of the LRP archives, Susie Pickett rehearsing for “Ali Baba”.

Private space to shine

The LRP in Lancing is unique in that it has its own rehearsal space that it doesn’t share with a yoga class on a Wednesday or a scout group on a Thursday. This spiritual home for the LRP has three main sections, a main hall, wardrobe department and a props and scenery department.

When I attended a dress rehearsal this Friday I was lucky enough to be given a tour around the premises by LRP member Steven Knopf and Sue Duncan the Director of the next LRP production, the pantomime “Ali Baba”. Having a private space away from the performance area really seems to make a difference to the feel of the performances and to the different subjects that they can tackle in the three plays a year they put on.


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Photos: Lancing Repertory Players wardrobes and props areas in their HQ building in Lancing.

As I was given a tour of the wardrobe department I could smell the wartime clothing aroma with some of the outfits being older than the LRP itself. Hats, shoes, dresses, jackets, coats, usually in multiple sets for whatever a performance might be performed, this was the strength of the years’ work sourcing and storing all these fantastic outfits, many made by LRP members many from donations from friends family or supporters.


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Photos: Lancing Repertory Players set design and construction workshop at their HQ building in Lancing.

The largest space is taken for the props, lighting and scenery department which are a paint splattered, dusty Aladdin’s cave of props and scenery that have that same wartime vintage on many of the items. Those LRP members who might be better with a paint brush or at stage lighting than performing to the public at the parish hall might spend many hours here preparing new scenery, backdrops and props for this historic local company.

Fun and a sense of community

The first thing I noticed was that everybody was having fun. Be part of that fun and come and watch “Ali Baba” live, staged at Lancing Parish Hall this January. See the benefit of all the hard work rehearsing, reading lines, practicing songs and painting scenery for yourself; and bring the family.


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Photos: The cast of “Ali Baba” had a lot of fun the night Seth from Lancing Network came to visit.


Get involved with your local community

“Ali Baba” will be staged at Lancing Parish Hall at 7.30pm, Thursday 16th to Saturday 18th of January there will be an additional matinée performance at 3.30pm on the Saturday.

If you want to get involved with the Lancing Rep in any way then just send them a tweet or an email, details at the bottom of this article and on the poster for this year’s pantomime.

As a local theatre group they are always looking for new cast members, set builders, musicians or people looking to have a fun and be part of the local community. The sense of community and family was a really pleasant atmosphere which was energising and uplifting just by being there. Today with so many of us “connected” to our smart phones and tablets all the time, I think we miss out on gatherings of friends like this. I don’t think I saw a smartphone much at all the whole time I was there because everybody was already having so much fun.


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Photos: Ali Baba cast members including 1. Robin Clement; 2. Sue Duncan (director), Steve Martin, Carolyn Cumber, Meg Lake, George Lake; 3. Karen Franklin, Callum Thurman; 4. Steve Martin.


Tickets for Ali Baba can be ordered online

or by calling the box office on 01903 243 558

or by sending a cheque made payable to Lancing Repertory Players to

Box Office, 39 Melrose Avenue, Worthing BN13 1NU.

The ticket prices are £8 for adults and £6 for children.



Ali Baba Jan 2014