In 1952 the Dramatic Section of the Ministry of Supply Recreational Association (Aldermaston) hired a hall and presented the play “Jane Steps Out”. Later that year they presented “Message for Margaret”, the first of fourteen productions to be staged in a tiny theatre close to Hampshire/Berkshire border at Tadley.
In 1955 the company took on the shorter title of Boundary Players and a year later had moved up the road to the newly built Recreational Society complex.
Over the next three years the Players performed 4 plays a season and it was in December 1959 that Boundary Players became the first amateur company to stage John Osborne’s play “Look Back In Anger”.
By 1960 there was talk of an improved theatre. However, another two seasons were to pass before this became a reality. During this time a BBC television play “The Liberators” was produced. It was not until two nights into the production that a cast member noticed an anomoly – the typescript had been put together with two scenes in the wrong order. They were duly reversed!
It was at the end of the 1964/65 season that work began to convert the existing building to a lecture theatre, when completed it was (and still is) very impressive with a raked auditorium, a projection room, a 30 foot stage and a generous backstage area.
It was here in the autumn of 1965 that the new season opened with a flourish. Together with reinforcements from the Berkshire Shakespeare Players “The Taming of the Shrew” was presented with an audacious Petruccio roaring through the auditorium in pursuit of Kate. Incidentally, this same production and cast opened the Watermill Theatre at Bagnor.
Recent years have seen the Players yet again being the first in the amateur dramatics world to stage “Wolfsbane” by local author, the late Georgina Reid, and “Man of the Moment” (1994) by Alan Ayckbourn.
Plays produced have been many and varied. Members come and go as work and the community change but, the Boundary Players continue to aim high and work hard for the enjoyment of all concerned, on both sides of the proscenium arch.