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Welcome to the website of Newcastle Emlyn's

The Attic Players

History

The History of the Attic Players with thanks to

Edith M Jenkins, Life President.

'The Attic Players' was formed in 1932 by Mrs Edwin James, when a small group of young people got together and formed a dramatic society known at that time as 'Newcastle Emlyn Dramatic Society'.

These were the days prior to television when the young people who worked in the town were hard put to find entertainment. Most of them came from outside the town, lodging in the town during their working week and returning home at weekends. Mrs James was a stalwart of the Women's Institute and very interested in drama and thus the society was born. Mr Edwin James was then manager of Barclays Bank in town and allowed the young people to rehearse their plays in the spacious attic above the bank. This situation lead to a change of name, hence 'The Attic Players'.

Their first production, called 'Eliza Comes to Stay', was presented for two nights at the Central Hall, now called the Emlyn Hall. Meetings continued to be held in the attic above the bank for several years until 1945 when Mr James retired. Since then rehearsals have taken place in various venues:

The building opposite the Post Office, known then as The Printers.

A function room at the Cawdor Hotel

The billiard room at the Bluebell Inn

Members' homes

In 1973 the Town Council allowed the Company to rent the upper room of the Cawdor Hall giving the Company a more permanent venue, now known as Theatr y Daflod or Attic Theatre, and giving permanent continuity of the name 'The Attic Players'. The first play in their new home was 'Johnny Belinda' by Elmer Harris.

The Company used to present only one play per year but toured the districts, thus providing entertainment outside the immediate area. They entered and won many drama competitions and also gave performances for charity. There was no break, even during the war years when many young men were away in the forces. Some notable productions include:

'The Chiltern Hundreds'

'Pink String and Sealing Wax'

'Boeing Boeing'

'Johnny Belinda'

'And This Was Odd'

'Tomb With a View'

In 1976 the 'Junior Attics' came into being, formed by Mrs Marion Jones, when young people between the ages of 8 and 18 showed their talent. Their first production, 'The Happiest Days of Your Life', was a farcical comedy written by John Dighton and was exceptionally well received.

Many improvements have been carried out in the Theatre over the years. We now have 'tip-up' seating, the floor is carpetted, a box office and tuck shop have been created, and thanks to a lottery grant we have been able to increase our lighting, giving more scope. Although there is no dressing room as such, the Players are grateful to the Town Council for use of the Council Chamber as a dressing room during performances.

Not many small towns can boast an amateur dramtic society lasting over 77 years. May these dedicated people continue to be the 'treasures' in Newcastle Emlyn's 'attic' for many years to come.

Edith M Jenkins.

 

"The Attic Players is an amateur group committed to producing the highest quality live entertainment. The Attic Theatre is situated in Cawdor Hall under the clock tower in the centre of Newcastle Emlyn."

Click here to read all about the Film Festival hosted by Attic in 2014

Please note: the Attic Theatre is on the first floor of a listed building. The public entrance is at the top of a stone staircase outside the building with no wheelchair access. The Attic Players apologise for any inconvenience caused.

 

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