About The Elstead Theatrical Players
P.E.T.S. AND THE U.R.C. HALLOn September 2nd, 1982, in the front room of a house in Elstead, three people met to discuss the idea of forming a theatre group. It was on this momentous day that the Players of Elstead Theatrical Society, or "P.E.T.S." as it is now known in the village, was formed. (It has been suggested that the three founding members, Peggy, Elaine and Theresa had something to do with the name!)
Having taken the plunge and formed a group of people keen to put on plays and musicals finding a base for the society was vital and so it was, in the autumn of 1982, that P.E.T.S. moved into the U.R.C. hall.
One of the first jobs for this very 'hands on' company was building a proscenium arch over the stage so that the workings of the curtains and lighting could be disguised in true theatrical tradition - keeping the magic of theatre alive.
Every Spring and every Autumn, the hall reverberated to P.E.T.S. latest production. In those days there was a lot of music with revues, operatic spoofs and even a mini musical to celebrate the twinning of Godalming and Mayen. The first play was "Make It Murder" which nearly foundered when the Director was called away to a job abroad just before the opening night, but P.E.T.S. were undeterred and carried on regardless!
So that all members of the company could experience "treading the boards", some of the early plays in the hall were double cast, each character played by two different actors on alternate nights, so quite a large numbers of Elstead residents have experienced a view of the U.R.C. hall from the stage, no doubt through a haze of nerves! However, rehearsing and playing at the hall meant that space was at a premium and the players attempted to solve this by extending the stage with beer crates.
In spite of these complications P.E.T.S. continued to entertain audiences at the hall with such gems as "The Saucy Supper Show" in 1985 and "Beastie and the Beaut" a year later. In 1988 one of the members wrote "A Little of What You Fancy" and P.E.T.S. ladies proved adept at the Can-Can.
Sadly, by 1990 the Players of Elstead had outgrown the U.R.C. Hall which had served them so well and decided to move on to Elstead Village Hall. But they left behind a souvenir to all the happy times they had had there - the proscenium arch standing over the stage.