Anchor Players

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Anchor Players is an amateur society in the Naval Base, Simonstown, South Africa.


For the general principle, see also Military Entertainment

Founding and aims

Founded in Cape Town in 1947. An amateur society which opened in 1947 for Royal Naval officers and their families at the publicly subscribed Dock Yard Recreation Hall.

In 1957 it opened to all naval types but the Chairman has to be a senior naval officer. The society performed as a purely naval institution for some years, until growing civilian interest in its activities and productions led to the admission of civilians as members. In 1958, the Society was re-named The Anchor Players Dramatic Society and a further fifty five productions were staged in the East Yard Recreation Hall. In 1980 the society moved into the Simonsberg Theatre, West Yard, which was originally a cinema. It offers three productions a year, a pantomime every other year, and is an official South African Defense Force Entertainment Unit. The year 2000 saw the election of the first civilian (and woman!) to chair the Society. The Anchor Players, as a recognised entertainment unit of the South African National Defence Force, maintains its close and amiable relationship with the S A Navy - both the theatre and the Society being under the patronage of Flag Officer Commanding, Naval Base Simon's Town, Rear Admiral J E Louw.

Venues

Dock Yard Recreation Hall

A publicly subscribed Recreation Hall in the Simonstown naval dockyard.

Simonsberg Theatre, or The Theatre in the West Yard

The Simonsberg Theatre – often referred to as The Theatre in the West Dockyard – is an impressive stone structure situated in Simon's Town. Like the town itself, it is imbued with an air of history and was built in 1893 to serve as a naval hall. With seating for 375, it became the theatre of the Anchor Players in 1980.

In June 1980, The Anchor Players' long and happy association with the Recreation Hall was terminated, but happily the Simonsberg Theatre in the West Yard was put at their disposal.

Productions

1947-1957

During the period from May 1947 to December 1957, twenty three productions were staged in the Recreation Hall in the East Yard, including such well known plays as The Middle Watch, Private Lives, See How They Run, Quiet Weekend, On Approval and French Without Tears.

1958-1980

1958 Book of the Month | We Must Kill Toni 1959 Wild Horses | Here We Come Gathering 1960 Snow White | Running Riot | Sailor Beware! 1961 Hippo Dancing | Such Things Happen | Our Town 1962 Doctor In The House | Die Rooi Lëer | Fly Away Peter 1963 The Unexpected Guest | Shall We Join The Lads F | Arsenic and Old Lace | A Month of Sundays 1964 Come Back Peter | Afternoon At The Seaside F | Three One Acts | I Remember Mama 1965 Take One From Two | Hair Do F | As Ons Twee Getroud Is 1966 Die Vonkel In Haar Oë | The Sky Is Overcast F | Strike Happy 1967 Verkiesing Sonder Politiek | The Old Fool F 1968 Make It Murder | Tell Tale Murder 1969 The Irregular Verb to Love | Candied Peel 1970 Miranda | Do Me A Favour 1971 Shock Tactics | Irresistable Albert 1972 Trapped | Untimely Ripp'd F | Let's All Go Down To The Strand 1973 Intent to Murder | All For Mary 1974 The Peaceful Inn | On Monday Next 1975 Counter Crime 1976 Susanna and the Welsh Elders F | The Full Treatment 1979 Doctor In Love | Love's a Luxury 1980 The Good Doctor | The Secret Tent

1981-1997

1998-2003

For more information

(JF) (Source: C. Dilley, Director Simonstown Museum.)

Simon's Town Historical Society Bulletin Vol. 18, Iss 4, , Jul, 3, 1995.

Go to the Anchor Players archived website at http://www.infomotion.co.za/theatre/

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