A little bit of history...
The ACTS Story
ACTS was founded in 1993 by Susan Morris and Rosie Waring Green after two successful productions - The Grain of Mustard Seed and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat - staged by the Sunday School at St. John’s Church in Alresford. Rosie cut her teeth as producer and director on these productions and, with Susan, recognised a need for such a group to be open to all ages in Alresford - hence the arrival of ACTS.
The next production - Circus - was imaginatively set in a real circus Big-Top from Sun Hill in the open air. Amazingly there was no rain and it was surprisingly mild for March. It actually rained during the night after the last performance and it was then discovered that the roof leaked!
ACTS then moved to Perins School for Come Rain, Come Shine and Traveller’s Tale written by Alresford’s very own Susan Morris and Steve Tilbury. Come Rain, Come Shine was an innovative production using projected images for the Creation scenes and 8 foot tall giants as the 7 Deadly Sins. Traveller’s Tale portrayed a modern-day take on Pilgrim’s Progress with mobile phones, cow-girls, happy shepherds, dancing sheep and, of course, a dragon!
It was always really hard to find a well-known musical with enough roles for children, young people and adults alike. So in 2005 ACTS chose Oliver, and Minna Bruce joined the directing team. There were so many songs known to all of us, it seemed that the time was right to launch into the challenge of producing a musical that everyone seemed to know and have opinions on! We have always chosen a strong tale of good winning over the darker side of life and Oliver was no exception.
We have also encouraged smaller productions. Sandcastles in 2006 had us rolling in the aisles and there are also the Gala Evenings to showcase individual or small group talents.
2007 provided another opportunity for ‘out-of-the-box’ vision with an outdoor production. This time with no Big-Top to protect us! We were fortunate enough to be able to use the beautiful grounds – and river, of course, of the Weir House – for a production of Toad of Toad Hall. It really was a perfect setting – Ratty actually rowed up the river! After a horrendous first outdoor dress rehearsal, the weather improved day by day and at the end of the week we had a mini-heat wave. Moley became very hot in his fur coat, but it was wonderful to see families with picnics enjoying the late May weather.
ACTS big production in 2009 was a very inspiring and colourful Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with extraordinary effects of people shrinking, falling down large tubes, inflatable costumes and hosts of Oompa Loompas. The 5 foot high candy canes carried down Oxford Street from a sale were a real labour of love!
In 2011 ACTS once again moved to Perins school for The Boyfriend by Sandy Wilson. Predominantly played in the round there were plenty of show stopping songs and slick choreographed numbers. This production had a large cast ranging from all ages and many different parts to be played.
In 2012 ACTS joined with the Sun Hill Infant School's 'Sunshine Singers' for their performance of Goldilocks and the Three Bears directed by Ellie Dobner and Produced by Rosie Waring-Green. This was a fabulous display of Children's talent, they sang and danced their hearts out and Goldie got what she deserved in the end!
2013 brought the year of Annie. This was displayed at Perins School with amazing acting, singing and set design, transporting the audience all the way back to 1930s New York. Between dashing costume and stunning performances the show was a huge success with a range of stars of all ages.
Another successful show came in 2014 as Oklahoma! With a simplistic but effective set the show was a big hit with the audience. We had a great team of cast, crew, technical team and musicians. As well as an actual pony taking the limelight at the end!
2015 saw another success - a thoroughly enjoyable production of Half a Sixpence. This was great fun and attracted several new actors and singers including 2 of the major roles.
In 2016, a new team of Directors took on the task of producing Hooked on Pan. This show drew many new faces to the ACTS community and gave great opportunities for many younger actors to take on principle roles. The show was a great success!