What do we do?

Starting on a Monday morning each July, between 40 and 50 enthusiastic and talented participants and a raft of volunteer helpers, along with a team of specialist professionals start work at the Nomad Theatre in East Horsley.

The actors work hard everyday throughout the week to rehearse, learning lines, songs and dance routines from scratch.  There are no "limitations" on who can be an actor at Play In A Week.  Everyone is welcome regardless of disability.  All we require is that people come along with enthusiasm, energy and team spirit, and are able to attend every day in order to learn their parts and be an equal part of the Company. 

We engage a small number of specialist professionals to make all this possible for our actors!  A experienced Playwright is commissioned to write our play each year.  It is unique because of the large number of cast members involved and the goal of ensuring that everyone has a worthwhile part to play in the production.  We also aim to include ever popular song and dance numbers, so these must form part of the storyline all of which is written and tailored to suit us!

Our Director then manages and drives the week's rehearsals; inspiring cast, crew and volunteers to stretch themselves, achieve personal goals, and form a cohesive and supportive team having lots of fun!

The Choreographer designs and teaches both dance and movement routines, and helps to direct physical movement around the stage.

The Musical Director composes, writes and teaches the company several songs each year, usually done completely from scratch.  He is also a sound effects wizard who provides "mood" music to order and well as whatever other noises, bangs, crashes, and bizzare sounds the Director decides to throw into every scene of the show!

Off stage other participants, along with volunteers, can be found hard at work all over the theatre during the rehearsal week making costumes, constructing and finding props and scenery to order!  They are also making magic happen in the technical box by planning the customised sound and lighting which gives the final production a professional finish.  Surtitling is written to help improve communication which, along with audio description commentary, are delivered live during each performance. 

Even as the daytime activity dies down and the actors leave the building, there is still a hive of activity going on.  With the stage clear and safe, large items of scenery and backdrops are painted and put in place, lighting rigs can be built, and even the stage floor itself is painted.

At the end the busy week, everything somehow comes together beautifully as the curtain rises on Saturday night, and a paying public audience get to see the results of everyone's hard work.  We have a Sunday matinee show too, and without fail everyone goes home at the end of it all totally elated and justifiably proud of their achievements. 

Work then starts straight away for the team of organisers to kick off the year-long programme of planning and fundraising for next time.

The Nomad Theatre is a very special building, tucked away behind the Bishopsmead Parade shops in East Horsley, Surrey.  From roots in the 1950's in a converted builder's store, the theatre as it stands today was built and opened in 1999 as a fully accessible theatre for both performers and audience.  The professional quality building contains a 120 seat auditorium, a flat stage with a motorised revolve and a licenced green room bar area.  What this means for Play In A Week is that all stage areas are fully accessible for our participants, including lift access upstairs to use dressing rooms, the control room, and also to access the juliet balcony.  The on-site parking facilities allow for easy car and minibus access for participants.