Welcome to our first article which looks at the different community groups across Bromley. First up we talk to Dom Lucas who is a member of Bromley Players.
1. Tell me a bit about Bromley Players.
Bromley Players is one of the leading amateur musical theatre companies in Bromley. It is a made up of a diverse and friendly group of people - from 16 to 80, all of whom love theatre and the dramatic arts. The company produces two full shows a year and in many respects demonstrates that depth of talent within the local community. Previous shows have included favourites such as Jesus Christ Superstar, Chess and Legally Blonde, whilst it has also tackled some really thoughtful and interesting pieces such as Rent, Parade and Made in Dagenham - all of which have a real resonance with current events in the world today.
2. What does Bromley Players mean to you?
It safe to say I am a huge supporter. At a personal level It has given me an opportunity to meet and work with some genuinely talented people form all walks of life. From artistic perspective I've had the opportunity to be work in all aspects of theatre - be it performing solo on stage, as part of the crew in the wings or front of house welcoming guests and audience members.
3. What does Bromley Players bring to the local community?
That's a great question and one that can be split in to several answers. Firstly it provides a wonderful artistic outlet for local people who want to get involved in theatre. A fair few of our members have either been to, or have aspiration to go to Drama School. In fact a number of our alumni have trod the boards professionally in the West End.
Secondly BP genuinely delivers value to its audience, both in terms of production quality and affordability. One of the hallmarks of a Bromley Show is it adherence to extremely high production values. Innovative set design, coupled with outstanding performances and choreography and underpinned by first class music all go together to produce performances worth of the West End. I've often joked that the only difference is that in a West End Show the cast get paid.
Finally, being part of the local community, Bromley Players is a microcosm for what can happen when people with a common vision and purpose, from all backgrounds, come together and do something that is greater than their individual selves, and this extends beyond simply putting on a show. Bromley Players has a long history of raising funds and awareness for good causes such as Demelza Children's Hospice, The Anthony Nolan Trust and Billie's fund.
4. Has Bromley Players changed how you look at your community?
Yes, yes it has. I think that it has made me realise how important it is to build community bonds, and to a degree how important art is to the human condition. We thrive on our ability to tell each other stories and share experience. And this is vitally important if we are to connect the many parts of our diverse community. Amateur Dramatics is inextricable linked to the development of the suburbs following the first world war. As people came together f looking to build a new communities, so local amateur dramatic societies were born as means to provide a sense of belonging.
5. Does Bromley Players receive any funding or assistance from the local council?
Sadly It doesn't. All of Bromley Players' shows are funded through ticket sales and contribution from the cast. We don't make a profit.
6. If the local council could change one thing that would help Bromley Players, what would it be?
I would dearly lovely to see the creation of a bespoke community arts space within Bromley itself, for use by societies such as Bromley Players. I would cement our place in the community. To my mind, such an undertaking would provide a cultural focal point for the local community, whilst similarly providing an positive outlet for young people.
If you are part of a local community group and would like to chat to us about what the community group means to you and the impact the local council could have on the group then do get in contact.