THAME’S Players Theatre is proving it still has the power to attract big names despite the attractions of Oxford and the recent high-profile opening of the Waterside venue down the road in Aylesbury.
Fears were raised about how the new £42 million project would affect the calibre of performer who could be attracted to Thame.
But the Thame theatre team says the show must go on, even though ticket sales for their seasonal panto show were hit because of the attractions of Cilla Black in Cinderella at the Waterside.
The next star name on the bill is Jess Conrad, who will be performing at the Nelson Street venue next Friday, January 28, and theatre chairman Tony Long has confirmed the shows will keep going on.
He said: “We have been managing to sell our tickets well enough and are confident that level of support will carry on.
“We have a very loyal audience and so we haven’t been too badly affected by the Waterside.”
Mr Long believes that performances from artists like Jess are an important part of the mix.
He said: “For some years now we have been having that sort of calibre coming here and it helps to bring publicity to the theatre.
“Having these stars down makes people more aware that there is a theatre in Thame and as a result helps to sell the shows we put on ourselves.”
Other attractions in coming months include panel show host and wit Nicholas Parsons coming to Thame in March, and the promise by a trio a magicians to make a Harley-Davidson motorbike vanish next month.
The theatre did see a drop in attendance at its Christmas pantomime, which was about 10 per cent down on ticket sales compared to last year.
Mr Long said: “Our panto was a little down on sales and I think that is almost certainly down to the Waterside. They put on a big production in Aylesbury and some people may have chosen to have gone there instead.”
Ticket details for Jess Conrad and future events can be found at www.thameplayers.co.uk.