Bill Marriott inside the prop store

Peterborough playgoers plea for help to find new home for 'Aladdin's cave' of props after being evicted after 70 years

Collection of items used in plays for 70 years needs new home

By Stephen Briggs
Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 11:12 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 4:36 pm

An amateur dramatics group in Peterborough is looking for a new storage location for their ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ of props after being evicted from their current site after 70 years.

The Peterborough Playgoers have used storage shed at the Burghley Mansions complex since the 1940s – but like the residents living at the flats, they have been given a notice to leave the site.

Jennie Dighton, secretary and treasurer of the group said: “The Playgoers have been in existence since 1935, and we have had use of the space for the last 70-75 years.

"But now we have been given two months to get out. We need someone – perhaps a farmer with a barn – to help us find somewhere to store all our items at a reasonable cost.”

Jennie described the storage area as an ‘Aladdin’s cave,’ filled with items used in a range of plays over the years.

She said: “It is full of props, furntoutre, books, china, glasses, posters – all the things you need if you are putting on plays covering a variety of time periods. We have whisky and gin bottles going back to the 1950s and 60s, for example.

"We don’t know how long it will take to clear. If we can’t find somewhere big enough to store it all, we will have to sort through it and see what we could get rid of. It will be heartbreaking to get rid of some of the items. But we will have to be quite ruthless/

"We will struggle to get it all moved in time as well. There are so many items.”

Before being used as a storage area, the group used to carry out play readings and hold committee meetings at Burghley Mansions.

Along with trying to find a new storage location, the group are also starting to prepare for their first performance since the COVID pandemic.

Their production of ‘Murdered to Death,’ a spoof whodunnit, will take place at The Key Theatre from October 5 until October 8.

Anyone who can help find a new location to store their props should contact Jennie on 07715 539069 or email [email protected]

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