Our first production was two one act plays at the Ryan Theatre, in May 2008, 'Parentcraft' and 'Darlings, You Were Wonderful!'. It was a huge success, one reviewer describing it as "superbly-acted and very funny", and "this was indeed a wonderful performance from these fine amateur thespians, particularly so as this was their debut performance as a group".
We followed with 'Stepping Out', a hilarious tap dancing comedy watched by over 700 people in December 2008 (reviewed as "a veritable tour de force").
In the summer of 2009 we performed two one act plays, 'The Reading Group' by Fay Weldon and 'Departure' by Stephen Smith
Our Christmas production of 2009 was 'A Credit Crunch Christmas Carol' - a fun-packed family friendly comedy written by one of our own! The Harrow Observer reviewed this as "technically and artistically excellent - What an achievement!"
We then went on to perform the uproarious 'Play On!' in June 2010, a scene-swapping farce which showcased our maturing talent. It was this year that we started to delve into panto too, performing 'Ali the Barber' at Christmas time.
Since then we have performed 'Red Hot Cinders' and 'Al Laddin', a double bill of panto extravaganza in December 2011 and sold out performances of 'The Sleeping Beauty' by Norman Robbins in December 2012.
More recently The Hillplayers have been experimenting with different styles and performance. In the summer of 2012 we performed at Harrow Arts Centre for the first time with 'Office Suite', two witty comedies by Alan Bennett that were written to be performed together.
And our 2013 summer production, also held at Harrow Arts Centre, was the dark and dramatic Victorian ghost story adapted from the Henry James tale, 'The Turn of the Screw'.
Our 2013 Christmas production, 'The Wizard of Oz' by John Morley went down with great success at the Ryan Theatre, with several sold-out shows, a vibrant cast and amazing costumes and scenery.
Then in December 2014, The Hillplayers' pantomime
version of 'Alice in Wonderland', was a triumph.
With plenty of new faces as well as our
experienced Players, our audiences laughed, booed
and shouted in traditional panto style!
The summer 2015 production saw a small
cast and crew of Hillplayers take to The Studio
stage at Harrow Arts Centre once again to perform the
tense, atmospheric Victorian thriller 'Gaslight' by
Patrick Hamilton - a play that resulted in two film
adaptations and was so successful that the term
'gaslighting' entered the English language.
For the 2015 Christmas production, the
Hillplayers took on a new challenge in the form of
'Fantastic Mr. Fox', a family play based on the
beloved children's book by Roald Dahl. Performing
once more at the Ryan, audience members came away
digga-digga-digging with the Fox Family and wanted
to take pictures with the evil Boggis, Bunce and Bean.
The 2016 production was a Hillplayers first! They performed an adapted modern version of Shakespeare's famous comedy 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' at a new theatre venue, Arc House, by Harrow-on-the-Hill station. It was the first time the group had put on an open-air performance and they did two shows in late September. It was a resounding success, with good weather and full audiences!
The Hillplayers returned to Arc House in July 2017 to perform another family-friendly version of a traditional Shakespearean tale with 'Richard the Third: Has Anyone Seen My Horse'.
At Christmas in 2017, the Hillplayers presented an original pantomime of the classic tale of 'Beauty and the Beast' at the Ryan Theatre. Friendless Nigel is cursed to live out his days as a beastly recluse. When the hapless Monsieur Full takes the beast's prize rose, he is forced to send his daughter, Beauty, to live in the beast's mansion. Helped by her trusty retainers Theresa and Jeremy, and battling the machinations of Boris, Donald and the rest of the beast's household, Beauty eventually won the beast's love and the beast learnt to be less Beastly.
In the summer of 2018, the Hillplayers' production was Tom Stoppard’s brilliant murder mystery comedy 'The Real Inspector Hound' at the Harrow Arts Centre in July 2018.
A satiric play-within-a-play, this parody focuses on two theatre critics, insecure Moon and womanizing Birdboot, as they review an Agatha Christie-style murder mystery. But just who is the Real Inspector Hound?
Our Christmas production in 2018, was 'Cinderella' at the Ryan Theatre. The best fairy tale really did come to Harrow on the Hill. The most famous pantomime of them all! The classic rags to riches story!
These latest endeavours just prove how as a group, the Hillplayers are always up for a challenge. The Hillplayers strive to put on great productions for the local community and have come a long way from the small inexperienced amateur dramatics group they started as over the years. They have truly excelled themselves and are going from strength to strength.
In Summer 2019 we produced a comic adaption of 'The Tragedy of Macbeth' at the Studio at the Harrow Arts Centre.
Filled with football puns and wacky-waving-inflatable ghosts, this production added another twist of Shakespeare's work to the Hillplayers' repertoire.
Our pantomime in Christmas of 2019 was an adaption of the beloved story originally by J.M. Barrie, 'Peter Pan'.
When Peter Pan brings Wendy and her two brothers, John and Michael, to the magical realm of Neverland, they have to content with the evil Captain Hook and his motley pirate crew, including the voluptuous Mrs Smee! But with the help of the lost boys, some mermaids, a hipster Tiger Lily, and Peter's loyal fairy companion, Tinker Bell, Captain Hook and his pirates were defeated and fed to the hungry crocodile!
An excellent, fun-filled, family panto. Peter Pan was yet another triumph from the Hillplayers showing that their production and comedy skills continue to grow from year to year.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our 2020 pantomime was a virtual show live-streamed on YouTube! This was a first for the Hillplayers, and we hope to continue expanding our artistic and technical capabilities for many shows to come!
The show saw 'Rapunzel!', a girl with magical hair, trapped for 20 years by the wicked witch Madame Gothel. A noble knight, Sir Prize, and his loyal if daft squire, Patsy, rescue Rapunzel and reunite her with her real mother, Dame Maggie McOggie, and her brother, Jack. Gothel and her thugs, Rough and Tumble, try their best to steal Rapunzel back, but with the help of her family and friends, including the bumbling town quack Doctor Foster, the heroes save the day!
You can still catch a recording of the live-stream on our YouTube page.