Christmas 32 years ago…

“On the opening night itself the audience were welcomed and led into a magical forest glade environment. Having been shown to their tree trunk seats, they were entertained by the outlaw community. With the appearance of Robin and Marion the story began. After much plot and counter plot, farce and ducking down rabbit holes, our hero and heroine managed to defeat the evil Sir Guy of Gisbourne.”
Chats Palace Annual Report on Robbin’ the Rich (Dec 14, 1980 – January 10,1981) 

Click here to see the individual posters

1977 The Wonderful Palace of Nod group

1977 – The Wonderful Palace of Nod

1978 The Thief of Ragbag

1978 – The Thief of Ragbag

1979 The Ice Queen group

1979 – The Ice Queen – “Freeze up Mother Brown’

1980 Robbin' the Rich group

1980 – Robbin’ the Rich

1981 Bluebeard group

1981 – Bluebeard – The Barbary Ghost

1982 Burgerbar Galactica group

1982 – Burgerbar Galactica – ‘May the Sauce be with you’

1983 Things that grow bumps in the night group

1983 – Things that grow Bumps in the Night

1984 Sawdust group

1984 – Sawdust – Who stole the fun of the fair?

1985 Junglenuts group

1985 – Junglenuts – On the tail of the loathsome shrine

1986 Apocalympics group

1986 – Apocalympics! – Who cheats wins

The annual christmas pantomime was the major winter event at Chats Palace for many years. Starting with ‘A Hackney’d Show’ in 1976, there followed more than a decade of large scale community productions. The shows created their own traditions including the legendary last night, where the volunteers kept the cast on tenterhooks by adding to the action such things as live ferrets or worse!

Billie Windows Production Team 1988

‘A Wish for Billie Windows’ – Chats Palace Christmas Show 1988
Production team photo: back row – Rebecca Chester (designer), David Wooley (stage manager), Annie Smol (producer); middle row – Gary Horsman (light+sound+design), Tom Jones (publicity), Susan Chester (costumes); front row – Brian Walker (set builder), Malcolm Fredrick (director), John McGovern (link worker), Jack Bradley (writer)