Meet The Committee

  • Phillip Croxson
  • Anthony Gofton
  • Richard Hartley
  • Dudley Thompson
  • Sarah Pratt
  • Phillip Croxson

    Phillip Croxson

    Chairman & Treasurer, Actor

    Phillip was a founder member of Wychwood Players, appearing as the eponymous Gosforth in Gosforth’s Fete by Alan Ayckbourn in the old Beaconsfield Hall in 1997.

    His lifelong love of amateur dramatics was kindled when, aged 17, he appeared in the leading role of Thomas a Becket in a school production of Murder in the Cathedral, by T S Elliot. Subsequently, over the years he performed in productions too numerous to mention with drama groups in Naphill, Nr High Wycombe, Colchester and Farnham, before moving to the Wychwoods in the 1990s.

    Phillip joined the committee of Wychwood Players, holding the position of Treasurer for several years, before becoming Secretary, and then again resuming the post of Treasurer in 2012. In 2020 Phillip succeeded Dudley Thompson as Chairman, and, in the absence of a willing volunteer, he also retains the Treasurership. For many years he has also organised the bar for the Group’s productions.

    Having appeared in numerous plays with Wychwood Players it is not easy to select highlights, but the part of failed schoolmaster Crocker Harris in Rattigan’s The Browning Version was a particularly favourite role in 2006. Other memorable productions were Outside Edge, Oh What a Lovely War, Hay Fever, Neville’s Island, Visiting Hour, Sandcastles, Flint Street Nativity, Table Manners, Toad of Toad Hall, Hound of the Baskervilles, Allo Allo (as Herr Flick), Dangerous Corner, Wuthering Heights, Vicar of Dibley, Blackadder (as Captain Darling), Laburnum Grove and several pantomimes, including two turns as the pantomime dame in Dick Whittington & his Puss in Boots (2001) and Treasure Island (2007).

  • Anthony Gofton

    Anthony Gofton

    Committee & Sound

    I've been in the professional audio business for over thirty years in studio, broadcast and live sound. I've lived in the area for longer.

    I was snared into the Wychwood Players via my youngest son who was in the BODS group run by a certain Mandyrae Jessey When he told her I was 'in sound' Mandy asked me to help out with the Players and run the sound effects and music for what turned out to be an award-winning production for the Players - Another Fine Mess. I've been involved in amateur theatre all my life so this was a welcome introduction to a wonderful group and immense fun. I love all things audio, so one of the highlights for me was being able to adapt, produce, record, edit and mix our first audio drama - Resting - and publish it as a podcast. It is my hope we can do more. I also enjoy video editing too so I've been introduced to the Players' extensive archive and I've been putting together showcases and created our YouTube channel.

    Being on the Committee gives me a chance to give something back to the Players and contribute to the community. It is a privilege be part of a friendly and professional team whose common purpose is to bring people entertainment.

  • Richard Hartley

    Richard Hartley


    Sticking to my mantra of being better late than never, my first real involvement with theatrical productions was with the Wychwood Players in 2006, with a very brief walk on part as a camp policeman in the Tony Hines musical Frankenstein. From there on in I quite literally caught the bug and put myself forward into as many productions as possible, gaining experience and learning from everyone around me. For me it’s all about the people so every play has been a joy and so much fun to be part of. I most enjoyed playing the part of Felix Humble in Humble Boy in 2009 in which I had to constantly stutter and recite theories of quantum mechanics. Equally as alien to me in 2013 I had to play the part of Malcolm in “A Bedroom farce” where I had to build a flat pack chest of drawers on stage, fortunately the play required it to be built very poorly so little acting was required!!

    My dream finally came true in 2016 by being offered the part of Lord Arthur in Lord Arthur Savile’s crime, a Constance Cox adaptation of an Oscar Wilde short story. The play is a fast moving farce and is utterly ridiculous but so much fun was had rehearsing.

  • Dudley Thompson

    Dudley Thompson

    President, Actor, Director

    Probably my earliest public performance was to direct and act in extracts from Julius Caesar for my classmates when I was 12 years old.

    A lifetime of acting and directing followed in different parts of the country as career moves to different schools necessitated relocation. The Harlequins Theatre group in Cheshire provided many happy hours and a range of roles in their tiny theatre from Greek tragedy to Jimmy Porter in ‘Look Back in Anger’, following which the theatre critic from Manchester Guardian provided a wonderful observation on ‘forgetting lines and adlibbing’. “Don’t worry lad” he said, “the audience haven’t got scripts!”

    Gloucestershire gave me the opportunity to play one of the title roles in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard at the Playhouse Theatre in Cheltenham. Soon after another wonderful opportunity presented itself when a new Society was formed in Moreton in Marsh which performed all its plays in the round. Unable to fund their productions the society created an Old Time Music Hall troupe who travelled the villages performing at various functions for a fee which bolstered the society coffers.

    A move to Oxfordshire lead to a major life change when a tiny baby came into our lives (herself now a TV producer) and time to spare for acting was no longer available! However, as she grew older her Daddy started his return to the stage. I appeared as Merlin in Chipping Norton along with other crazy characters but the craziest must have been in a Wychwood Players musical version of Frankenstein when I played Igor, servant to the good Doctor.

    The Wychwood Players had by this time became a fixture in our lives especially once I was elected Chairman, a position I held for nearly 15 years until health issues made it necessary to stand down from participation in the Players for what I thought was forever. I was touched and not a little overwhelmed when the Committee appointed me as honorary President.

    Now there’s a new chapter as I’ve been welcomed back to direct and act, I’m thrilled to be once again with the group of people that I love so much!

  • Sarah Pratt

    Sarah Pratt

    Secretary, Actor, Social Events Organiser

    My teenage years were happily spent immersed in youth theatre – drama festivals, weekly workshops, numerous productions, and I even spent my work experience with a local theatre company. However, life and studying took over and it wasn’t until I moved to the Cotswolds in 2021 that an opportunity to reignite my passion for amateur theatre presented itself.

    Quite by accident (I was asked to audition whilst having my garden landscaped by the director!) I became a member of the Wychwood Players. Initially thinking that this would be a great way to meet new people soon turned into a desire to get fully involved again in the world of drama.

    I was lucky enough to play Hippolyta in a Midsummer Night’s Dream, which was every bit as magical as the beautiful outdoor setting. Since then, I have been keen to help and learn, whether that be onstage or backstage and I’ve supported the Wychwood Players as a prompt, bar management, set construction and a brief dabble with stage management.

    I really enjoy working with a wonderful group of people who are committed to working together to put on amazing productions, exploring new plays at readings, and letting our hair down at our social events. I have made some wonderful friends and already have plenty of fabulous memories to reminisce about.

    I joined the committee in 2022, to represent the views of our members and actively support ‘bringing drama to the Cotswolds’, as well as everyone having lots of fun together in the process!

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