Sinodun Players

Corn Exchange, Wallingford

Tel: 01491 825000

encore logo

Encore Youth Theatre is the Junior division of the Sinodun Players.

NEW CLASS!!! STARTS SEPTEMBER 2018 - SCHOOL YEAR 1 and 2 (4-6 years)

We are very excited to announce the launch of a new class for rising 5s, called "FIRSTLIGHTS".

The name continues our tradition of naming our classes after the lights used in theatre performance. We love the fact that all our children light up the stage with their youthful vivacity and enthusiasm!

Firstlights classes will be dedicated to building confidence, encouraging creativity and developing social skills and of course, learning essential 'stage craft'. We are so very fortunate that Encore members have the opportunity to participate in many shows, including those at the Corn Exchange Theatre – our very own professionally styled, dedicated and fully working theatre! For more information, contact Encore via email:


Our brilliant leader, Ginny Avery, has written an entirely new and exciting production, inspired by Homer's Odyssey, for performance at the end of June 2018.

All our talented actors have been working hard on their scenes.

The Footlights class (school years 3-5) are having great fun creating Polyphemus (the one-eyed giant cyclops), as well as the greedy pigs of Circe.

The Limelights class (school years 6 and 7) are learning how to be enticing 'Sirens' and creating the Lotus Eaters.

The Spotlights class (years 8-11) are tackling the challenge of creating the 6-headed monster and swirling whirlpool of Scylla and Charybdis as well as playing all the Principal roles.

We are delighted that the children are learning a great deal from working with our very talented, experienced and dynamic Gods, played by adult actors from the Sinodun Players.


As well as acting, there are many other roles that are needed in theatre to create a great show. Over the Easter holidays, many of the Encore children enthusiastically enjoyed a making workshop at the Corn Exchange, creating props and costumes for their show. The children had a brilliant time getting mooshy with papier mache, learning to plait and sew, creating some wonderful belts, wrist bands, twirling sticks and some terrific 'pottery' pieces, all for use in Odyssey. I don't think we saw one screen brought out all day and everyone learned new skills, made new friends by helping the younger ones, gladly cleaned and cleared up - chatting endlessly. We achieved so much, so quickly, we even had time for some fun and games at the end.

A bonus was making rosettes, banners and sashes, for the Twilight's class performance, parading, speaking and getting militant, as Suffragettes during the St George's Day event in Wallingford Town Centre in April 2018.


While urgent repairs continued to the Corn Exchange roof, we were fortunate to be able to rehearse at The Great Hall at Cholsey Meadows. This beautifully maintained venue provided lots of space and wonderful facilities to rehearse and perform.

The Twilights class (for ages 16-19 years), performed The Bodenham Romp at the Great Hall, December 2017. This gentle and very funny short story of vengeance and retribution in an Edwardian country village, was pure delight and entertained audiences of all ages. The wonderful refreshments and delicious cakes served before the show all added to the fun – and the fund raising!

Most classes are now back in the Corn Exchange, thanks to some tremendous fundraising.


Since Encore's creation, the Corn Exchange has been a vital part of the Youth Theatre. Because of this everyone at Encore wanted to do what they can to fundraise its repair. In the last few years, Encore has raised nearly £2,000 by performing vignettes to those visiting Wallingford Town Centre, in exchange for donations.

They have also performed whilst doing scout-style 'bob-a-jobs' and running cake sales etc. We are so proud of all their hard work and dedication to support the Corn Exchange theatre.


Another huge bonus to joining Encore is the opportunity to be part of the Sinodun Players' (award-winning) Pantomime. We were all very impressed with the maturity, quality of acting and positivity all the Encore members had whilst being part of this year's Panto. It seems the NODA Regional Representative, Rob Bertwistle, thought similarly saying "The Encore chorus (I saw Group A I believe) worked well and again knew all the actions and words. I'm sure the other group were just as well drilled and slick."

Two members of Encore's Spotlights class played the important role of Peter the Parrot and were specifically mentioned by Rob who said "Peter the Parrot was played by Eoin Rasmussen on the night I attended from Group A. This was a lovely little cameo for a young actor who is possibly appearing on stage for the first time. Eoin used the acting area well and had perfected some great bird-like moves. Try to keep the voice projected though which is doubly important if a mask is worn. I'm sure George Scurr's Peter Parrot was just as convincing." Taking part in panto is a very special privilege that Encore children greatly enjoy each year.

We are especially delighted to announce that the 2018 pantomime Cinderella, again won the Oxfordshire Drama Network "pantomime of the year" competition! Congratulations to all those involved in this brilliant production.


40 years ago the Corn Exchange was opened by Sir Peter Hall, a Director of the ground-breaking National Theatre on London’s South Bank. It was therefore entirely appropriate that his actor/Director son Edward Hall was invited to re-open the Corn Exchange after the massive refurbishment. So despite the dreadful weather, ice and snow, Encore children battled in to perform at the Grand Reopening ceremony. As representatives of the Youth group and the future of the Sinodun Players, it was fantastic for Encore to be there.

Encore 'Twilight' members Amy-Jo and Sebastian Avery performed in a piece from Hay Fever with other members of the Sinodun Players. Sian McLaughlin and Alex Payne kept our VIPs served with refreshments and Sian and Seb Avery introduced film snippets showing some of Encore's work. Everyone involved felt the spirit of Dunkirk was evident throughout the exciting and truly memorable evening. As the young presenters said, such talent ensures the continuing future of the Corn Exchange.


Firstlights: (school years 1 and 2): 3.55–4.25pm
Footlights (school years 3–5) : 4.30–5.25pm
Limelights (school years 6 and 7): 5.30–6.25pm
Spotlights (school years 8–10): 6.40–7.35pm
Twilights (Elite) (school year 11 up to 19 years): 7.45–9pm

Classes take place on Wednesdays after school in term time, at the Corn Exchange Theatre (unless otherwise notified). There are usually 10 classes per term (excluding half terms).

We look forward to welcoming you soon!

For more information, contact Diana,