The Old Harrovian Players were founded by Herbert Harris and Lawrence Verney in 1952, a longevity as improbable as many of the theatrical effects conjured out of the barest minimum of rehearsal time that has been the essential characteristic of the Society since its inception.
Described by Herbert Harris as a club for the unclubbable, the Society has defied the conventions of amateur theatricals in generating a tradition that relishes the performance more than the plaudits, that saviours the catastrophes almost as much as the triumphs, that is dedicated to the enjoyment of drama both serious and hilarious, and that has been singularly free from the pettish, the smug or the self-congratulatory.
From thespian grandees, such as Sandy Wilson, Richard Curtis and Joanna Lumley, to the theatrically monoglot, the society has been host to men and women of all professions and none, a fellowship of occasional actors who enjoyed and enjoy presenting plays within the general inheritance of the series of Shakespeare plays begun at Harrow in 1941.
Because the Players know their limitations, they have regularly transcended natural constraints to produce moments of genuine theatrical power. Innovative in ways forbidden to school productions, the OH Players have explored most of the Shakespearean canon in their half century, from the heights of Lear, Hamlet, Macbeth and Othello to the by-ways of All's Well That Ends Well and Two Gentlemen of Verona.
Remarkable has been the loyalty of generations of spear carriers; more remarkable still have been the instinctive talents of actors and actresses who have challenged their own disbelief to produce performances of power, humour, eccentricity and emotion that linger in the heart as well as the mind. - Christopher Tyerman
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