“Never knowingly over-rehearsed”

St James Players are members and friends of St James Church, Taunton. We enjoy using drama to bring a smile to the faces of our audiences, to enjoy friendship together and to raise funds for organisations in our community. As a group we have been in existence since 2008 when one of our church members had a vision for a full-scale pantomime and brought together a group of people of faith with an interest in fun, fellowship and fundraising. Over the past 14 years we have worked together to produce seven biennial pantomimes, four whodunnit mysteries, a passion play, four online presentations during Covid which can be viewed on our church’s YouTube page (links at the bottom of this page); and most recently “Bodysnatchers” – a whodunnit mystery for Easter, written by one of our members.

Our most recent production (April 2024)

The proceeds from this production went to Open Door, our local day centre for the homeless. Further details below.

Our previous production (2023)

Visitors to a small Bethlehem hotel seem to have come to the wrong place. But what has brought them there anyway? And who is the ‘hotel inspector’ really working for? What are they all looking for and what effect does it have on them when they find it…? Confusion, laughs and songs abounded in this sideways look at the events surrounding a blinding light and a new birth. All three performances were sold out – thank you!

Funds were raised for Taunton Food Bank and Action for Children’s Trust (in Uganda). See the photo further down the page, and listen to this interview on ToneFM to find out more about the play and the charities.

Over the years we have raised over £15,000 for local organisations.

In April 2024 we were able to give £2,035 to Open Door, after our “Bodysnatchers” play . Open Door is a day centre for homeless people, providing tailored support for individuals aimed at developing life skills and securing accommodation, working in partnership with many agencies.

Open Door is facing a significant challenge to maintain their building in Mary Street and needs to raise £50,000 for essential repairs to a roof that is 150 years old and needs urgent structural repair. More details can be found at: https://www.tauntonopendoor.org.uk/

In March 2023 we were pleased to give £842 each to two charities following our “Stable Manners” play. Director Chris Doyle presented a cheque to Emmanuel and Felicity Ssebugenyi of Action for Children’s Trust in Uganda, and cast member Susie Peeler handed over another cheque to Martin Bluemel, representing Taunton Foodbank. Also present was church member Ruth Preater-Gillard, who shortly afterwards visited Uganda to work with the disabled children which they support.

And here are some previous presentations:


Our membership is open, and embraces people with a variety of interests and talents (not everyone is an upfront type and we need people who can help with technical, catering, costume, publicity and a variety of behind the scenes stuff as well as performance types. If you would like to know more contact Jenny Wakefield, Ruth Crooks or Chris Doyle.

Watch our online videos:

Passioneaster radio play. 58 Minutes. Mar 2021
Postcard from Bethlehem. 23 minutes. Jan 2021
Harvest Food for Thought. 17 minutes. Nov 2020
Lockdown – audio drama. 11 mins. May 2020
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