‘There’s no question of its importance’ - Dramatic society calls for support of amateur groups

The Quay Theatre in Sudbury remains closed to performers and visitors Picture: PHIL MORLEY

The Quay Theatre in Sudbury remains closed to performers and visitors Picture: PHIL MORLEY - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk amateur dramatics group has called for more support as it remains in limbo.

The Sudbury Dramatic Society, SDS, should have been preparing for its Christmas panto, like many other amateur groups, instead like much of the performance industry they are left concerned about their venue and when they will be back in front of a crowd.

“Since the 1970s when Sudbury Dramatic Society first bought and set up what is now The Quay at Sudbury, we have been a major contributor to the theatre’s finances, by the hire of its rehearsal and performance space, by making donations and funding specific projects and in particular with the annual pantomime,” said a spokesman for the group.

“With six productions a year SDS has always had a production in rehearsal or in performance and with that contribution to the theatre’s finances comes the employment of staff, both front of house and technical, and other freelance creatives.”

Now, however, with earlier productions in the year cancelled and no end to restrictions in sight, the group are concerned as to when they may be able to get back on stage.

“With virtually all amateur theatre productions being cancelled across the country, and given the lead time to put productions together, it is unlikely there will be many, if any, productions before the end of 2021,” said the spokesman.

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SDS said that amateur theatre was a “significant part” of the nations cultural life; helping audiences and performers with both their mental and physical health.

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Several of their members have gone on to become professional performers and musicians.

“Youngsters involved grow in confidence and self-esteem,” said the spokesman.

“Amateur theatre, is very often the hub of local cultural activity as well as helping to bring communities together.

“This is a significant loss not just to Sudbury but to the cultural and economic life of the whole of the UK.

“There is no question of its importance within our local community.”

While the theatre is closed SDS have continued to rehearse through video technology and hope to create their own panto video this year.

They have also been raising more money for the Quay Theatre using their social media channels.

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