Amateur dramatics! That says it all for some people, with particular emphasis on the word amateur. And, yes, there are amateur groups out there which continue to reinforce that impression but not Radcliffe on Trent Drama Group. The group is, and always has been, determined to show that for us, amateur just means that we don’t get paid!
Our records show that members of the Mother’s Union, who subsequently helped form the group, performed plays between 1945 and 1956. The treasurer’s records confirm this group started in 1956 before being named the Radcliffe- on-Trent Drama Group in 1959. Audrey Vowles and Mary Jane Scott plus a few others were instrumental in the collection of people involved in drama at that time. Clive Holland’s mother joined them a year or two later (and Clive is still a member now).
So, there has been a Drama group in Radcliffe-on-Trent for over 60 years. In 1956 when it began it was just called Drama Group and the group initially rehearsed in the old vicarage, then rehearsals moved to the village Library during the 1960’s, though the group always performed in St. Mary’s Church Hall (now occupied by Michon Design).
Since 2005 we have performed in Grange Hall, the village community centre. The group has performed 170 plays over the years, thrillers, comedies, serious dramas, farces and in the past the group performed pantomimes scripted by group members.
Our audience numbers are testimony to our determination to put-on high-quality entertainment with most plays selling well over 500 tickets. In fact, from November 2001 we had to add one extra night’s performance per show.
I joined the group in 1995. I had never performed on stage in my life but had always toyed with the idea. I successfully auditioned for a role in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and became the Tin Man. The audience’s positive response to the show had me hooked and 24 years later I still enjoy the thrill of helping to turn a playwright’s words into a live performance.
We now have 47 members which is a good indication of the group’s appeal and also shows just how many people work behind the scenes to help create a successful production. The actors get all the glory but without the ‘backstage’ team there would be no show.
In the last couple of years, we have entered the Nottingham & Nottinghamshire Drama Association play of the year competition and to our great delight have already won a number of awards. But at the end of the day, it is our audience response that really counts.
If you would like to be part of a successful theatre group why not come along to one of our rehearsals and see us in action. If acting is not your thing there is so much to help with, running the light and sound systems, painting the set, helping with the props, building the set, being the prompt (usually not needed) or welcoming our audience as a ‘front of house’ member.
- Jon Jones, Chair man
To find our more about the group, please visit: www.radcliffe-on-trentdramagroup.co.uk.