Trish Takes Five: The professionalism of amateur theatre - by our blogger Trish Burgess

SADOS cast members are (from left), back ' Jonathan Tibbs, Zack Colam, Jane Moss, Nathan Shortland, front ' Colette Coleman, Trish Burgess and Laura Scott. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG031115-127TW
SADOS cast members are (from left), back ' Jonathan Tibbs, Zack Colam, Jane Moss, Nathan Shortland, front ' Colette Coleman, Trish Burgess and Laura Scott. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG031115-127TW

What’s occurring? Quite a lot at the moment.

I’m honing my Welsh accent, hence the quote from Gavin and Stacey’s Nessa, in preparation for tomorrow’s (Wednesday’s) opening night of Family Planning, a comedy performed by Spalding Amateur Dramatic and Operatic Society.

Some of you reading this will have seen productions by us and other local amateur groups, appreciating what can be done by teams of passionate, dedicated people. Yes, it’s a hobby for us but we make every effort to stage as professional a performance as we can. Societies such as SADOS, St Nicolas Players and Bourne Footlights show a huge commitment to the provision of the arts for our region. It’s a balancing act for individuals, holding down jobs and bringing up families whilst putting in many hours ensuring customers won’t be 
disappointed: a labour of love.

If you’ve never bought tickets to see an amateur production at the South Holland Centre, maybe I can change your mind. The actors won’t be professionals as they aren’t paid for their work but they have often been involved in the theatre or performing in some capacity for many years.

Take Jonathan Tibbs, for example, who plays Idris Roberts, the hypochondriac dad in our play. Jonathan spent three years working for Park Resorts as an entertainer and uses the skills he picked up there to create great comic timing in his role.

Laura Scott, playing the part of Tracy, joined SADOS in 2009 to perform in Guys and Dolls before leaving us to go to De Montfort University to study for a degree in Performing Arts. She returned to the area and continues to be involved in many aspects of our society both onstage and off whilst training to be a drama teacher.

Harassed mother, Elsie Roberts, is played by Colette Coleman, a graduate of Guildford School of Acting. A lifetime spent singing, dancing and acting, Colette has been a tour de force since joining SADOS in 2013.

Some of us have been doing this for a while but some, like Nathan Shortland, taking the role of nice-but-dim boyfriend, Bobby, are relatively new to the game. Nathan joined us earlier this year to sing in The Magic of Music and we persuaded him to audition for this production. We may have some old hands at our disposal but we genuinely welcome people who want to give it a try, whether onstage or in a support capacity: this is what keeps the society fresh and inclusive.

Being able to perform our play at the South Holland Centre adds another layer of professionalism to what we do. Working with the experienced team there, we benefit from top quality lighting and sound. Patrons attending our productions are having a proper night out at the theatre. We perform on the same stage as the professionals and, I promise you, we will do our utmost to make the theatre-going experience just as pleasurable. Why not come along this week and see for yourself?

Family Planning is on at the South Holland Centre, Spalding from 18th to 21st November. Tickets available from the box office (01775 764777) or on the door each night.

You can follow Trish on Twitter @mumsgoneto and read her blog at www.mumsgoneto.blogspot.com