Panto cast fear it will be curtains for group

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A struggling amateur dramatic society in Whaplode Drove fears it will never be in the spotlight again unless it can break its unlucky spell.

The Elizabethan Centre Dramatic Society had planned to stage the panto Sleeping Beauty last month, but the production was cancelled because of dwindling cast members.

However, the few remaining members of the once thriving group believe the ‘show’ must go on – it just needs the help of some fresh faces and maybe a handsome prince to give it the kiss of life.

The society, which has its own stage based at the Playing Fields Association building in Parson’s Lane, has been putting on productions for 30 years.

Former chairman Mandie Collier said: “For a number of years we put on a spring show as well, a cabaret style show with sketches and songs when we would have tables and waitresses – and we have done plays, the last one being The Inspector Calls.

“It would be a shame if we had to shut down – there seems to be so many out there who want to be stars and they all have to start somewhere.”

Colette Coleman, who is also on the committee, said: “Over the years numbers have dwindled – it’s hard to say why. But there are new people moving to the area who might be interested in joining us but don’t know we are here.

“We are looking for actors, singers and dancers – but also people who would just like to get involved and support us, whether it’s entertaining children when they are not on stage at the pantos or helping with sets or fundraising.

“There’s such a great community spirit involved in our productions it would be such a shame to lose it.

“Before we cancelled the panto the children from the local Endana Dance School turned up for rehearsals in all weathers. They were so disappointed but they will appear at the local country fair so that’s something.

“We’d love to hear from anyone who would like to join us – in the past when people have got involved they have loved it.”

Anyone interested in helping in any way can call Colette on 01406 330315.