Focus on Act II Theatre Company, South Holland

Act II Theatre Company members and directors celebrate its 10th anniversary at the studios in Clay Lake, Spalding.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
Act II Theatre Company members and directors celebrate its 10th anniversary at the studios in Clay Lake, Spalding. Photo by Tim Wilson.

First, a word of warning before you consider joining Act II Theatre Company based at Welland Business Park, Clay Lake, Spalding.

As co-director Karl Gernert said: “Once Act II, always Act II as our members never leave.”

Act II Theatre Company directors Karl and Charlotte Gernert (front and back right) with some of the cast from their show Frankenstein and His Monster.

Act II Theatre Company directors Karl and Charlotte Gernert (front and back right) with some of the cast from their show Frankenstein and His Monster.

From after-school clubs for four to 20-year-olds, holiday workshops and choirs to birthday parties, bands for hire and a regular Monday Movie Club at Spalding’s South Holland Centre, Act II’s wish list grows by the year.

The company celebrated its tenth anniversary with a one-off production of Alan Bennett’s play, The History Boys, two weeks ago and Act II is following it up with five performances of The Who’s Tommy, also at South Holland Centre, until Saturday.

Karl’s wife and other co-director Charlotte Gernert 
said: “For the first three years, Karl was running Act II on his own while I was at university in London doing an applied drama degree.

“When I came back, we started doing more stuff together until we got to a position where we could get the two of us here and expand the company.

“As the years have passed, we’ve honed our skills and become braver with the shows we do.”

Act II members start off in the group Imagination Station for four to seven-year-olds, gaining an introduction to the world of theatre through acting, singing and dancing with exercises, activities and games.

The opportunity then comes for them to move up into the Mini Musicals and Pint-Sized Players, groups for seven to 11-year-olds who take part in small-scale shows in front of their workshop leaders and parents.

Act II member Ocea-Lily Jarvis (10) of Spalding said: 
“I joined 18 months ago 
when I did a workshop called A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

“I felt very comfortable in the group and made quite a lot of friends.

“I’ve been acting ever since and I look forward to learning different things with Act II each week.”

Older children can join after-school groups such as Music Theatre, Creative Writing and Advanced Skills, with the chance to gain singing and acting qualifications accredited by Trinity College London.

Natalie Pailing (20) of Pinchbeck, who is joining a theatre company in London after eight years with Act II and two years at a drama school in Oxford, said: “I’d been begging my parents to take me to Act II for years and I was really pleased when they did.

“I was so enthusiastic, but Karl and Charlotte wanted me to get a grounding in theatre and that’s the reason why I only ever really stuck with Act II.

“It doesn’t build you up too much and you get enough experience to realise there’s more out there when it comes to theatre.”

Karl said: “We want to keep going, although we tend not to look very far into the future, because there’s always the next show to look forward to producing.”

For more information about Act II Theatre Company, call 01775 766921 or go to www.act2online.co.uk