‘Foundering’ Sidbury Drama Group needs male actors 25-44 to safeguard its future

Members of Sidbury Into Drama preparing for their panto Sid and the Lost Treasure earlier this year.

Members of Sidbury Into Drama preparing for their panto Sid and the Lost Treasure earlier this year. - Credit: Archant

Shortage of younger male actors has forced drama group to abandon three productions, and now it is holding a crisis meeting

The final curtain could come down on a Sidbury theatre group if it does not attract new male actors.

Sidbury Into Drama (SID) has already had to abandon some of its planned productions because there was no-one to play the younger male roles.

Now it has called an open meeting later this month to discuss saving the group, and is distributing a ‘Sidbury Into Drama Needs You’ poster, in the style of the Lord Kitchener wartime recruitment adverts.

Maggie Knights, a member of the group, said: “We just want anyone and everyone who might be interested in getting involved to come along.”

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SID is particularly in need of actors aged 25 to 40, as a few men in that age group have moved away or left for various reasons.

“They wouldn’t be thrown in at the deep end,” said Maggie. “We would try to find small parts for them, without too many lines to learn.”

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She thinks the problem is that neighbouring towns Sidmouth and Honiton have large amateur dramatics groups, and many local people who enjoy acting are already members of those groups.

“We tried to cast one play, then we tried another, then we tried to cast a murder mystery, but we had to abandon them all,” she said. “We are foundering.”

The SID group has been in existence for 22 years and has produced a wide range of entertainment for local residents. This has included serious plays, comedies, variety nights, murder mysteries and their very popular pantomimes, which have been written by the group with the usual local jokes and references.

And there are still plenty of enthusiastic members who do not want to see SID take its final bow.

“We have quite a lot of people behind the scenes, doing make-up and lighting and so on,” said Maggie. “We just need more people who want to go on the stage, and particularly men in that 25, 35, 40 age group.”

The open meeting takes place on Wednesday, November 21 at 7.30pm at the Red Lion Skittle Alley. For further information contact Joy Loveridge job@byesgate.co.uk or phone Maggie Knights on 01395 597 464

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