Music and Drama Group

Janine Rutter has been a member of the Music and Drama Group since 1983, both on stage and behind the scenes. Here she explains a little more about the group.

Q. How many members are there in the group?
A. Numbers fluctuate but we have a core group of people who attend regularly. If you’re an Arts Centre member you can automatically join the group, so people drop in and out, depending on which shows are being produced and often people join simply to be in a particular show.

Q. How often do you meet?
A. If we’re rehearsing a show, we normally meet on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7:30. Sometimes, with bigger productions such as musicals or the panto we also rehearse on Sunday afternoons.

Q. And what would you say are the group’s main aims?
A. Our aim is to produce a varied programme for our audiences, at least four shows a year. Our shows range from Shakespeare to Calendar Girls, pantomime through to musicals and more ‘off the wall’ productions such as Spamalot.

Q. What are the advantages of being a member of the group?
A. For anyone interested in theatre, it’s the perfect environment in which to follow ambitions, learn new skills and share ideas in safe and creative surroundings. And of course, it’s a great way to meet new like-minded individuals, be part of team and make life-long friends.

Q. Does everyone need to be able to act, sing or dance?
A. No, there are countless other areas where people can add value . We welcome anyone who can assist with props, costumes, make-up, designing or building scenery and IT. The opportunities are endless!

Q. Can you share any memories with us?
A. I have many fond memories of working alongside some of our talented younger members who have since gone on to become professionals in their field. And I’ll never forget the excitement of staging Animal Farm in Lindlar, our German twin town. We all stayed in a monastery and nearly ended up drinking the consecrated wine! Also, I can recall removing the lovely red seats from the old Savoy Cinema in Bimport and helping install them in our wonderful theatre.

Q. Can younger people be part of the group?
A. Yes, there’s a Junior Drama group for under 11s and a Youth Theatre for anyone aged 11-18, regardless of ability or experience. The group is run by experienced, talented members and it’s a super way to be involved in some of the main productions throughout the year.

Q. How’s the group coping in the current situation?
A. We’re holding regular video meetings to try and keep things moving and plan for future productions. There’s still much to discuss and organise.

Q. And how can people find out more about the group?
A. There’s lots of information on the Music and Drama Group page or email
For information on the Youth Theatre email