The Importance of Amateur Theatre –
Where would we be without it?
There is no question of the importance of Amateur Theatre within our local
Amateur theatre performing groups produce over 3500 productions annually which
are watched by audience figures of more than 2 million every year. These
performances include pantomimes, plays and musicals. We are proud to be part of
the umbrella body, the National Operatic & Dramatic Association (NODA) The
combined membership of this organisation is over 100,000 ranging in age from 8-
NODA’s members groups generate between £150m – £200m in ticket sales with at
least the same being produced in additional spending including: food, drink, travel
and accommodation. The vast majority of this supports a wide range of businesses,
including theatres, village and community halls, theatrical suppliers, restaurants,
musicians, bars and hotels. Many groups also raise significant sums for local and
national charities with post show collections and specific fundraising events.
Amateur theatre plays a significant part in the cultural life of the nation; helping with
both physical and mental health, not just for the performers and all taking part, but
for audiences too. Youngsters involved, grow in confidence and self-esteem.
Amateur theatre, in many smaller communities, is very often the hub of cultural
activity as well as helping to bring communities together. Also worthy of note, is the
fact that many professional performers and stars of TV, originally trod the boards in
amateur theatre thus shaping them for more lucrative exploits ahead.
Amateur theatre also supports professional theatre as well. The venues amateur
groups are hiring, mostly, are professional theatres and with that comes the
employment of staff, both front of house and technical, as well as the hiring of
freelancers i.e. choreographers, directors, musical directors, make-up artists etc.
At the present time, virtually all amateur theatre productions have been cancelled
across the country, and given the lead time for productions, it is unlikely there will be
many, if any, productions before the end of 2021. This is a significant loss to the
cultural and economic life of the UK. Many groups have been making use of
technology to keep in touch, rehearse, or put together videos to entertain their
audiences via social media channels. They are eager to maintain their involvement
and to resume a normal programme as far as they can.
My plea to you today, is to PLEASE give the amateur theatre sector the same
consideration as that of the professional theatres. The professional theatres are
currently being highlighted in the press, but there is no mention of the amateur
sector. A sector which does so very much for the wellbeing and the economy of our
Statement from EVG
It was with great sadness Eyemouth Variety Group took the decision not to perform “The Wizard of Oz” in March. We felt it was too big a risk to our audiences and so the scenery was taken back down, the costumes folded and the props put into storage. As usual our wonderful supporters rallied round and our financial outlays have not brought the group to it’s knees as so many groups have had happen to them. Our parent group NODA has issued the press release to highlight the importance of Amateur Dramatics groups within our communities. We would like to add to this by saying WE WILL BE BACK as soon as we are able!! Our 30 strong adult group and our 70 strong youth group will return to entertain you as soon as it is safe to do so. Thank you all for your support in these difficult times. In the words of Les Miserables, “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”