The show may be far from over for one of Yorkshire’s oldest and most prestigious amateur theatre groups after members rallied around to help.

It appeared that Huddersfield Thespians’ call for help had been heard at extraordinary board meeting when around 50 people packed into Oakes Mills West following the group’s revealed that its future was ‘in serious doubt’ in its latest newsletter.

They came to hear about the plans to ensure the survival of the society, which formed in the town 94 years ago but has recently had ‘extremely low’ audience numbers that have led to financial losses and has been struggling to find enough backstage staff to run each play.

Now members’ secretary, Dexter Booth, believes the future is looking brighter for the group despite saying “there are always concerns.”

He said: “People realised that there was a problem and came along to see what they could do to help.

“Thanks to the turn-out we are now able to begin addressing these problems so it went extremely well in my eyes.

“People were keen to start getting involved with backstage roles and we have decided on a strategy that we hope will help the Thespians for the future.”

Huddersfield Thespians President, Steve Marsden (centre) prepares to cut the cake to mark the 90th year of the drama group with members (left to right) Keith Royston, Alun Jones, Lawrence Barker, Christine Davies and Colin Wisely.
 

He said that the Thespians, based in the Lawrence Batley Theatre, plan to continue next season with their programme of four shows.

Dexter, who has been a member of the society since 1971, said: “We will continue to put on three in the theatre’s cellar and one on the main stage each year as we have been doing and will also go ahead with our three remaining plays for this season as planned.”

These include A Christmas Carol, The Importance of Being Earnest and Blackadder Goes Forth.

One new member, Poppy Stahelin, was voted onto the directors board in place of Helen Kapil while the three board members that stepped down, Christine Smith (Jnr), Dexter Booth and Sue Underwood, were re-elected.