A BUMPER cheque for £10,000 was handed over on Saturday for a community panto event organised by local theatre group Jestaminute.
The cash, from the Big Lottery Fund, is the latest stage in a programme started by the community interest company REACH in Winyates to enhance skills, boost confidence and inspire local people.
An open day saw local MP Rachel Maclean join the theatrical team at REACH’s HQ at The Space in Winyates Centre to start recruiting all the people needed to put on a stage production, from set makers to lighting riggers, make-up artists and musicians to the players themselves.
The aim is for the team from Jestaminute to pass on all their skills so that in future the community will be able to stage productions themselves.
“Not everyone wants to be on the stage which is absolutely fine because there are so many other jobs that need doing from selling tickets to telling people about the performance,” said Jan Higgitt from Jestaminute, part of Forthright Theatre.
“There have also been lots of people who have done courses for positive change with REACH and the idea is to take that a stage further.
“Residents have also to decide what sort of production they want to put on – a typical panto or maybe something on the wonder of Winyates – it’s up to them to choose.”
Mrs Maclean MP said: “There’s a really strong sense of community here and this is a great way to build bridges and leave a living legacy and I’m looking forward to seeing the process develop.”
Councillor Mike Rouse, portfolio holder for culture and leisure at the Borough Council added: “I well remember attending community theatre when I was a kid and I’m looking forward to taking my own family along to this one in April.”
For more information, contact Jestaminute on 01527 514049 or REACH CIC on 01527 528340.