Scene Four: Strength To Strength
In 1977, Holybourne Dramatic Club was renamed ‘Holybourne Theatre’, mainly to emphasise the fact that they were lucky enough to be one of the few amateur theatre groups in southern England to own their own land and theatre.
The 1980s saw competitive success for Holybourne Theatre with wins in the Alton Arts Festival in 1980, 1981, 1983 and 1987. Furthermore, the Best Actress award was won by Dawn Groves at the 1982 Farnborough Arts Festival.
The current membership owes a lot to their predecessors who successfully laid the strong foundations from which the club has grown and expanded on over the years.
Today, Holybourne Theatre is still thriving, staging many productions each year, ranging from traditional pantomimes that have become an unimssable annual event for many local people, to serious plays like “Kes” which successfully combine the talents of the youth and adult sections.
Recently, Holybourne Theatre became a company limited by guarantee. The Company is steered by five directors, all of whom are long- term members with a total of one hundred years’ membership between them!
The day to day running of the theatre is managed by a committee of 13 members, all of whom, including the directors, are volunteers. Holybourne Theatre has no salaried staff so overheads are minimal.
As previously mentioned, Holybourne Theatre is lucky enough to own it’s land and buildings and have no outstanding loans or mortgages. This is a major advantage, as crippling loans and wages have brought down many theatres over the years.
Holybourne Theatre members are encouraged to stretch their talents in as many directions as possible.
Some members are not interested in performing in front of an audience, but these are key people who enjoy the atmosphere and are glad to be part of the team.
Everyone helps in whatever way they can, whether it is directing/ producing plays, building and painting sets, making costumes, helping out back stage, matroning or selling programmes! The members are the backbone of the group and without them the productions just wouldn’t happen!
Apart from plays, Holybourne Theatre also likes to showcase its members’ varied talents at Variety and Talent nights, with quite a few members writing their own scripts and songs. Some of these talented scriptwriters have turned their attentions to the youth productions and pantomimes, with five out of the last seven pantomimes written by members. Happily these home grown scripts bring an added bonus as there are no royalties to pay!