In September / October 1973 two people, one being John Seaman M.B.E. and the other Viv Samuel, both of whom were already well established in the world of “Amateur Dramatics”, got together and decided that what their home village of Wilburton needed was some entertainment. They decided to produce a pantomime and the very first performance of Jack and the Beanstalk took place in St Peter's Hall in January 1974.
The people who joined the group varied in age and ability and everybody had to take a very active part in scenery making and painting, costumes etc. We had been given a small sum of money by the mum of one of the founder members so money was tight and everything had to be produced on a very tight budget. Charity shops were trawled to obtain curtains and sheets to be used as material to make costumes, and props were borrowed from the members and their families.
There were about 25 members including children at the start and over the next few years this number fluctuated up and down. At first we put on variety and old-time music hall shows and a pantomime every two years. There was always terrific support from the village and we played to full houses.
As the years progressed we produced both full-length and one-act plays and as our reputation grew so did the membership. It had at one time been almost exclusively Wilburton people but now includes people from a very wide area, and all are welcome.
Some members enjoy being on the stage but to some that is not where their interests lie. We are lucky to have a fantastic technical team and there are plenty of opportunities to join the team and enjoy a new and fascinating hobby.
We have raised funds with the help of local committees and have installed our own control room filled with state-of-the-art equipment. With profit made from productions we invest in new equipment and strive to improve our facilities for the future. Each year we produce a pantomime and plays for both our youth group and for adults. We now also produce an annual musical.
We are recognised for the quality of our scenery and costumes so there are lots of opportunities if that is where your interests lie. We would love you to join us.
We enter various Drama Festivals which usually take place in a full-size theatre, entering our one-act plays both youth and adult, and we have won many prizes in all categories including best production, best actor and actress, both youth and adult, and also best technical.
Each year we hold our own evening of entertainment which includes our own presentation of trophies and long-service medals.
We are a group of like-minded people who enjoy amateur theatre, we have a wide age group, we are from all walks of life and we will make you most welcome if you wish to join us.
We sadly lost both our founding members, Viv and John, in 2013. All performances are dedicated to them for making Wilburton Theatre Group possible.
John Seaman MBE
WTG FOUNDER MEMBER
WTG FOUNDER MEMBER