Markfield & Thornton Theatre group

Well, we did it! After a long, enforced break, our Group staged a production to entertain, and hopefully, delight our audiences.

“Tis the Season to be Jolly”, a Murder Mystery written by Muriel Walker and directed by Anne Dobrowlska, was performed at Thornton Community Centre for three nights in December 2021.

It was a sell-out success and many congratulatory comments were received from audience members. They had enjoyed seeing live entertainment again; being in good company in a lively, seasonal atmosphere, and racking their brains to try to identify the murderer who,
unrepentant, stalked amongst them! Oh how the audiences interrogated the suspects! Not a stone went unturned (But many a red herring was netted!) !

Three new members have joined the ranks of MTTG, and it was good to see them , two on stage for the first time, bringing their roles to life, and thoroughly enjoying the comradeship of our friendly Group.

We discovered that, for one of our members, her role in the Murder Mystery was especially significant. Ena Illidge, who joined MTTG some years ago, was marking an unbelievable SEVENTY YEARS in amateur dramatics. Ena had lost count of the roles she’s played since she was sixteen, back home in the little village of Elsecar, in South Yorkshire. Her Mother said, “I’ve heard there’s a lovely drama group at the Miners’ Welfare… come along… I’ll take you!” And take Ena she did. She was immediately asked to prompt for a production of “Reluctant Heroes ”, but, when, a fortnight later, one of the group became ill, was catapulted into the role of a middle-aged WAC officer. Luckily, the uniform fitted! Previously, Ena had played the role of the Grandmother in “Murder at the Bugginses” at her Sunday School. She remembers that she did a lot of rocking in a rocking-chair and solved the murder! Maybe it was that early sleuthing success that lead her to triumph in later years as Miss Marple in amateur productions. She names Jane Marple as one of her favourite roles, but adds that her most favourite role of all was as Lady Bracknell in “The Importance of Being Ernest” by Oscar Wilde. She also relished the opportunity to deliver the Alan Bennet monologue , “A Cream Cracker Under the Settee” – a great feat of both memory and characterisation.

We could not let Ena’s seventieth year on stage go unacknowledged, so, on the last night, called her on to stage to receive a bouquet with our thanks and admiration. She is an unassuming person and was quite overwhelmed by the gesture. We are fortunate to have her as a talented, loyal and supportive member.

Ena Illidge

That conveniently brings me to the point that, we are always looking for new members for MTTG . A drama group needs lots of people, on stage and backstage, to enable productions to be staged. We meet on Wednesday evening at Thornton Community Centre.

Maybe you want to act or sing or dance? Maybe you can paint scenery, sew costumes and make properties? Maybe you’d like to be front of house, looking after our audiences? Is writing your talent? Would you just like to make new friends and be part of a welcoming Group?

If you are interested , ring Andy or Anne on O1530 469714 and they’ll answer any questions.

We have a lower age limit for membership of sixteen – but there is no upper age limit!

What’s next?
Our next production dates are 6th -9th April 2022 and we are planning to stage a comedy or farce as we feel that laughter is much needed! .
However, the volatile nature of the pandemic situation affects us all, so please watch this space.
The aim of our Group continues to be to bring a variety of live dramatic productions, which are worthy or your support, to the locality.
We hope to see you, and to hear your laughter in April 2022.

Muriel Walker

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