Drama group needs a new home

A GROUP of youngsters learning to tread the boards is appealing for help in finding a home they can call their own.

A GROUP of youngsters learning to tread the boards is appealing for help in finding a home they can call their own.

The Thetford Academy of Dramatic Art prides itself on helping its students with their confidence and speech as well as acting skills, but said it struggles to fulfil its potential without its own base.

Run by business partners Vince Gregory and Mandy Davis, the academy is made up adults who mostly request private tuition, and a separate group of around 13 youngsters between eight and 13-years-old which meet on a Saturday morning during term time.

The aim is to begin to appeal to older teenagers by giving them somewhere they would enjoy being, and give the academy a permanent home.

Currently Mr Gregory hires the Fulmerston Road Church in Thetford on a Saturday morning for the young group, and uses a small studio, or travels to private homes, for the adults.

Mr Gregory, an actor, musician and tutor, said: “There are lots of drama groups around but we wanted to give them more than the usual theatre games. We wanted to be a club where they learn to speak and read properly.”

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He added: “The church we use is used throughout the week for five and six year olds and the chairs are tiny.

“The teenagers come but they find it difficult to get into the spirit of it. We want a place to call home and to put up theatre memorabilia on the walls, and set up the staging and lighting rigs and not have to take it down every weekend.”

The academy is now searching for suitable premises to lease in Thetford. The building would ideally be made up of two rooms with a total area of about 1,000sq ft and would need to be accessible the majority of the time.

Currently the group produces a performance at the end of each term, showcasing new skills and most recently held a show made up of snippets from various musicals.

“The kids don't really have something to capture their imagination at the moment,” Mr Gregory said. “They need somewhere to go where they feel good about what they're doing.”

To get in touch with Mr Gregory call him on 0786 100 3248 or email the drama group at tada@fsmail.net.

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