Curtain to fall after final play

All at sea...Dave Williams, Lyn Pearce, Carol Owen, Marie Stokes-Davy and Lynda Sharpe during rehearsals of We found love and an Exquisite set of Porcelain Figurines aboard the SS Farndale Avenue by Desborough Amateur Dramatic Society. (Picture: Andrew Carpenter/001387-51)
All at sea...Dave Williams, Lyn Pearce, Carol Owen, Marie Stokes-Davy and Lynda Sharpe during rehearsals of We found love and an Exquisite set of Porcelain Figurines aboard the SS Farndale Avenue by Desborough Amateur Dramatic Society. (Picture: Andrew Carpenter/001387-51)

When the curtain falls on next month’s Desborough Amateur Dramatic Society production of Calendar Girls it will mark the end of the group’s 80-year history.

Falling membership means the group, which was founded in 1932, has decided to call it a day but actors, backstage crew and directors are promising that the group will go out in a blaze of glory.

Stella Freeman, the group’s current longest serving member who joined in 1962, said: “I am sorry to see the end of the society.

“I met my husband through the group and it has been a part of our lives for the past 50 years.

“We have been struggling to put on plays for the past several years and we have, sadly, finally had to admit that there are too few members to keep going any longer.

“It isn’t only that we don’t have enough acting members, we also don’t have enough set builders or directors.”

The group’s next production, Calendar Girls, will be staged during the week beginning Monday, March 11, and is being directed by Mrs Freeman’s son, Sean Freeman.

He has convinced a number of former actors to come back for one last show and rehearsals began in January.

Mrs Freeman added: “It is so good to see our old friends returning for one last show, and this one will be absolutely great – I can’t wait to see it.”

After its foundation in 1932, the group had a stop-start history until 1974 when a campaign to attract new members was a huge success. Since 1974, the group has had an uninterrupted run of productions.

Until 1977, the group performed in the Desborough Co-operative Hall.

However, after the installation of a low ceiling there in the late 1970s the group moved to the Catholic church hall from 1978.

Calendar Girls opens on Monday, March 11, at Desborough Roman Catholic Church Hall, Victoria Street, and runs until Saturday, March 16.

Tickets cost £5, with concessions for the Monday show only, and are available from Burditts Shop in Station Road, Desborough. Call 01536 760233 for information.

The group also has a website with a number of photos from previous productions which can be found at www.desboroughdramaticssociety.co.uk.