Shoulder to Shoulder drama group

Shoulder to Shoulder drama group

A new drama group for the over 55s, Shoulder to Shoulder, has got off to a flying start thanks in part to a grant from City Health Care Partnership Foundation.

The group is aimed at people who have little or no experience of the theatre but want to get involved in acting and social activities. It was set up by Dave and Polly Pattison of Wotlarx Enterprises, who expected to get around 12 people coming along; they were astonished when over 30 turned up for the first session at Newland Community Church.

“It’s fantastic that people are so keen,” said David. “We never expected such enthusiasm and have decided to start an evening session in January so that more people can take part. On 18 December we are staging a Celebration involving all group members in an informal show. In 2015 we plan to produce more shows and then, looking ahead, we’re hoping that the group can play a full part in the City of Culture celebrations in 2017.”

Many of the group haven’t been on stage before, but they’re thoroughly enjoying being part of Shoulder to Shoulder. “It’s a lot of fun,” said Anne. “We look forward to coming each week and it’s very well-structured; I can’t believe how much we’ve progressed since we started. And it’s a great way to meet new people.”

“I was looking for a hobby,” said Sandy. “I’ve always had an interest in acting and I love the group and the camaraderie. We’re also learning lots of techniques, like breathing properly. But mainly I just like all the people!”

Polly Pattison joined a drama group at 60 to work behind the scenes, but she was ‘pushed in at the deep end’ to go on the stage. “10 years later, here I am!” she said. “I want other people to start that path and go on the same road. There’s not much out there for the over 55s and you can’t join amateur dramatics as a beginner; we really hope that this will be a way to help people find their inner thespian and enjoy the limelight.”

City Health Care Partnership Foundation helped Shoulder to Shoulder by paying for the insurance for the group through its small grants scheme. If you want to know more about Shoulder to Shoulder you can contact Polly or Dave on 01482 351259.