Posted 22nd September 2021
By Rachel Johnson, founder member of Bolsover Drama Group
“In the 1960’s I was in TEDS, Town End Drama Society. This began in the 1950’s you had to attend the church, where it was held in the hall, this seated 100 people but in those days there were no rules or regulations as there are today and on some nights people were even sat in the windowsills. It was a valued night out but unfortunately it had to finish as the chapel was pulled down (the site now occupied by flats).
In 1981 I met Stewart Wood (a former TEDS member) as we reminisced we recalled the fun times and said it was a pity we had no drama group in Bolsover. I left this thought with Stewart. The following month an advertisement had been placed in the local paper inviting anyone with an interest in starting a drama group to meet in the library room, 40 people turned up!
Funding was a big issue (nothings changed there then!) but the enthusiasm was infectious and jumble sales in the scout hut and a ‘float’ advertising our group in the local Fete helped to get us started.
The first play we put on was Strike Happy from then the audiences started to get bigger. I remember my mother and father going – they used to enjoy it, and my father became a patron of the group. Over the next few years the group grew and then children started to join. We put on plays and a pantomime and then our first big musical The King and I.
With 50-60 children in the group the junior section was started in 1996, I have seen them grow up and go to university and still come back to us. Some have made a career by going into teaching drama or have won places in Drama school.
It gives you a good feeling when you see them get on in their lives, we try and teach the children all aspects of drama they even had professionals teaching them when they made the Climate Change video.
I hope Bolsover Drama Group can go on for many more years. I am glad to have had a small part in it”