Join Our Club in Dovercourt and Harwich

PUBLISHED: 17:13 24 May 2013


If you have ever fancied treading the boards, then look no further than Dovercourt Theatre Group, which is celebrating 40 years in showbusiness next year. This active amateur drama group was started in 1974 and has 20 members from across the Harwich area entertaining audiences throughout Essex with its elaborate productions.

‘I’ve been a member since 1992 and have lost count of the number of roles I’ve played,’ says committee member Richard Kemp-Luck. ‘I’ve been in most of the productions and get a lot out of it. We perform several productions and you don’t have to have an interest in acting to take part as we also have members who help with the props, sets and lighting.’

The group’s members have tried their hands at numerous productions including modern plays, classics and pantomimes, winning rave reviews in the local press. Among the many performances recently produced are Abigail’s Party, After The Ball Is Over, Run For Your Wife and Cinderella. Dovercourt Theatre Group also entertained the crowds visiting Colne Valley Railway’s 1940s Day by dressing up in costumes from the period to help add to the atmosphere.

Members of Dovercourt Theatre Group love putting on period dramas and wardrobe mistress Sheila Dommett takes great delight and puts in lots of hard work to make sure they are accurate in all details.

Members also enjoy regular social events like quizzes and bingo which are held to raise funds towards the cost of productions. The group have been busy rehearsing Alan Ayckbourn’s Time of My Life, which they performed in mid April, and the proceeds were being raised for a local care home which is looking after a member’s husband.

‘Next year we will be celebrating our 40th anniversary and our 100th production so we are looking for something really special to put on,’ explained the group’s chairman, Simon Todd.

‘If you want to be involved, whether your interests are artistic or technical, creative or organisational, then join us – we’ll have a role for you!’

Get Involved

Annual subscription is £60, but new members don’t start paying subscriptions until the next quarter. The Dovercourt Theatre Group meets most Tuesdays and Fridays from 7.30pm at The Studio, behind Harwich Magistrates Court. If you are interested in joining, email

Harwich Hoodies

Prime Ministers do it, pop stars do it and so do people in Harwich and Dovercourt – they are all challenging the stereotypical image of young people. David Cameron once encouraged people to ‘hug a hoodie’ and now Kieran Hutchence (17), Kaitlin Trenerry (16) and a group of friends are busy planning the third Harwich Hoodie Festival in Dovercourt, with the aim of stopping discrimination against young people who wear hoods.

Working with Fixers, a movement of young people tackling issues they feel strongly about, the courageous teenagers drew a crowd of more than 150 people to last year’s event held at the Park Pavilion which was endorsed by singer and Xtra Factor host star Olly Murs. It featured entertainment, competitions and celebrated the creativity and talents of young people in an effort to bring communities in the town together.

‘The festival went so well,’ said Kieran. ‘We were totally impressed and surprised by the amount of people who turned up. It was great to see so many people together in one place who may not have otherwise even known about each other.’

Olly Murs showed his support for the festival with a video message, saying: ‘You’ve shown everyone out there what great things young people can achieve. So keep up the good work guys. See you soon.’

Kaitlin explains: ‘I hope that we are moving in the right direction towards eliminating stereotypes. It’s not going to happen overnight, but hopefully more people will start to understand where we’re coming from.’

Emily Byrne attended the festival. She adds: ‘The festival made me realise that we can all get along with everyone and become a closer community when we join in with these kinds of festivals.’

Ellis Janda-Bantick was also challenged by the festival. ‘The festival made me realise that there is a lot of talent within the young people of Harwich,’ says Ellis. ‘A lot of people stereotype young children by thinking they are rude or impolite. These sorts of events are a really good way of changing people’s perception of young people.’

The award-winning Fixers project has already supported almost 7,000 young people aged 16 to 25 across the UK to have an authentic voice in their community. Now, thanks to a £7.2 million grant from the Big Lottery Fund, Fixers aims to work with a further 20,000 young people over the next three years.

Get Involved

For details contact Ellie, the Fixers young person’s coordinator for Anglia, on 07436 265917 or email

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