What’s been a great year for theatre in Duns just got even better with the news that the town’s Players and Operatic Society have been awarded grants from the BBC.
It was revealed on Monday that both amateur groups would receive a slice of the corporations funding pie with Duns Players receiving £3,485 and Duns & District Operatic Society receiving £2,000.
The duo are two of many groups throughout the UK who have been boosted by money from the BBC’s Performing Arts Fund which is generated from public phone votes for the channel’s popular entertainment programmes such as ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.
Duns Players, who have tasted success with a double bill of ‘Steptoe & Son’ and ‘The Vicar of Dibley’ and ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ this year, will use their grant to improve vocal and movement skills with a view to launching two new projects with school children and adults next year.
Welcoming the grant, chair John Schofield commented: “This is great news. For the past couple of years, Duns Players has been working hard to bring professional standards to our performances.
“This grant will be used to bring in coaching skills for local, amateur actors and to send some of our group on courses in theatre skills.
“These will then be shared with others and help us to take community theatre in Duns to new heights.”
Duns Opera, who saw the curtain go up on their Christmas pantomime ‘Snow White & the Magic Mirror’ last night, will use their cash to run a performance arts festival next summer involving art, music and drama, leading to a full scale of production of ‘The Jungle Book’.
The society’s president, Emma Taylor, took a breather from panto preparations to tell ‘The Berwickshire’ how thrilled she was with the funding boost.
“I’ve been that caught up with the pantomime that the news hasn’t really sunk in yet but obviously it’s fantastic for us.
“The details are still to be finalised for ‘The Jungle Book’ but we’re planning on running a summer school for 9-15 year olds, getting them involved with scenery, costumes etc as well as the acting side of things.
“I have to say a massive thank you to Helen Forsyth who was the driving force between both ours and the Players’ application.”