Drama club saved from the axe returns to stage

FIGHTING TO CONTINUE ... The Vision drama group taking part in a drama festival at the Customs House, South Shields.
FIGHTING TO CONTINUE ... The Vision drama group taking part in a drama festival at the Customs House, South Shields.

MEMBERS of a theatre group which came under threat when its funding was cut are looking forward to getting back on the stage.

Aspiring actors in The Vision are set to take part in a Young People’s Drama Festival at the Customs House, in South Shields.

The group, which has about 30 members, including some with learning and physical disabilities, will take to the stage at the Mill Dam theatre on Tuesday, February 2.

The event, funded by Jarrow with Harton Rotary Club, invites people aged 10 to 25 to devise new pieces of drama around the club’s motto, Service Above Self.

The Vision will be performing a short play, called Just One Final Look, which was written by Sandie Malia, who formed the group in 2004.

She said: “We took part in a big event at the Customs House last year to commemorate the First World War, so we got an email about this festival and we jumped at the chance.

“I talked to the group members about what they thought Service Before Self meant, and they said it meant putting others before your own safety, so we came up with the idea of writing a play about the fire brigade.”

The club, based at St Jude’s Parish Hall in St Jude’s Terrace, Laygate, was placed under threat in 2013 when South Tyneside Council cut its £10,000 annual funding.

After being reported in the Gazette, the group was inundated with support from South Tynesiders and have since strived to continue.

Ms Malia added: “Everyone is very excited about taking part in the festival.

“With us not having any funding, getting the opportunity to perform on stage at the Customs House is fantastic.

“We put on plays to raise money so that we can continue to get together as a group and do what we love.

“We’re fighting to continue any way we can.”

The Young People’s Drama Festival starts at 7pm and tickets cost £5. To book, go to www.customshouse.co.uk or call 454 1234.

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki