Purpose far beyond putting on a show

AS a long time supporter of amateur theatre in the area, I was dismayed by the review surrounding the recent production of West Side Story at the Playhouse Whitley Bay (News Guardian, April 26).

The tone of the article and references to how other societies do things smacked of pettiness and in my opinion was a thinly veiled attack on societies in the region.

Several local societies have been staging successful productions for many decades and it is not the place of reviews to criticise other people’s way of doing things.

Of course everyone should strive to put on the best show they possibly can, but we should never lose sight of the fact that these are amateur productions and serve a purpose far beyond just putting on a show.

People have an opportunity to develop talents and life skills, both on stage and behind the scenes, it serves a valuable social role and is supposed to be fun.

The huge number of friendships, relationships and marriages begun through amateur dramatic societies is beyond calculation.

It is also important not to lose sight of the valuable community function played, uniting people of all backgrounds and ages.

Productions are no better or worse than a great many shows staged by amateur companies in the area.

In these difficult times when community cohesion is important, it would be better to be building bridges and supporting all arts in the area.

BARBARA ROSBROOK

North Shields

nThe article was submitted by an independent reviewer who has no affiliation to the production and was their honest account of the evening’s performance – Editor.