Curtain goes up on fund raising drive

Camps Amateur Theatrical Society (CATS) production of its pantomime Robin Hood at Hundon village hall. ANL-150204-113009001

Camps Amateur Theatrical Society (CATS) production of its pantomime Robin Hood at Hundon village hall. ANL-150204-113009001

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A popular amateur dramatic group has launched a fundraising campaign to find money it needs to build a new home in Castle Camps.

Although the vast majority of the cast and committee of Camps Amateur Theatrical Society, live in Haverhill, the group uses Castle Camps village hall for all its rehearsals and yearly productions.

After a year of deliberation, Castle Camps Parish Council has given approval for the theatre group to have the use of the old football changing rooms, a separate building behind the village hall.

But the building needs a complete make-over as it is not in a good state of repair

CATS chairman Trevor Bishop said the group is trying to raise around £8,000 to renovate the old football changing rooms so they can be used to store the group’s props and scenery and be used as a waiting area when members of the group are not on the stage in the village hall.

“Our youth group which is called Top CATS is very popular - we even have a waiting list. there is a lot of enthusiasm from youngsters to join and I think it’s because we are a very friendly group. Top CATS put on three performances a year at the moment, and the new building would give the children a place to wait between performances.

“With the installation of CCTV, we will be able to tell them when they are due on stage, and they will be able to get back in via the back door of the village hall.

“The other reason we will be pleased to have this building is to have somewhere damp-free to store all our costumes. As you can imagine, we have quite a lot.”

CATS most recent pantomime, Robin Hood, proved a big hit - so much so they were able to take it on tour for an extra performance at Hundon Village Hall.

Added Mr Bishop: “We had full houses in Castle Camps for our Friday night and Saturday matinee and evening performances. For the first time in our history, we took it on tour. Logistics were a lot of fun moving the scenery around.”

Businesses and individuals wishing to support CATS’ work, with advertising or fundraising, can contact Mr Bishop on 01440 762290 or email him on uktrev@btinternet.com