70 years of theatre

HITTING THE STAGE: Cameron Horsburgh (back left) with the Mount Gambier Theatre Group ahead of their performances this weekend. PICTURE: Charlotte Varcoe

Charlotte Varcoe

The Mount Gambier Theatre Group will celebrate 70 years on Saturday with a sell-out event.

Held at the Limestone Coast Pantry, seasoned and new performers will hit the stage in front of more than 100 audience members as part of the Cabaret celebrations.

First opening its doors in 1953, the Mount Gambier Theatre Group remains strong with more than 60 members currently enrolled.

Theatre Group president Cameron Horsburgh said since he first joined the group there had been a lot of “really big” shows held.

Mr Horsburgh said the group also used to compete against other theatre groups across the region but due to the dwindling numbers, the competitions were no longer held.

“We used to come back with a lot of silverware as well from the competitions but unfortunately that does not happen anymore because we do not have the theatre groups anymore but we were successful over the years,” Mr Horsburgh said.

He said since its inception there had been a number of changes regarding administration including insurance and legislative requirements.

However, Mr Horsburgh said he believed the ultimate reason behind the theatre group remained the same.

“Ultimately the great thing is the theatre group is a group of people coming together, wanting to tell stories and that has not changed in 70 years,” he said.

“We have recently had a number of shows still which have been really successful and we have a lot of interest in our workshops, especially for kids and teenagers which is where a lot of this variety show is getting its performances from.”

He said the group had come up with a range of performances which were seemingly popular with many being performed this weekend.

“We have got a few small plays all written by members here and we have come up with some really good little shows,” Mr Horsburgh said.

“There will also be musical acts, a few life members telling stories from days gone by and we also have a few small plays all written by members here which are some really good little shows.”

Leading up to the event, Mr Horsburgh said he was excited to see the event coming together with some performers taking to the stage for the first time.

“We have to keep young blood coming through and to not be afraid of taking risks,” he said.

“There is no formula for a good show, you just need to think about what the crowd wants to see and we really have a few good shows coming down the pipeline for next year.”