The show may not go on: Theatrical society could fold

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The show may not go on again.

That’s the message from Batley Gilbert and Sullivan Society, which says it could fold if the group cannot raise enough money to cover production costs.

The 67-year-old amateur society has been running short opera shows every year since it began in 1949 in North Kirklees.

But organisers now say its Princess Ida show, starting at Batley Town Hall in April, could be its last production.

Robert Thurman, society treasurer, said: “People don’t really understand how expensive it is to put on even an amateur show. We work hard to raise funds all year round, but it isn’t easy to meet the costs of hiring the town hall, the orchestra and the costumes and we’re usually left with a shortfall.”

Since the loss of the old Dewsbury Little Theatre venue in 2010 the group, which relies on fundraising, has struggled to make enough money to cover its production running costs.

It was forced to move to Batley Town Hall, as the only other alternative venue.

And the society says move has led to a loss of revenue from the sale of refreshments and commission charged on tickets.

Stephanie Roe, society president, said: “Moving to Batley Town Hall has had its advantages in some ways, particularly in terms of access to Kirklees Council’s box office facilities.

“Unfortunately, those advantages are outweighed by the loss of revenue from the sale of refreshments and the commission charged by the Council on tickets sold through their box office.

“There is no professional theatre in North Kirklees and groups like ours provide great opportunities for people to experience quality live theatre without travelling further afield. When amateur societies fold up it is a loss to the whole community.”

The group organises coffee mornings, tombolas, race nights and carol singing events to fundraise.

But it still has a shortfall and anyone who wants to help should visit www.batleygands.org.uk.