The curtain has come down on Wythall Theatre Company for the final time. The group, which first tread the boards in 1958, has been forced to close due to dwindling numbers after 157 shows.
It’s a sad end to a group of players who have seen some 400 actors and actresses take the stage over the years. Estelle Shutkever, who joined the company in 1959, is their longest serving member. She said “In 1956, after getting married I came to live in Wythall. After having my first son I heard that there was a drama group that had just started. That was 60 years ago. Since then, with a couple of name changes on the way, it became Wythall Theatre Company. Sixty wonderful years, great plays, a couple of musicals and the friendship of people who almost became like a family! How very sad I feel that all that is coming to an end. I know that I will miss it greatly.”
Spokeswoman Alison Trombley, who met her husband Jason at Wythall Theatre Company, said that they had been left with falling membership, making it impossible to put on productions. “Lives are busier, older members do not have the energy and younger members have moved away,” she said.
However, the spirit of Wythall Theatre Company will live on as, thanks to loyal audiences and members, it is closing in profit.
“This has enabled it to make donations to numerous charitable causes in Wythall. These being the Dementia Cafe, Wythall Community Association, Wythall Institute, Hollytrees Animal Rescue Trust, Scouts, Guides and The Wythall Community Choir,” said Alison.
Additionally, in memory of former members, it has made donations to Primrose Hospice, Macmillan and British Heart Foundation.
Having successfully calaborated with Dynamik Theatre last year to perform Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the company has made a generous donation to assist a future generation of performers who will be staging Oliver! at The Palace Theatre in February 2020.
Redditch Standard 02/08/2019
Photo: Jason Trombley, Liz Round and Jamie Poxon.