Doncaster theatre group’s show must go on despite loss of rehearsal room

Black Cat Theatre Social Enterprise for people with special needs has been left with no-where to rehearse after the council ended its lease. Andy Evans, his wife Helen (right) and Katrina Evers (centre), pictured. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Black Cat MC 1
Black Cat Theatre Social Enterprise for people with special needs has been left with no-where to rehearse after the council ended its lease. Andy Evans, his wife Helen (right) and Katrina Evers (centre), pictured. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Black Cat MC 1
0
Have your say

A Doncaster theatre group which welcomes people with additional needs has been kicked out of its rehearsal room weeks before a big production.

Black Cat Theatre group has used a room in Almond Tree Court on Tickhill Road, Balby, for the last 18 months.

But they have been told they must vacate the room – provided free of charge – so it can be made available to a tenant.

They have therefore been unable to hold their usual Saturday rehearsal for their next big show in July.

Group chairman and founder Andy Evans said: “We are so passionate about this group. You can’t put into words what our members get out of it.”

Black Cat Theatre has more than 30 regular members aged seven to 75. Some of the members have health problems or additional needs such as autism but the group is open to all.

Katrina Evers, group secretary and co-writer, added: “A lot of the members don’t get out much – they’re either inbetween jobs or not at school any more – so the group has been a way for them to make new friends.

“One of our members struggled talking to anyone and his dad had to chauffeur him around everywhere. Now he is catching the bus by himself and picking up social skills.”

Wendy Parkes of Flourish Enterprises, a social enterprise that rents out Almond Tree Court, said: “We are sorry that we have had to ask the Black Cat Theatre Company to vacate the room they use. The theatre company does a fantastic job working with young people of all abilities and they have supported us with all of our Flourish events last year and this.

“The reason we have had to take this action is that we may be renting Almond Tree Court out to a tenant. However, we can help the theatre company by offering our Community Hall or a room in St Catherine’s House for their rehearsals free of charge.”

n The show must go on: Bob the Vampire Slayer will be performed on July 17-19 at the Doncaster Little Theatre.