Cirencester Theatre Company (CTC) is a not-for-profit community theatre group with a passion for providing opportunity through theatre to as many people as possible. Aside from full stage productions at their resident theatre (The Sundial, Cirencester College), their work includes local community projects such as:
- Pop-up community theatre (marketplace events and free-of-charge performances at care homes)
- Comedy sketches at The Phoenix Festival
- Radio plays with Corinium Radio
- Skills workshops for members and those of neighbouring groups
- Playwriting huddles, open to all
- Free-to-view virtual productions via their YouTube channel
Formed in 2018, CTC has around 20 active members of varying ages (teens to seventies) and levels of experience. They welcome people from all walks of life and believe in championing local creativity by supporting neighbouring theatre companies and community organisations.
Award-nominated 2020 stage production ‘Natural Causes’
In 2019, when Mulberry Court Care Home were seeking help for their VE Day celebrations, CTC were the first to volunteer. Members wrote a series of wartime sketches, dedicated weeks to rehearsals, and performed to a great reception from residents and their families.
With a number of aspiring writers in their group, CTC offer a platform to anyone who wants to try their hand at playwriting. This year, original works written and produced by members were to include a full stage production and performances at various community events. Due to the pandemic, these have been postponed, but that hasn’t stopped CTC from coming up with other ways of entertaining the local community.
With the country in lockdown, members of CTC wrote and produced ‘The Show Must Go Online!’, a free-to-view 5-part comedy series about a theatre group who decide to perform their upcoming stage-production online. The series, which aired in June, combines the dynamics of amdram, the peculiarities of lockdown, and the technical challenges of virtual performance. The production was a hit, with the first episode reaching nearly 700 viewers from Gloucestershire and further afield. In October, series two (a Halloween special) was broadcast, supported by Corinium Radio, and series three is set for 2021. CTC manually subtitled all episodes to make them more accessible to viewers.
The Show Must Go Online – Virtual Production
You can now catch all episodes of ‘The Show Must Go Online’ on the Cirencester Theatre Company YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtHKkdb50nvrTGUrfTCwrQA. For script and performance enquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For CTC’s members, virtual performance has been a welcome distraction, an opportunity to learn new skills in screenwriting, production and editing, and a vital way to connect during lockdown and shielding. Community theatre groups like CTC often include older people who may continue to shield until the pandemic is over. This means most productions will need to be online for the time being, but many groups lack the know-how to do this. Because of this, CTC are offering their scripts including technical instruction to other community theatre groups, in the hope that this will provide them with opportunities to stay connected, be creative and continue performing to their own local audiences.
If you’re interested in joining Cirencester Theatre Company, or watching its productions, go to https://www.cirencestertheatrecompany.co.uk/