Drama society launches appeal for new members as threat of closure looms

A SIMADS performance of High Society.

A SIMADS performance of High Society. - Credit: Archant

An amateur dramatic society that can trace its roots back more than 80 years is facing closure unless new members can be found to take it forward.

The St Ives Musical and Amateur Dramatic Society (SIMADS) is holding an extraordinary general meeting on October 11 to see if the threat of having to fold can be staved off.

The society was founded in 1935 by Charles Cannon and is one of the county’s longest-running drama groups. It began by staging Gilbert and Sullivan operettas and gradually progressed to American musicals such as Carousel, Oklahoma, Showboat, and Guys and Dolls.

In more recent years, members have put on shows such as Oliver and My Fair Lady and also celebrated a successful production of Hairspray.

After a break during the war years, the society has put on productions almost continually. It is affiliated to the National Opera and Drama Association.

A spokesman for the group said: “Unfortunately, it has gradually become very apparent that the escalating costs of mounting such productions is prohibitive. Declining membership and a dwindling audience have exacerbated an increasingly rapid downturn in fortunes.

“SIMADS welcomes all members and any interested parties to the meeting to discuss any practical and viable suggestions that could save the society. It is part of the constitution that only paid up members have a vote but that does not preclude others from attending the meeting.”

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The spokesman added that if a definitive solution cannot be found, dissolution of the group may be the only option left.

“It is with a heavy heart that the society faces this dilemma and we would implore as many as possible to attend this vital meeting,” the spokesman added.

The meeting is taking place at 7.30pm in the Burgess Hall, in St Ives. To find out more about the society, log on to www.simads.co.uk.