A THEATRE company with members from the Belper area is gearing up for its 18th appearance at Derby’s Guildhall.
The Gatepost Theatre Company is staging a production of Footloose at the venue over four days next month.
And director Jim Baker, of Crich, cannot wait. He said: “I am very much looking forward to it.
“Footloose is quite a powerful story behind some really excellent music.”
Jim, 62, runs the company with his wife Kate, 72, who is musical director. The couple, both former teachers, live at The Common in Crich.
They started Gatepost in 2004 after retiring from their jobs. Kate has been involved in amateur theatre for many years and was head of performing arts at Heanor Gate Science College.
“This will be the eighteenth show we have done in Derby, 17 of which have been at the Guildhall, in the last eight years,” said Jim.
“It is something of a continuing tradition. And this time we will have some new members of the company performing, which is a big thing.”
But what can the audience expect from the Footloose show, which will feature a live band and a 20-strong cast including members from Horsley Woodhouse and Smalley?
“It is amateur theatre,” said Jim. “But I think we have had a reputation for putting on really great stuff.
“We have done some stuff that has been considered high quality.”
Jim pointed to some “really good” reviews of a Gatepost production of Summer Holiday last March at Derby Theatre as proof.
Last year, Summer Holiday only went ahead thanks to the generosity of the company’s president Gwen Roden, from Belper.
A grateful Jim said: “If it had not been for Gwen’s financial support we would not have put last year’s show on.
“She underwrote that show and said she would cover any losses. It was so generous.
“Derby Theatre is a great place to work. It was a really brilliant opportunity.”
Jim said that Gwen and her husband Fred had been supporters of Gatepost for many years, travelling up from the West Midlands, where they lived, for every show.
She moved to Belper in July, 2010, after Fred died from cancer.
Gatepost is made up of people aged from 15 years upwards and rehearses in Loscoe.
The company has performed many well-known shows, including Fame, We Will Rock You, and Disco Inferno.
Footloose, which is based on the hit film from the 1980s, is being performed at the Guildhall on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 7, 8, 9 and 10 March.
The shows start at 7.30pm each evening and there will be a matinee performance on the Saturday at 2.30pm.
Tickets are £8. Concessions, which are available on the Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday matinee, are £6. To get yours, ring the Derby Live box office on 01332 255800. Alternatively, go to www.derbylive.co.uk.
Gatepost welcomes enquiries from anyone wishing to join the company or volunteer to assist in the non-performing roles. If you are interested email firstname.lastname@example.org.