Curtain goes up on new drama school for kids

A Belper community theatre company is setting up a drama group for chidren after landing a £1,000 award from Derbyshire County Council.

Captive Audience Community Theatre was founded by former actor Larry Waller, of New Road, Belper, after he mounted a production of A Christmas Carol with Belper Players in 2010.

Larry will run the workshops every Saturday morning, starting on September 14. He said: “We will be running two groups - one for younger children aged five to 11 and one for older children aged 12 - 16.

“We will be working with a movement teacher, Kitty Winter, for the first half term.

“After that we will be working with Louis Vella, a filmmaker from Belper, to give the kids some time in front of the camera, as well as behind-the-scenes experience.

“In the third term we will be working with Belper writer George Gunby who will be devising a short piece of theatre which we hope to perform around May 2014 as part of the Belper Arts Festival.”

Larry worked as an actor for 15 years and his resume includes parts in Coronation Street, The Bill and London’s Burning. He currently works for Barnados as a childrens’ services manager.

He said: “I am squeezing every ounce out of the money that we have been given to focus on employing local people.

“The workshops will cost £5 a session with a half termly fee for all. There are also concessions available as part of making sure everyone can access the group.”

Captive Audience Community Theatre received the award as part of the council’s second round of Small Arts Grants, which saw eight groups share £7,230 to develop plans they have to work with communities in their area.

To contact Captive Audience for more information call Larry on 07970113564 or email on

For more information about the Small Arts Grants visit or or 01773 832497.