Welcome to the website of our two research projects, the first fully funded academic studies of amateur theatre in the UK.

Postcard from Torquay

Added on by Helen Nicholson.

Postcard written by Erin Walcon

EW: So what triggers that motivation to stay involved?

JM: Addiction.

RH: I think that is the word.  It becomes addictive.  And it’s not just because we want to be on stage, prancing around, for some personal fulfilment.  It’s actually creating a character, drawing it out of yourself and that’s valuable.

JM: I think initially, it is a case of you are doing it for you.  And I think most people if they were brutally honest, would admit the same.  For myself, it was a case of I was very appreciate of being allowed to go on stage and act and do what I wanted to do, and I morally felt obliged to give something back to the theatre i.e. to do other voluntary duties, etc. and that’s just the way I’m built.  I think that’s true for a lot of other people, to be honest.  But then again, for a lot of people in am dram, there’s more to it.  There is a social side.  It gives you something to do.  And it keeps you very mentally active.

RH: Yeah, I would agree with that.  Particularly at my age – you see, so many people spend their time doing crosswords, and summing up Sudoku? 

JM: Well it’s very difficult for, one of the things I’ve noticed – with this society and others locally – is that even older people, say in their 70s, or 80s, even, are extraordinarily fit and active, both physically and mentally, and I think it’s fulfilling a need to give you something worth getting up in the morning for.  I mean, that’s a gross generalisation, but it is certainly fulfilling a need.  And it is a very intense hobby, very time consuming, and it requires a huge commitment, which actually is part of the enjoyment.

TOAD'S Little Theatre, Torquay

TOAD'S Little Theatre, Torquay