Spittal Variety Group
Alex Moor started Spittal Variety Group in 1961 with a small group of friends performing in St Paul’s Church Hall, Spittal. He produced variety shows, then in 1963 he produced a pantomime, the first one being Cinderella. This was well received, so much so he continued producing pantomimes every year after that.
As well as variety shows, which he took on tour around Berwick and the surrounding area, he produced musicals too. SVG have performed many musicals through the years, Finian’s Rainbow, The Boyfriend, Gigi, Showboat, Oklahoma, South Pacific, Annie, Oliver, Anything Goes, Brigadoon, Annie Get Your Gun, Calamity Jane, Me & My Girl & My Fair Lady.
Alex often organised variety shows with various stars of the day, including the Alexander Brothers, the Tartan Lads, Wiggy Brown and Andy Stewart.
Over the years we have given thousands of pounds to various charities, but all local, Alex wanted any money donated to benefit the people of Berwick and district, a policy we stand by today.
SVG was and still is very much a family group, a lot of our members are related, either husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, aunties, uncles and even grandparents. Many of our senior members have more than 20, 30 and even 40 years membership, our members range in age from 9 to 80 years old !!
We performed in St Paul’s Church Hall, Wallace Green Church Hall, Springhill School, and The Old Theatre, Hide Hill, before making our home in The Playhouse until 2005 when it closed. We have now been performing at The Maltings Theatre since 2006 and still receiving full houses and plenty of requests by new members.
Pantomime is definitely our speciality and over the years we’ve performed most of them, Jack & the Beanstalk, Sinbad the Sailor, Goldilocks & the 3 Bears, Mother Goose, Robinson Crusoe, Babes in the Wood, Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin, Dick Whittington, Little Red Riding Hood, Humpty Dumpty, Snow White & the 7 Dwarfs, Puss in Boots, even the Wizard of Oz, but Cinderella is always our favourite.
Alex had several co-producers/assistants over the years, Muriel Neil, Vivienne Spencer, Denholm Hardwick and John Mabon, who took over as Producer in 2001 and is our current producer. John Burn was Alex’s Stage Manager for almost 50 years and his daughter Susan is now co-producer with John.
We rehearse from September to January each year, performing our Pantomime, normally in the third week of January. If we were to perform a variety show or musical it would be in May/June, with rehearsals from February to the show.
Rehearsal nights are :
Monday 7.30pm – 9pm, - Principals only
Tuesday 7.30pm – 9.30pm (children to 9pm) - Full cast
Sunday 3pm – 9pm as needed during December/January - Full cast
Our membership rates at present are £40 family, £35 adult, £20 OAP, £15 under 18 years. Tea/Coffee and biscuits is available each rehearsal at 50p and a weekly domino card at £1 a go, as well as a £1 weekly membership for the adults, which all goes towards the ever increasing costs of producing and performing our shows.
If you wish to become an honorary member this is £10 family, £5 individual, this entitles to you attend cast booking, our final dress rehearsal and lets you be first to know what’s happening, ie shows, fundraising and social events.
For more information contact :-
E-Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary : Mrs Jennifer Greenwood - 07519559007
Treasurer : Mrs Susan Whyte - 07936655133
Chairman : Mr John Mabon - 07766104844