Kingsbridge Amateur Theatrical Society (KATS) director Carey Ryan-Carter has expressed the struggles the theatre group have come across as they prepare for their newest production of My Fair Lady, which is being performed at Malborough village hall from March 22nd to 25th.

The society have found even more difficulties than normal in putting on their show this year, as prices have increased in different areas of the creation process.

Carey said: “The price of everything has gone up. Especially our costs associated with engaging professional companies for the lighting and sound.

“Hall costs are also crippling. The hire of Malborough for exclusive use for the run is just over £2000. Then we have rehearsal costs for Dodbrooke and Charleton Village Halls which usually adds up to another thousand. But we are happy to share the wealth locally and our rehearsals help keep 3 local village halls afloat.

“To me, the most painful expense is the royalties we have to pay; despite having to pay a hefty licence fee, MTI also takes a percentage of all the ticket sales and for ‘9 to 5’ this amounted to a staggering £2742.”

Carey explained that the group’s last musical of ‘9 to 5’ cost £15,745.69 and other than on the opening night, KATS played to full houses and still made a loss of £3783.02.

The group’s September play is what subsidises the following musicals, but it is difficult after making a loss.

Carey said: “It was partly due to the runaway success of our last play ‘Calendar Girls’ plus a private donation from a member’s family, that ‘My Fair Lady’ was saved at the eleventh hour.”

Despite these hardships, the group our powering through with rehearsals of their show. The team have held fundraisers, including raffles and table top sales, to ensure the production can go on. Difficulties experienced this year have meant that the group have had to raise prices for their show, but Carey promises the production will be worth it: “We provide local theatre at a reasonable price for people who cannot make the long journey to Plymouth. We are cross-generational from teenagers to 80-year-olds and beyond. We are a family. We have a lot of members who live alone and tell us KATs helps combat their feelings of loneliness, members who are new to the area and wanted a way of making friends and a member who has lost her husband, sister and mum in a very short space of time and KATs has been her lifeline... we’re worth it!”

The group are looking for sponsorship and have requested that local businesses contact [email protected] before February 24th if interested in advertising.

They hope the production sees as much support as possible from local people.

Carey added: “those of you who regularly attend our shows... will hopefully testify to the quality and professionalism of our productions.” The group hold NODA awards for ‘best musical’ for their production of ‘Oliver’ and ‘best drama’ for ‘Blood Brothers’, which illustrates the quality of their performances.