Grantham’s St Peter’s Hill Players are a ‘good’ and ‘happy team’
In our third Behind the Scenes feature, we talk to Tony Hine, a member of St Peter’s Hill Players in Grantham.
St Peter’s Hill Players formed in the late 1920s and was connected to the Alive Church, in Castlegate.
In the beginning, it was “just an entertainment group”, said Tony.
In 1935, it officially became a drama group and it held its performances at the Alive Church until 1991.
The group then started to perform in the Guildhall, in St Peter’s Hill.
Tony said: “The atmosphere of the group is good.
“It’s not just the acting side of it, we also have people backstage doing stage management and set building.
“It’s a good team and it’s a happy team.
“We also feel that at the end of a show when you get a round of applause, you feel you’ve done something and gave people a good night out.”
It holds two performances a year, with their latest performance of Bothered and Bewildered taking place this month.
Like many groups, the Players were unable to perform during the pandemic.
However, since Covid-19, membership has increased and there are now 25 people involved.
Tony added: “We sort of knocked around different ideas to try to do things differently.
“We have started doing a Saturday matinee show now.
“This was partly because we thought that after Covid people were very reluctant to come out, especially in the evenings.
“We’ve done a few matinees now and it’s worked well.”
Last year, South Kesteven District Council conducted a survey to gain public feedback on the cultural offering across the district.
From the feedback, it was discovered there had been a “significant shift” in people’s behaviour post-Covid, and that there was “not much to encourage them” to go out, as stated in the findings.
Under the new strategy for 2023 to 2026, SKDC have set out to try and “identify new opportunities for culture” to “make up for lost ground”.
On this, Tony believes there is a “lot going on” in Grantham’s arts and culture scene and that it is “very important to get people out in the town again to come and see things.”
He added: “A lot of people like to be entertained and it has gone up since Covid.
“Last year we did The Ghost Train and I think it was our largest audience ever. We got nearly 500 people.
“It was because people want to come out and be entertained.
“It’s just about getting people out of the house.
“It gets people to be more sociable and make friends.”
For the future of the group, Tony hopes that more younger people can get involved.
He added: “We struggled to get younger people.
“We’ve got possibly one person under 30 and everybody else is in their 30s, 40s or 50s.
“We’d welcome the chance to get more younger people.
Tony also believes in order for more people to know what is on offer in Grantham is to have an “outlet” to see what is available.
He said: “We try our best to share each other’s promotional posts and things on Facebook to other shows, but it would be useful for everybody to know what’s going on.
“That would be very useful.”
To find out more about the St Peter’s Hill Players, go to https://stpetershillplayers.uk/.
Anyone who would like to get involved with the group can contact them by email at email@example.com.