Theatre thrives in villages with record attendances

Nicholas Chamber plays Dr Ludwig Guttmann in The Incredible Dr Guttmann, pictured in the Second Space at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
Nicholas Chamber plays Dr Ludwig Guttmann in The Incredible Dr Guttmann, pictured in the Second Space at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
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Thousands of theatre lovers have enjoyed performances on their own doorsteps thanks to Buckinghamshire’s Theatre in the Villages programme.

The rural touring scheme – which is subsidised by local councils including Aylesbury Vale – encourages local promoters to stage professional theatre shows in communities across the county.

New figures show last season was a bumper one – with record-breaking attendances.

Around 2,750 tickets were sold for 43 village performances between September and December, compared to 1,740 tickets for 32 shows the year before – an increase of almost 60%.

The scheme enables communities to benefit directly from sales of refreshments and raffle tickets.

They also receive a small percentage of any profits from the shows.

The Incredible Dr Guttmann, an AVDC-commissioned play about the founder of the Paralympic Games, was one of the highlights of a season which also included comedy, cabaret, storytelling and magicians.

Councillor David Thompson, Cabinet Member for Leisure at AVDC said: “We’re delighted that the 2012 programme was so enthusiastically received by audiences.”

Rural communities interested in hosting an event in the 2013 programme should call 01296 585206 or email dclucas@aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk