Audiences return to live group theatre performances in Jersey

Audiences have returned to the theatre in Jersey for the first time in five months. The island's Arts Centre is now staging group performances again following the latest lifting of restrictions.

Members of the Jersey Amateur Dramatic Club are staging a production of Blue Remembered Hills every night this week, up until Saturday evening (8 May) - a welcome return to the stage for many of those involved.

I have really missed being in the theatre. The theatre is my second home, as it is for so many people. It's just bringing out the fun and the excitement that children feel over a leaf or a stick over something really simple that as adults we end up forgetting about. So it's really nice to go back and tap into that again.

Michelle Parker, Actor

The play tells the story of a group of seven year olds playing in the woods during World War Two. But what starts out as fun and some rough and tumble soon takes a turn into more serious bullying with devastating consequences.

Cast members have been rehearsing for the show for the past eight weeks Credit: Jersey Amateur Dramatic Club

It's challenging for them as actors, because although some of it is funny and silly, it does have some very poignant moments that they get to bring through as experienced actors they have the talent to be able to do that.

Samantha Fitzpatrick, Director

Returning to the theatre has meant following strict Covid safety precautions during rehearsals and at the venue itself - a new way of working for many in the cast.

There are still limits on how many people are allowed in the auditorium, with just 40 tickets available per night, to allow audience members to maintain social distancing.

It's unique for me. It's like starting again. You have to get used to restrictions on the stage. You're used to learning lines again, getting an accent that's right and then coming into the theatre and seeing an audience here, albeit a small one, but an audience nevertheless.

Gareth Thomas, Actor

The show also features ITV Channel TV presenter James Webster who has been fitting in rehearsals around reading the news each evening.

James Webster on stage with other members of the cast during Blue Remembered Hills Credit: Jersey Amateur Dramatic Club

Having only rediscovered my love of performing on stage when I first moved to Jersey in 2018 it is a privilege to be able to perform once again with a group of such talented actors. There are several shows I had hoped to be involved with which could not happen because of Covid so having the chance to be part of Blue Remembered Hills is even more special.

James Webster, ITV Channel Presenter

This show runs until Saturday starting a season of new productions. After a year where so much of the arts has been cancelled, venues like this hope they never again have to endure a closure.