DOVERCOURT THEATRE GROUP - FORTY YEARS!
The DTG is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. It was in 1974 that a group of people, who
were part of the Harcourt Players, broke away and subsequently formed the DTG. The Harcourt
Players were first and foremost an entertainment group and a few budding actors felt they would
like to perform drama.
The new DTG carried out numerous
fundraising events, did some recruiting
and rehearsed at the Sports Club (now the
Waterfront). They put on their first
production there in 1975 – She’s Done It
Again, and carried on using this venue
successfully until 1982.
The Electric Palace was used for
productions over the next few years from
1983-1992 and by now included
pantomimes, as well as many classics.
After that, we used the Harwich Centre
where we continued with our varied
programme of productions until 1999.
During all of those years, we had various homes for our scenery, props and costumes. For many
years, the Harwich Society kindly allowed us to store our scenery at the Redoubt and costumes
have been moved around from storage places, including the old Parkeston School and even an old
container based at the Harwich Centre. It leaked badly and costumes frequently became
waterlogged and smelly! We spent many weary, cold and wet hours transporting scenery and
costumes to and from various venues.
Then in 1999 we had a marvellous breakthrough! Our committee negotiated a lease with Harwich
Town Council for the old Hill School building. For the first time in its history, DTG were able to
store all its props, scenery and costumes in one place. Plus we had the advantage of rehearsal
space in our studio, as well as staging small productions and other events there.
Like most Groups, our numbers continually fluctuate. People move here with their work, or go off
to other jobs. Youngsters move on to UNI and sometimes eventually return to us. A few stalwart
members have been with the Group almost since it began. We have been lucky to have had so
many talented people pass through our doors – not just actors but those clever souls who have
designed and built such wonderful sets; those who have made extraordinary costumes, and those
with the foresight to explore areas we might not have tackled before. We have had some very
talented directors over the years and some outstanding actors.
We are proud that we have received accolades over the years from the North Essex Guild and, in
more recent years, from NODA, who attend our productions to adjudicate. In 2011 we won the
NODA award for best pantomime in the Eastern Region for Babes in the Wood, which was
performed at the Kingsway Hall. We take part in the Brantham short play festival each year and
this has also brought us several awards in different categories.
The overall aim of DTG is to encourage live theatre locally and to this end, we perform a variety
First Production 1975