AN AMATUER dramatics group which was born out of one woman’s love for the performing arts is this year celebrating three decades.

Burdock Valley Players (BVP) was formed in February 1994 after Jan Hallett moved to the area the previous year.

She missed being involved in amateur dramatics and when browsing through the Andover Advertiser saw a review for a pantomime and an advertisement for Arts Council grants for new local groups.

Jan created posters and placed them around the village suggesting a meeting to decide on forming a drama group, but despite her efforts no one had registered any interest.

READ MORE: Owner of tea shop 'incredibly grateful' to celebrate tenth anniversary 

Andover Advertiser: Some of the members of the Burdock Valley PlayersHowever, on the night some 14 or so people came along - and the Burdock Valley Players was born.

Current BVP chairman Ashley May said: “BVP’s first production was a revue called Love Is in July 1994, followed by a pantomime of Aladdin in the December of the same year. Coincidently this also happens to be the production we are staging this winter.

“We regularly stage two productions a year, usually a drama or comedy in the spring and either a pantomime or musical in the winter.”

Over the years the group has put on a variety of productions including Allo, ‘Allo, Dad’s Army, Blackadder and Gosforth’s Fete, along with classic pantomimes such as Cinderella, Snow White and Jack and the Beanstalk.

SEE ALSO: Charity gets £50k from council to open new community hub in Chantry Centre

“Last year we staged a relatively new production called Canoeing for Beginner’s – loosely based on the famous tabloid story of a man faking his death in a canoeing accident for an insurance fraud,” Ashley said.

The group, which currently has around 40 members, recently reformed a youth section who are producing their own productions in the spring and then come together with the adults for the winter production.

“Burdock Valley Players is a real family orientated group. We have a lot of members who joined us as children and are still members as adults. Ages range from seven years old to 80 plus,” Ashley continued.

“We welcome anyone, even if you don’t want to be on the stage. As well as the staged productions we also hold a variety of social events from quizzes to barn dances. Every year we also hold a summer barbecue.”

Over the years the group has been nominated and won a plethora of awards in local drama festivals such as The Friends of Cricklade Theatre Drama Festival and the Southern Daily Echo Curtain Call awards.

For further information or to join, go to