A RENOWNED Tavistock drama group is holding an open evening on Tuesday (May 7) to launch preparations for their next production, Aladdin.

Tavistock Musical Theatre Company, well-known for their all-singing all-dancing productions including Elf – the Musical, will stage its family pantomime Aladdin at Tavistock Town Hall from November 13 to 17.

The company, which is in the running for a prestigious regional award for their last production, Wind in the Willows, is extending a big welcome to anyone interesting in coming along and finding out more.

The evening takes place on Tuesday (May 7) at 7.30pm at Tavistock Community Football Club off Crowndale Road.

“We look forward to welcoming new company members who would like to sing, dance or act or be part of the backstage team,” said Karen Batson, from the company.

“We are all inclusive, we don’t say no to anyone, there is no audition to join the company – if someone wants to be in it, they can. We audition for the big parts and everyone who wants to can audition for them.

“We are multigenerational, with members from the age of seven up to the age of as long as you can still stand up and breathe! Anybody is welcome, with whatever they want to offer and no experience is necessary. We try to work on people’s strengths. The way we include children gives them the chance to work with adults, not just other children.”

She added: “Once the auditions are out of the way, usually at the end of May, we have workshops in movement and singing and as the summer progresses we will be learning the songs, then we have the full rehearsals. If people don’t want to perform there are plenty of other jobs to do, not just backstage, getting stuff together, front of house during the week, selling programmes and raffle tickets, doing refreshments. “

She said taking part in the productions was a lot of fun and that with Aladdin they were looking forward to teo add in their own music “in a way you can’t do with the very big shows, so it gives us more creative freedom”.

They believe that this is the first time that the company has staged its pantomime in the town hall.

‘We’ve been going for nearly 70 years and our director Julian Bennett and says there has never been a pantomine in the town hall before,” said Karen.

The company has been awarded ‘best company crafted production’ in area 3 (Plymouth and West Devon) in the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) annual awards, and is in the running for the Peter Weldon Cup for the whole region. In addition the company’s programme, designed by Tavistock company Identity Studios, has won a regional NODA award.