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CASTing open for new community theatre group in Nairn

By Federica Stefani

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Karen Kemp, Dionne Monteiro and Jean Morrison. Picture: Callum Mackay..
Karen Kemp, Dionne Monteiro and Jean Morrison. Picture: Callum Mackay..

A trio of theatre lovers is setting up a new drama group in Nairn, open to the whole community.

C.A.S.T. (Community Acting & Singing Together) is the brainchild of Little Theatre veterans Jean Morrison, Karen Kemp and Dionne Monteiro, who wanted to reach out to the community with a new, inclusive group.

They first reached out on social media to the community in Nairn with great success and will host a first open doors meeting at the town's Seaforth Club at 7pm on Thursday.

"It's all about having fun," Ms Kemp said. "We want to include a broad spectrum of ages.

"We are very much in our infancy, we know, but we are already thinking about what we can put on next year.

"After the success of the adult panto earlier this year, we felt this was the ideal opportunity to involve the community – while giving something back."

All profits made by the group will be donated to local charities – starting with Team Hamish and the Nairn County Ground Improvement Fund.

Ms Morrison said: "This is very important for us, there are so many great causes in our local community which are struggling for funding so it will be great to be able to support them.

"The response so far has been brilliant, people are already asking when we are going to sell the tickets for our first show – and we have yet to put the cast together!"

The group aims to bring their first Christmas panto – 'Twas the Night Before Christmas – to the Nairn Community and Arts Centre on December 22 and 23.

But they won't stop there.

Ms Morrison said: "It will be a variety of things, not just panto but also workshops thoughout the year.

"This will be an informal group, to get together and hopefully get three shows up over the year, and it will benefit local charities too."

Plans for another adult panto are also under way.

Ms Kemp added: "The cast of the adult panto had such a great time together, and we wanted to replicate the fun of it and take into the community.

"There are so many very talented people that just need a bit of encouragement to grow and become their own individual people on stage."

Ms Monteiro highlighted the positive impact of being in a drama group.

"I always say it's like therapy," she said. "If you had a really bad day, and you go down to rehearsals and you see people that you are comfortable with, maybe you start making mistakes – but it's hilarious. At first I was wondering if it was as funny for the audience as it was for us, and everyone who came to see the show confirmed it!"

The club will meet at the Nairn Community and Arts Centre as well as the Seaforth Club for rehearsals, with the group grateful to both venues for their support.

They plan to start a fundraising campaign soon as well as looking for local businesses to sponsor the shows.

Anyone looking for more information or to get involved can email castnairn@gmail.com or call 07598 420385.

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