Society to make a song and dance over nine decades of performing

A double celebration will take place next week with two 90th birthdays.

The Ponteland Repertory Society will be celebrating nine decades of performances with a special Around the World in 90 Years production to mark the milestone.

And the society’s president, Betty Nesbit, is also marking a milestone – her 90th birthday.

Ponteland Repertory Society is presenting performances of music, comedy and entertainment covering the 90 years since it began from Thursday, March 30, to Saturday, April 1. at Ponteland Memorial Hall.

Musical director Deborah Barry has chosen pieces from Annie, The Sound of Music, Wizard of Oz, The Mikado, My Fair Lady, Me and My Girl, Fiddler on the Roof, Showboat, South Pacific, Oklahoma and others.

And the society’s youth theatre group, the Preppies, will also be entertaining the audience with songs from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Betty Nesbit has been a member of the society for 50 of her 90 years.

She helped out at first and then joined the back row of the chorus in Pink Champagne in the 1969/70 season.

Betty had her first leading role in Oklahoma in 1972 and she has taken a full part in the repertory society throughout all of these years and is still a lively, committed member as president.

Betty’s late husband John was also a stalwart of the society.

However, Betty does not only look back to the history of the society but also looks forward.

She said: “Our society has always been forward thinking, looking to do new things. Today I am exceedingly proud of our youth theatre, the Preppies.

“Our young members are learning the art of performing on stage with our very experienced actors. They are a joy to watch in our productions.”

She also encourages others. Betty added: “New members are always welcome either to help or take part, you never know what you can do until you try. It is a very good way to make new friends too.”

Ponteland Repertory Society started in 1927, when a small group of music lovers banded together. Their first productions was The Mandarin, performed in the Memorial Hall, where shows have always been staged.

From operas to musicals the society has it covered and in 1996 they introduced a pantomime to the mix.

Their 90th anniversary show can be seen at 7.30pm on Thursday and Friday, March 30 and 31, and at 3pm on Saturday, April 1. Tickets are available from www.pontelandrep.co.uk