A Ledbury drama group has reached the semi-final of a contest to find the country’s best amateur dramatic production.

Presented by Ledbury Amateur Dramatic Society (LADS), Dearly De-Petted was a quarter-final runner-up in the All-England Theatre Festival (AETF), a result which puts it through to the next round.

Multi-talented Catherine Crosswell wrote, directed and played a leading role in the play, which is an imaginative tale of what might happen when you re-encounter your old pets in unexpected circumstances.

Competition judge Bob Tomson, of the Guild of Drama Adjudicators, said: “Dearly De-Petted is one of the most intriguing productions I've seen for a very long time.”

Entered into the contest by Hereford County Drama Festival, and performed at Bromyard’s Conquest Theatre on April 30, it was awarded the Joe Powell Cup.

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The LADS play now goes on to the divisional semi-final on Saturday, May 14, at Worcester’s Swan Theatre.

Hereford’s Exit Fool Productions topped the quarter-final judging with Persons Unknown by Dave Thomas and Anthony Jenkins.

Market Theatre calls for volunteers

LADS was founded in 1938 and now has nearly 200 members, many of which help to staff the Market Theatre in Ledbury as well as putting on productions.

The theatre has recently taken on a number of front of house staff but says it is always looking people to join its team of volunteers.

Paul Graham, the theatre’s artistic director, said: “The theatre is staffed entirely with volunteers so there are always several areas in which interested people can help to run the theatre.

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“In particular we are short of people to join the bar rota, and also people who can turn their hands to the variety of DIY tasks that are needed to maintain the fabric of the theatre and help with set building for LADS productions.”

Help is also required maintaining the Market Theatre’s prop store and to promote the live shows, screenings and films shown at the theatre on social media.