The Little Theatre Guild of Great Britain

The Little Theatres Guild has about 90 member drama groups, each of which has its own theatre (i.e. it either owns its own Theatre, or else has an exclusive long-term tenancy agreement). Apart from this requirement, which is a condition of membership, the drama group are expected to present plays which reach an acceptable production standard, and prior to acceptance for membership, one or more performances by the aspiring drama group require to be watched and approved by representatives of the Guild.

The Guild has regional subdivisions, and each region has periodic conferences at which various presentations, talks, and demonstrations are provided by various regional members, occasionally operating in harness

Although Mike Smith is our LTG representative, any member of the Society is welcome to attend the conferences, in fact the more the merrier!

Earlier this year, Sir Ian McKellen who is the LTG Patron, took another step along the way to fulfilling his pledge to visit every theatre in the Guild during his term of office.  He described our theatre as "a little gem", watched part of a rehearsal for Gaslight, and, from a chair in the middle of the Gaslight set, conducted an informal discussion about the problems facing amateur theatres. He left us in no doubt of his love for the amateur theatre: "The professional theatre wouldn't be where it is without the amateur theatre", he said, "every professional actor you've ever heard of probably started off on the amateur stage, and we should support them".

               Our Little Theatre Guild representative is Michael Smith     

Final touches are being made to the preparations for the hosting of the annual conference of the Little Theatre Guild's Northern Conference at the City Theatre. A special committee has put together a busy and exciting programme of events for the weekend of 29th September to 1st October.

                                                        The weekend will include workshops, performances, food and drink!

Anyone who can help make our guests welcome over the weekend, even if you can spare only an hour or two, would be most welcome. Volunteers are also sought top ferry delegates to Durham Cathedral on the Saturday afternoon.Please contact either Elenor ( or Wendy ( if you can help in any way.

Business begins on Friday night, 29th September, with registration and a supper in the Foyer, followed by entertainments on the stage.The real business of the weekend gets underway on Saturday morning with a tour of the CityTheatre, followed by the Chairman's welcome. The rest of the morning will be given over to a series of workshops.

The first, entitled “Between a Rock and a Hard Place”, looks at the challenges of setting a progamme for the year's productions and ensuring a variety of entertainment that will sell tickets. Three theatre groups, including DDS, will describe how they do it and what works, or doesn't work, for them.

Trends in Lighting in Amateur Theatre” will be led by two professional lighting designers, Richard Thompson and Sean Webster, who are both currently working on a production at the Priory in Cartmel.

DDS does not have a a youth group, but many Little Theatres and amateur societies do, so the third workshop will investigate the “Challenges and Rewards” of Youth Theatre. The workshop will be run by Shirley McLane, who is Co-ordinator of the People's Youth Theatre in Newcastle.

After lunch, the formal business of the LTG will be completed with The Annual General Meeting. Delegates will then be offered the option of a tour of Durham Cathedral before regrouping at the City Theatre for tea.

On Saturday evening, dinner will beserved at St. Leonard's Cafe next door to the Theatre, then at 7.45pm, it's back to theTheatre for a special performance of our September production, And A Nightingale Sang”.

Most of the Sunday morning business will be taken up with the performances of three one-act plays, the conference closing at lunchtime with the option of lunch in a local pub.

DDS members are welcome to attend all or part of the conference as delegates on payment of the applicable fees.