Last week, along with hundreds of others, I had the great pleasure of watching local people perform Oliver at Dunbar Grammar School.

It was a superb production, one of the best shows that I have ever seen. The singing and acting was first-class, with a gripping mood-change from sweet to sinister.

But, it was more than just that, it was everything: the orchestra, the costumes, the colours, the lighting and the sound. It was magnificently (dare I say) executed.

It was also – as I learned from a group member during the interval – magnificently expensive.

This group of willing volunteers fundraise throughout the year in order to give us, the public, four nights of cheap entertainment. Their overheads (mainly the hire of the school hall and the cost of the rights to each show) cost thousands of pounds, plus they need to pay for costumes, rehearsal halls, props, sound and much, much more.

Dunbar is an ever-growing community, with hundreds more houses currently being built, so why haven’t we got a facility where our talented people can perform without having to pay so much money to private firms? Why is the only venue an expensive school hall?

Apart from Dunbar Lyric Group, we have Dunbar Sings and The Choral Society. And, I understand, very popular Dance Groups. Our community is trying hard to be ‘a community’ but there is no adequate facility in which to showcase and nurture the fantastic local talent.

Central and local governments seem to want us all to be more community-minded, but give us some help, give us a venue, and we can perhaps get more people away from their TVs!

Thank you, Dunbar Lyric Group, for reminding us that there is more to life than staying at home. Your months of rehearsals were so worthwhile. Your show was fantastic.

Charles Southern Dunbar