A THEATRE group was ‘proud’ to bring live arts back to Evesham after the coronavirus nearly halted it.

The Festival Players presented Agatha Christie’s Spiders’ Web at The Valley this month.

Director Eric Jones said: “It was a welcome return for some live theatre for Evesham, presented on an outdoor stage, courtesy of The Valley management.”

Mr Jones who tutors young people in acting in order to take their acting exams put The Festival Players together, a small group that performs once or twice a year.

Mr Jones said: “We started rehearsing earlier in the year and that all fell apart. The exams in April were cancelled and then in July as well, but in the meantime the youngsters planned to rehearse over Zoom and planned to do the play later on in the year if the government allowed it. We were meant to perform in July but that went down the drain.”

As the government's rules later allowed groups of six to meet in gardens, the actors were able to rehearse in time for a September show.

Mr Jones told the Evesham Journal: “It was sensational and I am immensely proud of it. The kids were brilliant, the set looked fantastic and the Valley were very co-operative.”

“We actually practised a piece of live theatre in Evesham, which was probably the only one in six months.”

The young actors were also excited to have the Mayor of Evesham Sue Amor attend one of the three performances, as well as local MP Nigel Huddleston, who as a crown servant had to be kept isolated from everyone due to coronavirus.

Mr Jones 78 said having something to focus on over the summer was good for the youngsters' mental health and wellbeing. He is tutoring them again to take their exams in November.