Former members of Stage Struck create a new troupe. MARION SAUVEBOIS reports

NEWS that Stage Struck would disband after more than three decades this winter cast a shadow over the Swindon acting scene – but fear not, as its actors will be back in the New Year.

When Geoff Marsh and Jane Marie Donald announced their decision to retire after 15 years at the helm, the future of the musical theatre group was thrown into question.

But not for long as its actors have now reformed as a new company under the moniker of The Cast of Stage Struck.

“When it was announced that Stage Struck would be bringing the curtain down for the final time after its November pantomime, the cast were devastated,” said Michelle MacClay, who, along with co-director Grace Matthews formed the new troupe.

“It would have been so easy for us all to retire the vocal chords, but we felt we still had something to offer.

“And so with that in mind we got ourselves together and made the decision to continue. So far we have 25 in the new group.”

Rebuilding a company from the ashes of Stage Struck proved a more challenging venture than the pair had bargained for. Securing financial support, costumes and the all-important piano tested their commitment.

“It’s been an exciting time – and it’s been hard work too,” added Michelle.

“We’ve spent a lot of time listening to each other as a group and thinking about what we’ve liked doing in the past and what, given the chance, we’d like to change.

“We’ve also had to work hard to attract financial support to enable us to buy some initial costumes and, even more importantly, a piano.

“We really are starting from zero. Of course, we will also have to establish our own audience.

“However we’re confident that those who supported Stage Struck for so many years will be just as supportive to The Cast of Stage Struck.

Michelle and Grace had been members of Stage Struck for 30 and 25 years respectively when the group folded.

Despite a change in direction, the troupe’s ethos will remain fundamentally untouched.

“There will, of course, be some differences between the two groups but what audiences are guaranteed is the same enthusiasm and level of performance that they came to know and love,” said Michelle.

“There will also be some changes off-stage too as we will be run as a society, with a constitution. This will give everyone the opportunity to contribute to what we’re doing.”

Rehearsals will start in the New Year for the group’s first show, With A Little Help From My Friends, which will be performed at the Arts Centre in the autumn.


  • Anyone interesting in joining the Cast of Stage Struck should email thecastofstagestruck to find out more.