A VILLAGE hall amateur dramatics group has gone global during the pandemic – swapping their small their stage for the world wide web.

Springline Productions was formed in East Hendred near Wantage in 2007.

The drama group puts on at least two performances each year, covering such am-dram classics as Dick Whittington and Aladdin.

Usually, the group only performs pantomimes and choir concerts in the village, but this year its fan base expanded as it gained support from across the world during lockdown by broadcasting their efforts online.

Like many other community groups, the amateur dramatics group’s world was turned upside down when coronavirus hit.

Rehearsals for both plays and singing were not permitted, forcing the group to either do things differently or cancel altogether.

Members were left unable to practice nor to perform live in front of an audience.

The group did not give up and Springline Productions’ solution was to create radio plays online.

East Hendred villager David Hunter, who leads the audio plays group and also regularly features as the Dame in the annual pantomime, came up with idea of shifting their production to audio plays.

Now into its ninth audio play, the group has picked up fans in Peru, Columbia, Russia, the United States and even Afghanistan.

Mr Hunter said: “Springline has been performing since 2007 and brings together so many people from across the local villages and communities. The thought of us having to give up what we love because of Covid was pretty sad.”

He added: “After listening to the Archers, the thought popped into my head, and the next thing we did was launch the Springline Radio Players.”

The idea of making radio plays started several years ago for the group, but lockdown has made its radio plays known to the world.

Springline Radio Players has now recorded eight audio plays including HG Wells’s War of the Worlds.

It is seeking performers for its next play, Charles Dickens’s The Pickwick Papers.

Mr Hunter said: “The response we’ve had has been far greater than we expected.

“Who would have thought that people in Peru would be listening to an Oxfordshire am-dram group?”

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The group aims to provide quality radio plays to a world-wide internet-based audience, as well as encouraging more like-minded people to join in.

Springline Radio Players will be recording The Pickwick Papers in October and November.

The play has more than 60 individual parts so the group is keen to hear from anyone who might be interested in bringing the classic Dickens tale to life.

Mr Hunter said: “If you have a smartphone you can get involved. Plus, you don’t have to worry about stage fright!”

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Listeners can tune into the plays on Podbean, SoundCloud, YouTube and iTunes.

To find out more, listen to the plays or even find out how you can take part visit springlineproductions.co.uk.