PUKKA Productions is an exciting drama group that formed late in 2004 from roots in Porthkerry Road Methodist Church (in Barry, South Wales), a place well known for its drama and music-making tradition. The director, musical director and many members of the cast, production team and band were actively involved in the life of the Barry Circuit of Methodist Churches, and the name PUKKA is actually derived from the usual abbreviation used for Porthkerry Road – PKR. (Bet you didn’t know that!)
The first production grew from a seed sown by Sarah and Dot, who in 2004 had the idea of “branching out” from within the walls of the church buildings to reach a community of all faiths and of no faith – a community which they aimed to serve.
The vision for this presentation of the Easter story so captured the imagination of Methodists in Barry that Pukka Productions was given financial backing from church funds. This support, together with individual donations and a grant from the Gibbs Trust, a Methodist charity with close links to Barry, encouraged the seed to burst into life.
Jesus Christ Superstar was the first fruit of our adult company – and it was special!
A junior company, Pukka Petites, was formed in January 2005 and shortly afterwards performed its first show, “Annie and Friends”.
After the success of Jesus Christ Superstar, the company has continued to build and develop their vision of a “company with a difference” offering shows with a conscience.
In 2006 PUKKA directed its efforts in support of the Richard Taylor Memorial Fund, and profits from West Side Story, performed at Barry Memorial Hall in February 2006 went to this fund. Cast and crew members also supported the Kidney Foundation Wales “Walk for Life” on Sunday 19th March, an event that was tragically overshadowed by the news that John Taylor, Richard’s father, and a keen supporter of the production, had died that day after a short illness.
During 2006 we were also able to help Barry Hospital, Amelia Trust Farm, and Crossway Methodists by entertaining at their events, and well over £4,000 was been raised for the Richard Taylor Fund, Cancer Care Cymru, and Porthkerry Road Methodists/ Windsor Road URC new Waterfront Church.
PUKKA was a community company. All profit generated from our shows was donated to Barry charities and our input to the town was recognised in 2006 with a ‘Pride in Barry‘ award.
In November 2006 the company staged a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, a magical take upon the story of Joseph and the coat of many colours. This production was in aid of the Jamie Adamson Fund, and it was a real privilege to have Paul, Nicola and Sam Adamson with us during our rehearsal time. PUKKA would like to thank them for the opportunity to support other children with leukaemia.
If that all sounds a bit worthy and self-righteous please be assured that we at PUKKA don’t take ourselves too seriously. We laugh. We have fun. And with the performance of “Joseph”, we wanted you to have fun and laugh with us. ‘Joseph’ is a real tune-fest, and the lyrics are some of Tim Rice’s wittiest and urbane. We had a great time!
Our spring show in 2007 was ‘BUDDY – The Buddy Holly Story’, and although the company was busy rehearsing for this, and was a little short of male cast members, they were not so busy that we couldn’t spare some time for our ‘Evening of West End Entertainment’ in March!
Pukka’s other plans for 2007 included two new ventures. Pukka Plays presented “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, performed at the outdoor arena at the Amelia Trust Farm, and our Christmas show was an all new production of “A Christmas Carol” written by PUKKA.
The adult company had a quieter 2008 – possibly due to the “showbiz wedding” of Sarah and Duncan. PUKKA continued to invest in the future during 2008 with the creation of a new youth wing, the PUKKA Potential Theatre School, aimed at providing more challenging instruction and experience for the older Petites.
A number of the PUKKA company also did a spot of “moonlighting” in the summer of 2008 in the Porthkerry Road Methodist Church’s production of “Dick Whittington”. At the end of 2008 PUKKA performed “MIstletoe and Wine” at the St Francis Millennium Centre.
In 2009 PUKKA started a new section, PUKKA Plus, offering even higher quality training, and the talented children in this group performed brilliantly in Annie at the Barry Memorial Hall in July. In December 2009 PUKKA performed their Christmas Cracker show in the Glamorgan Suite of the Memorial Hall.
In March 2010 PUKKA celebrated their 5th anniversary with FIVE, a compilation from their five major shows over the past five years, performed to packed houses at the Paget Rooms, Penarth. A week later, PUKKA took over the Ship Hotel for a Mother’s Day special perfomed by the PUKKA Petites, Potential and Plus. In November PUKKA entertained at the switching on of the High Street Christmas Lights, and in December, performed “The Little Matchgirl” at the Porthceri Arts Centre.
PUKKA wants you!
PUKKA are always on the lookout for new talent – so if you want to join our talented cast, call Sarah for a chat! If you feel that the stage is not your forte, but you have some spare time and would like be a part of PUKKA, we need people to work behind the scenes in many areas. we need people to work backstage during shows, people to supervise children during performances, people to distribute posters and fliers and people to work front of House. Whatever your time availability, we need you!
If you require any further information contact Sarah on
01446 400674 or 07917 881220
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re a Sociable Bunch Really!
As well as the shows, we rarely pass up the opportunity for social events. After adult rehearsals we often adjourn to a local hostelry. After-show parties, with a disco for the youngsters are a must! Unveiling of the show DVD, with quizzes, and presentation evenings – we accept any excuse to Party! We’ve held celebrations for the PUKKA Parents (Mother’s Day AND Father’s Day) where we sang at them! We’ve also sung at people on the street, often waving a bucket in support of a good cause!
The FIVE After Show Party
Mother’s Day, March 2010
PUKKA’s youngsters provided entertainment dedicated to their mums, at The Ship Hotel
A BIG THANK YOU, mums!