Page last updated at 12:45 GMT, Tuesday, 1 September 2009 13:45 UK

Hopkins inspires dramatic society

Sir Anthony Hopkins
Hopkins has been a patron of the YMCA in Port Talbot for over 20 years

A new drama group is being launched in the building where Sir Anthony Hopkins first caught the acting bug, and with the Oscar winner's full backing.

He made his debut at the YMCA in Port Talbot and during a visit said he would love to see a drama group return there.

Now the Port Talbot Players has been formed and is recruiting budding actors, writers and anyone interested in theatre or film.

It is hoped it will develop into an academy for dramatic arts.

Hopkins, who has been a patron of the centre for more than 20 years, first joined the YMCA in the 1950s.

In a good luck message sent ahead of October's launch he said: "The YMCA was the beginning of a wonderful journey for me, one which I'm still on.

"I still have strong bonds with the YMCA Port Talbot and will always be grateful for being pointed in the right direction and given the confidence to move forward on this path.

Sir Anthony has been there - seen what is going on and his thing is 'have a big dream and you will get there'
Binda Singh

"If like myself it's acting or any aspect of stage craft that interests you, the YM(CA) are launching a new amateur dramatic society and I'm sure it will be just as successful as it was when I was a member so go for it, join in and follow your dreams."

The group will hold weekly meetings starting on Friday 2 October.

Artistic director Binda Singh said there would be an open door policy for people of all ages and abilities.

"There are many roles involved in bringing a project from the page to the stage," he said.

"We want to involve anyone with an interest in writing, acting or any of the stage crafts."

He said the aim was to make and produce films as well as stage plays.

"Hopefully it will be a window on the talent that is in Wales," he added.

"Sir Anthony has been there - seen what is going on and his thing is 'have a big dream and you will get there'."

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