PAM Jennings has fallen off a wall, been sawn in half and tried to raise the dead – all in the name of drama.

The spritely 83-year-old first took to the stage at the age of four, in a school production, and amateur dramatics have been in her blood since then.

She has been a stalwart of the Stockton Foresters in York since moving to the area in the 1960s.

The drama group, based in the village hall at Stockton on the Forest, produces two productions a year from thrillers to comedies and musicals – but its future is under threat because of dwindling numbers.

They have cancelled this year's autumn production – for only the second time in the troupe's history, which dates back to the Second World War.

Pam said: "We need more actors, or we can't go on."

Fellow Stockton Forester Jane Palmer said they had tried everything to encourage new blood – and were hoping an appeal to Press readers would help. "We had a large group up until a few years ago, but have lost some people through retirement and others moving away. Also, people have their jobs and many can't commit. Jobs are so demanding and people find they can't find the time to rehearse and perform. We have dwindled to an active group of about eight actors – but it's just not enough."

For anyone who does have the time, inclination and desire, then a lot of fun is to be had, adds Jane. "We meet once a week to rehearse and put on plays twice a year in May and November."

Over the decades, the Foresters have performed everything from thrillers to musicals, but find their regular audiences have a preference for comedies. "Our audiences love a laugh. They like to go home saying: 'We have really enjoyed that'."

At each performance, ticket holders are served a light supper – the food often reflecting what's on stage.

There is a bar and the audience sit cabaret style, around tables and chairs.

"The ambience is lovely," says Pat. "It is a really lovely evening out - but we have got to have a play for people to enjoy."

During her years in the drama group, Pat has savoured some juicy parts. Back in the 1960s, she played Humpty Dumpty, where she fell of a wall in order to crack the "egg" costume – revealing herself as a handsome Prince. More legs were on show in a version of Stepping Out, for which she had to learn to tap dance. In Blithe Spirit, she played the role of a psychic, and played a ruffian boy in the musical Oliver! A flick through the group's photo albums is a veritable trip down memory lane – and throws up a picture of Pat about to be sawn in half by a magician.

Her husband Malcolm also joined the Foresters – reluctantly at first. "I used to do it once a year," he says. "I almost gave up after the first one. We were doing Moliere and I had to be strangled in it." It was all a bit too realistic for Malcolm's liking, he recalls. Other memorable parts include playing the inspector in Priestley's An Inspector Calls.

Pam says nothing quite beats the buzz of being on stage. "It's escapism - and really good therapy! I love making people laugh. Nothing is better than standing on stage and hearing a roar of laughter coming from down there."

Jane concurs: "You have to put everything aside, what's going on at home or at work. You get to be somebody else, it takes you out of it all for a few hours."

If you are interested in finding out more about joining Stockton Foresters, telephone Pat on 01904 400327