The Barn Theatre,
25 Bluehouse Lane, Oxted, Surrey
RH8 0AA.

Tel: 01959 561811
Email: barntheatre
@btinternet.com

 



Oxted Operatic Society
(inc Junior Section - OJOS)

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Oxted Operatic Society
A brief history

The Society Was "born" in 1947 - an offshoot of the Oxted Evening Institute, under the aegis of Frank and Norah Sowerby.

Its first production - "The Yeomen of the Guard" was presented in 1947 to mark the reopening of the Barn Theatre after the Second World War. It was presented under the name of "The Oxted Singers" but this had become Oxted Operatic Society for the second production - "The Mikado" - in 1948.

For the first ten years, the Society performed only Gilbert and Sullivan operettas with one production each year. However, by 1957, audience numbers had dwindled and the finances were dangerously low. The Musical Director, Len Maynard, proposed a change with a musically demanding opera - "Hugh the Drover" but this was not supported by the membership and was abandoned.

It was essential for the future of the Society to stage a show that could be cheap to dress and stage, with all costs kept to a minimum. "The Lilac Domino" was chosen and this proved to be a turning point in the Society's fortunes, from which they have never looked back. Only one other show has ever been cancelled since then, that was "State Fair" in the year 2000.

Up to 1963, only one show each year had been performed - in that year "Free as Air" and "The Mikado" were produced, with two again in 1965. From 1971 onwards, two shows each year became the custom. To date the Society has presented over 115 shows. The society has been gratifyingly successful over the ensuing years with consistently good audiences and it has enjoyed a reputation for the quality of its productions, as evidenced by a number of NODA awards.

For many years, the Society has been able to cast its productions within its membership, which has always been the cornerstone of its casting policy. Undoubtedly the success enjoyed by the Society owes much to having its home at the Barn Theatre and appreciation of this has been shown over the years by much financial support of the theatre. Typical of this was the sponsorship by the Society of 35 seats when the theatre was re-seated in 1991.

The Society is well supported by a growing 'acting' membership of both adults and juniors, which together with an enthusiastic body of Life Members, Vice Presidents and Patrons totals some 220 members.

Please see Contact page for details of Membership and general enquiries.

Chairpersons 

R.L. Tilly

1947 - 51
D.W. Rennison1952
R. Bearman1953 - 57
R. Bechervaise1958
T.W. Rolph1959 - 63
V. Silcox1964 - 69
D. Hope-Mason1970 - 73
P. Moon1974 - 76
B. Ross1977 - 78
J. Rogers1979
S. Stones1980 - 89
Mrs. P. Rolph1990 - 93
Ms J. Silcox1994 - 95
P. Reed 1996 - 97
S. Dawes 1998 - 2000
D. Clubb 2001 - 03
S. Dawes 2004
C. Bassett 2005 - 09
P. Reed2009 - 12
T. Reed2012 - 13
D. Watts2013 - 15

Presidents 
John Rank
1947 - 49
Sir Ernest Benn1950 - 55
Gwendolen Lady Beam1956 - 73
Dr. Eileen Joyce1974 - 91
Victor Silcox1992 - 2002
Terry Rolph2003 - 12
Stella Thomas 2012 -
  

Costume Hire

The Society has sets of costumes available for hire to other Societies at reasonable prices and also to schools at special rates.

The following shows are available:-
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
Bugsy Malone
Disco Inferno
Guys and Dolls
Gigi
Honk
Jekyll and Hyde
Sweet Charity
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
The Mikado
The Music Man
Mack and Mabel

There are several sets of dancers costumes available which were used in the above shows. We also have Keystone Kops outfits/1910 bathing beauties/kaftans etc.

CDs are available for all of the above shows with photos of all the costumes.

If you are interested in hiring any of the above, please contact the Hon. Sec., Teresa Reed on 01883 625731 or teresareed@btopenworld.com and she will be pleased to help you.