A brief history
Society Was "born" in 1947 - an offshoot of the Oxted Evening Institute, under
the aegis of Frank and Norah Sowerby.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
see Contact page for details of Membership
and general enquiries.
1996 - 97
Society has sets of costumes available for hire to other Societies at
reasonable prices and also to schools at special rates.
following shows are available:-
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
Guys and Dolls
Jekyll and Hyde
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
The Music Man
Mack and Mabel
are several sets of dancers costumes available which were used in the
above shows. We also have Keystone Kops outfits/1910 bathing beauties/kaftans
are available for all of the above shows with photos of all the costumes.
you are interested in hiring any of the above, please ring Monica Mickels
on 01883 622582 and she will be pleased to help you.