The Society was established in 1951, when our country was recovering and prospering post WW2, and Mortimer was expanding!
The Society was originally called Mortimer Amateur Dramatic Society. The word “Amateur” was deemed unnecessary, and dropped by the mid 80’s.
MADS 1st ever production was called “Painted Sparrows”, an award winning play by Guy Paxton & Edward V. Hoile. It was performed in St. Johns Hall, which has been the society’s theatrical home ever since.
From the beginning, the current format of 3 productions a year was established, but initially for only one weekend, with 3 performances – a Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Later, having found the Thursdays inconvenient for both the actors and the audience, the current format of 2 weekends of a Friday and Saturday each, making a total of 4 performances, was established, but initially only plays were performed.
The 1st pantomime was introduced in 1972, when a Sunday matinee was added to accommodate all the extra family & friends of the children from Daphne Bennet’s Dancing School, who also performed. This became an annual January event until 1989 when our 1st Old Time Music Hall was introduced with the now famous “Supper”. Having found that within dramatic society we had a lot of talented singers and musicians, various musical and cabaret type shows then filled the January slot until 2019 when a hugely successful return was made to pantomime, attracting both new actors, backstage crew and audiences.
The standard of all productions was, and still is extremely high. Critiques and write-ups are generally glowing about all departments including scenery, lighting, wardrobe, sound, props, and front of house, in addition to directing and acting. All areas of our society are equally respected and encouraged.
We have recently won several awards for our high standards, and in the past 25 years have seen a number of our members progress to the professional stage.
We have an excellent social agenda, with large celebrations at Christmas and in June, after our May play which signals the end of our season. Throughout the rest of the year we have a Monthly Club Night for socialisation, promotion and reading of future productions and also for workshops .
At present due to Covid 19, we are “Dark”, but hope to return next year in 2021 to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Mortimer Dramatic Society.