90 Years of WPDS

2017 marks the 90th Anniversary year of the founding of WPDS and this landmark is being celebrated at a dinner dance to be held at Kingston Lodge Hotel on Friday 5th May. Also on Saturday 13th May a special performance of our April production ‘The Garden Party’ will be staged on the iconic Barn Theatre stage at the National Trust property Smallhythe Place, which was for many years the home of the celebrated actress Ellen Terry – quite a challenge and a fitting way to mark 90 years of amateur theatre.

Back in 1927 when the society was formed, it was both a dramatic and choral society although any pretence at serious singing has rather been lost in the mists of time! – although we do still have our moments, having staged the society’s first-ever pantomime (why did we wait 89 years?) last November.

Over the years WPDS has performed at a number of different venues including Sutton Public Hall, Cheam Baths Hall (a venue The Who played as part of their 1966 tour!) and Marlborough Hall in Wimbledon, but in 1977 we moved to the Adrian Mann Theatre, NESCOT (or Ewell Tech as it was then) and have now performed there twice a year ever since… 40 years in fact, so another anniversary, and probably our longest stay at any one venue!

We have been extremely lucky over the years to have had such an amazing mix of talented and enthusiastic members with continued support from a regular audience and we would like to thank everyone, past and present, who has helped make the society a success for the last 90 years – and by the relatively recent arrival of a hugely talented and dedicated group of younger members, the future of WPDS seems assured for many more years to come.

Hugh Jones