History/about us

History

Northallerton Amateur Operatic Society was a pre-war society, revived in 1954 by Tom Gerrard Wilson (affectionately known as “TG”). A committee was formed with John Gatenby as Chairman and Sir Thomas and Lady Dugdale became the Society’s first Presidents. TG took the role of Producer and Dr. Arthur Bull was Musical Director.

The society’s first production, The Gondoliers, opened at the Lyric Cinema, Northallerton (now the New Life Baptist Church) on November 8th and ran for three nights. The first programme also included this important message: “The society exists for the study and production of light opera and musical plays and hopes to attract those interested in the stage. More gentlemen will be especially welcomed”. Fifty-six years on our aim has now changed in that light opera has been dropped and the change of name to “Northallerton Musical Theatre Company” reflects more what we now stage. BUT more gentlemen will still be very welcome!

The Gondoliers was followed by The Mikado, Iolanthe, Merry England, Rose Marie and then, in 1959, The Merry Widow. In 1963 Tom Umpleby (who was a founder member along with his wife, Margaret) took over as Chairman and in that year the Society presented Carousel. In 1962, 1983 and in 2008 the society staged South Pacific.

After staging shows at Bedale School and the Allertonshire School the Society moved their productions in 1976 into the newly-built Hambleton Community Centre (now known as the Hambleton Forum) and has performed there ever since. It possesses theatre-style seating and holds an audience of 325. For the last twenty years the society has staged shows such as The Sound of Music, Guys and Dolls, Half a Sixpence, Jesus Christ Superstar and Crazy For You – leaning more towards more modern musicals and there are more and more to stage, provided licenses are available!

Northallerton Musical Theatre Company is affiliated to the National Operatic and Dramatic Association.

Rehearsal information

We begin rehearsals for a show with music rehearsals which are normally held on a Friday evening from 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm, at the Sacred Heart Church Hall, Thirsk Road, Northallerton.

Contact details

If you want to join the Company, or find out more information please contact our Secretary, Maureen Willoughby, either by telephone (01609 770936) or by e-mail: maureenwilloughby48@gmail.com