Society History

The Society was formed in 1908 and performed its first production at the Parish Church Sunday School in November of 1909. 'Prince and Pedlar' played to packed houses and received an excellent review from 'The Clitheroe Times'. In 1914, 'Iolanthe' was produced in the Civic Hall, which was then called the Public Hall and is now known as the Grand . . After a break of 9 years, for the First World War, productions resumed at King Lane which was then known as the Co-operative Hall.

Rule Book

In 1936, the Society committee had a dissagreement with the Parochial Church Council which led to the Society breaking away from the Church and forming the Clitheroe Operatic and Dramatic Society. Under this guise, productions continued at King Lane until 1961, after which, the King Lane premises were sold, leaving the Society with nowhere to perform. This was when the Church and the Society re-united to reform the Clitheroe Parish Church Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society and from then on productions continued at the Parish Church Sunday School until the present day.
A quote from the 'Borough Record' of November 15th 1963 when 'Carousel' was staged "After an interval of about 30 years, members of Clitheroe Parish Church Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society have staged another production, 'Carousel' which has attracted large audiences to the church hall this week. In the 1930's a former Parish church Society became the town's organisation, but previous to then it had a long run of successes in Gilbert and Sullivan operas dating back to 1909."

The first programme message from the President and Chairman, Rev. Alan F. Clark reads as follows "Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to our first production. Not really our first production of course, for the Clitheroe Parish Church Operatic Society is a very old society indeed: however as many of you are well aware, it has not functioned as such for a long number of years. With this bit of Parish history in mind, and recognizing the great facilities we have in our own wonderful hall and stage; I took it upon myself to revive the Society, and I did so because I felt it would, if handled properly, be of service to the Parish and Clitheroe as a whole. So far as young people are concerned this is an age of jive, twist and shake! Whilst I would not question the right of young people to do such things I feel some of their energy and natural creative ability should from time to time be used for other purposes. The modern American Musical Play affords a good opportunity for them to do just this, as a matter of fact it caters for old and young alike, as you will see, when you look at the cast."

The following year 1964 the production was 'Annie get your Gun' with the following quote from Alan Clark: - "Last year I said that I felt our Society, if handled properly, would be of service to the Parish and Clitheroe as a whole. I am now certain that this is the case."

Annie Get Your Gun

Charles Myers, Mary Waddington, Alan F Clark, Margaret Smith, Edmond Cambien

The Society continued with the following productions:-

  • 1965 The Gondoliers
  • 1966 Iolanthe
  • 1967 The Student Prince
  • 1968 The Mikado
  • 1969 The Count of Luxembourg
  • 1970 The Boy Friend
  • 1971 My Fair Lady
  • 1972 South Pacific
  • 1973 Oklahoma
  • 1974 Brigadoon
  • 1975 Desert Song
  • 1976 Flower Drum Song
  • 1977 Showboat
  • 1978 The Merry Widow
  • 1979 Calamity Jane

From 1976 plays were also produced.

The disastrous fire in the Church in May 1979 caused difficulties in the extra use of the Parish Hall which affected rehearsals, and made it impossible to present the Show on the Saturday previous to Opera Week as was usual.

  • 1980 White Horse Inn
  • 1981 Gigi
  • 1982 Fiddler on the Roof
  • 1983 Carousel
  • 1984 New Moon
  • 1985 Hello Dolly
  • 1986 Guys and Dolls
  • 1987 Bless the Bride
  • 1988 South Pacific
  • 1989 Summer Song
  • 1990 My Fair Lady
  • 1991 Oklahoma
  • 1992 The Sound of Music
  • 1993 Kiss me Kate
  • 1994 The Pajama Game
  • 1995 Annie get your Gun
  • 1996 Fiddler on the Roof
  • 1997 Pirates of Penzance
  • 1998 Cabaret
  • 1999 Carousel
  • 2000 Me & My Girl
  • 2001 Mack & Mabel
  • 2002 Sweet Charity
  • 2003 Guys and Dolls
  • 2004 Brigadoon