About Andover Musical Theatre Company
Historical records show that Andover Operatic Society was first established in the 1890s, although we have little information about the society at that time. The society as we now know it was officially founded in 1963 by Brenda Jeffery-Machin and friends. As well as performing the old Gilbert & Sullivan standards, the group also performed shows ranging from Carmen and Brigadoon to Kismet and Oklahoma!
The 1990’s saw the Society enter a turbulent period in its history, particularly while the former Cricklade Theatre was closed for refurbishment. 1995 saw a slight change to the name, adding ‘musical’ to reflect the diversity of the shows being performed at that time. The society was fortunate to have a number of passionate people on the committee at that time, including Tony Broad, Phil Keates and Sue Parker as Chair and John Parker as Treasurer. Their dedication ensured that the society survived through that difficult time to perform in the newly renamed theatre, The Lights.
The new-look theatre brought about a renewed society. In 2007, Sue and John Parker took up new positions as President and Vice-President, whilst the AMOS committee underwent a major restructure, identifying a number of key positions with specific responsibilities. With a new committee at the helm, led by Carol Robinson as Chair, the society performed a number of shows it had never performed before such as Thoroughly Modern Millie, Scrooge, Calamity Jane and Jekyll & Hyde, all of which were nominated for Curtain Call Awards by the Southern Daily Echo.
In 2011, after much deliberation, the committee proposed to change the name of the group again. The results of a wide ranging membership survey raised concerns over the public perceptions of the group and suggested the word ‘operatic’ may put off a wider audience and potential new members. The members voted unanimously and the name was changed to Andover Musical Theatre Company. At this point, an application was made and granted by The Charity Commission for the company to become a registered charity.
Since rebranding, the company has continued its development. The first major change to take place was the decision, in 2012, to move rehearsals from our long established premises at St Michaels Church Hall, to The Lights. This was a big, but a very exciting, step as it is very rare for a group of our kind to take up a residency in a working theatre!
Around this time, the committee also made a conscious decision to perform shows that included parts for children such as The King and I, The Sound of Music and Annie. This type of show had been missing from our repertoire and it was felt that such shows would help broaden our audience and encourage new members. In 2016, this concept was taken one step further when the committee greenlit the creation of our youth group, AMTC Starlights. Starlights performed a successful run of Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat for their inaugural production.
With such a sustained period of change, the decision was made to celebrate our 50th anniversary, in 2013, with a production of The Pirates of Penzance. The company had not performed a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta for over ten years and Pirates for almost twenty. It was the perfect opportunity to embrace our heritage and invite our members, past and present, to celebrate the occasion. The show was a great success…as was the party!
Looking to the future we have some brilliant shows lined up for 2018. First up is our production of Spamalot, the hilarious Monty Python musical, in just a few weeks. This will be followed in August by Starlights’ production of Grease, a show that is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and then in November the main company will perform Legally Blonde, based on the successful Hollywood film,
New members are always welcome, as are willing helpers behind the scenes. We pride ourselves on being a company with a great community spirit, who go the extra step whenever we can. Most of our productions include sets and costumes that are made by our members and supporters and all of our programmes and marketing materials are designed in house. We are a dedicated group with a passion to put on the best show we possibly can. There really is something for everybody at Andover Musical Theatre Company, so get in touch and become a part of our rich history…what are you waiting for?
The evolution of the Company's logo
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The Lights, West Street, Andover, Hampshire, SP10 1AH | firstname.lastname@example.org
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