Launceston Amateur Dramatic Society

Launceston Amateur Operatic Society and their December 1930 production of 'Iolanthe.'
Launceston Amateur Operatic Society and their December 1930 production of ‘Iolanthe.’

One of the mainstays of the Town Hall over the years has been the Launceston Amateur Dramatics Society which can trace its history back to 1857 when a group of old boys from the Grammar school put on shows to raise funds for a new schoolroom at St. Thomas road which was opened in 1862. The society has been known by many names including Launceston Dramatic Society, Launceston Dramatic and Choral Society, Launceston Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society, Launceston Amateur Dramatic and Musical Society, and today as the Launceston Amateur Dramatic Society (LADS). During the early 1920s, the society saw a slump in its membership and for a couple of years no productions were performed, however, this changed in 1927, when Mr. F. Leslie Houghton revived the Society. He was to serve as Hon. Secretary and later as Hon. Treasurer. During the Second World War, productions were halted after 1941 and did not reconvene until 1946 with the production of ‘Love from a stranger.’
In September 1960 the Society took over the old fire engine house by the Town Hall, which to this day is known as the ‘Green room’ (below right). With a falling membership already causing issues and an increase in costs for licensing and the hire of the Town Hall, it became a struggle to put on as many productions as had been the case. The society attempted to put on at least 2 shows a year with either a musical or pantomime at the beginning of the year and a play later on. It also ran a youth section to bring on budding actors. However, with the Covid pandemic hitting the World in 2020, all activity within the society was brought to a halt. This was the final nail in the coffin and with no members and the Town Council requiring the return of the Green Room, it was decided to wind up the society in June 2022. The costumes and props were shared around neighbouring AmDram groups as were the lighting and sound equipment.

lads-green-room-opening-september-1960    the-green-room-lads-western-road-launceston

 

 

loads-cast-from-the-1912-production-of-hms-pinafore
1912 LOADS cast for the production of the ‘H. M. S. Pinafore.’
1912 article on LOADS production of the 'H. M. S. Pinafore.'
1912 article on LOADS production of the ‘H. M. S. Pinafore.’
1914 Cornish and Devon article on LOADS production of the 'MIKADO'
1914 Cornish and Devon article on LOADS production of the ‘MIKADO.’
lads-the-white-sheep-production-spring-1961
Cornish and Devon Post article on L.A.D.S. 1961 production ‘The White Sheep.’

launceston-drama-first-western-morning-news-05-march   lads-the-pigeon-with-the-left-foot-march-1957


L.A.D.S. Gallery.

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