History of The Halifax Thespians

Thespians were born ...

In September 1927, two hundred and ten people, who were interested in the arts, were invited to a meeting in The White Swan.
By October the Constitution was passed and the Halifax Thespians was formed.

... and had various homes ...

The first play 'Dear Brutus' was presented as a matinee at the Theatre Royal the following March 1928.
In 1931 the Halifax Thespians moved to the Alexandra Hall, above the old Halifax Building Society, the Commercial Street branch.
During the Second World War the plays were performed at Heath Grammar School, now the Teacher's Centre.

... finally settling down ...

The Halifax Thespians purchased an old chapel, now known as the Playhouse in 1945.
In 1948 a licence was granted and the first production 'The Merry Wives of Windsor' was performed in September 1949.

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... through the late 70's and 90's ...

In 1979, after much discussion by the trustees a licensed bar in the basement was opened.
Initially it was just a trestle table serving bottles of beer and spirits, before the ladies dressing room was converted into the current bar in November 1980.
The Auditorium was not forgotten, in 1984 members and friends of the theatre donated a fundraising event 'for thier own seat' to be re-upholstered.
You can see many of the plaques on top of the seats today.

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Finally in 1995 the Playhouse was extended with ramp access and a disabled toilet, this also allowed a new coffee lounge, toilets and property room underneath.

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Key points in the Thespians history

  • 1927 - Halifax Thespians Born
  • 1928 - Thespians first play
  • 1930 - The green room formed
  • 1931 - First home, Alexandra Hall
  • 1945 - Hanover Chapel purchased
  • 1949 - Playhouse opened
  • 1964 - Playhouse mortgage paid
  • 1986 - Carlton Rooms purchased
  • 1992 - 500th production
  • 1995 - Access for the disabled
  • 1990 - 50 years at the Playhouse
  • 2017 - Society celebrated 90 years

Thespians Archive

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Halifax Thespians Performance of Noises Off, 2005

Our archivist Alan Cunnington has been busy digitalising photographs of Halifax Thespians shows.
These are available to view, by clicking on the link below to our dedicated Halifax Thespians Archive Facebook page.

Halifax Thespians Archive on Facebook

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