About Us

Walmsley Church Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society are an award-winning, self-funded group of enthusiasts, dedicated to providing quality theatrical entertainment. We produce two musical shows a year, in April and November, at the Parish Hall Theatre, Christ Church, Walmsley, Egerton, Bolton, Lancs., BL7 9SA.

We have great facilities for audiences and members, including a 210-seat auditorium with raked seating for optimum viewing. We also have excellent kitchen facilities and a licensed bar during performances. 

If you ever thought about being in a show or helping backstage, come and join us - we're always on the lookout for new members. See below.

For younger enthusiasts we also have a thriving Youth Group, AKT, who put on a full show in June. Click here for details.

We're members of NODA (the National Operatic and Dramatic Association) and BATS (Bolton Amateur Theatre Societies).

Our society archives, both digital and hard copy, are registered with the National Archives and are held by Bolton Museum.

How to join

Being involved in amateur theatre is a great hobby - it's fun, sociable and not at all expensive! If you ever thought about being in a show, why not come down and get involved? You'll find us a very welcoming society. Just pop down on a rehearsal night - we rehearse every Tuesday and Friday from 7:45pm - and speak to our Chairman, Nora... or speak to anyone! Don't be shy!

It's not just about singing, dancing and acting either. We need lots of people helping behind the scenes and front of house too. 

If you want a part in a show, you'll need to audition; audition pieces and dates are advertised on the website and at rehearsals. The first few rehearsals for every show are to help people learn the audition pieces, so come down to rehearsals, have a sing and meet people just like you! 

Before you audition, or if you want to be in the chorus, you will need to pay your membership fees - see below. 

If you want any more information, go to our Contact Us page and drop us a line.

Annual Subscription rates

All Members £40.00

Entitles you to perform in all shows during the year, receive member information and vote at the Annual General Meeting. Payable at the AGM or on joining. Must be paid before auditioning.

How to find us

Walmsley Church AODS - a potted history

Walmsley Church AODS began life as Walmsley Sunday School Operatic Society with its first officially recorded meeting being January 9th, 1928. The opening minute records that it was "...proposed and seconded that we keep the society together, working with the church as before”.

Life in Egerton during the 20s and 30s was very different from the present. The population of the area was a fraction of what it is today, and the social impact of the motor car was still on a limited scale. Audiences travelled to and from Egerton on buses, and it was even in the minutes of one meeting that the bus company was to be asked to double its services during show week!

Despite the difficulties of transport, the audiences flocked to see the shows and the productions proved to be very profitable. Even so, the society almost folded in 1937 because of a severe shortage of males (some things never change!).

During World War Two, the society came to a temporary standstill as most of the members were involved in active service, but since 1945 the society has gone from strength to strength staging productions to an exceptionally high standard year upon year.

Throughout the society's life there has always been a tremendous community spirit, very much linked to the Church. Many members of the society are also members of Christ Church, Walmsley's congregation and the Vicar is the president of the society. No doubt the founder members would have been delighted to see that the opening minute from 1928 has been so successfully achieved!

Officers of the Society

President (Interim)   Audrey Hudson
Vice-President             David Witt
Chairman   Nora Howcroft
Vice-Chairman   Jane Bickerstaffe
Secretary   John Cocking
Treasurer   Norman Bowers
Box Office Manager   Lindsay Farnworth
Publicity Managers   Steve Benson, Lauren Carroll, Lindsay Farnworth, Nora Howcroft, Lara Syddall
Programme Manager   Steve Benson
Stage Director   John West
Social Secretary   Lara Syddall
Bar Manager   John Farnworth
Refreshment Manager   Anne Cocking
Buildings Manager   John Cocking
AKT Leaders   Hannah Feakin & Bethany Bentham
Cast Representatives   David Witt & Barbara Martin
Auditor   David Witt
Electrician   John Cocking
Committee Members   Julie Kirby, Audrey Mason, Mary Pycroft