An informal group of amateur actors and actresses from the parish of Broad Hinton, Uffcott and Winterbourne Bassett initially got together in the 1990s to present cabaret and pantomime at Harvest Festival Dinners and Christmas Suppers in Broad Hinton Village Hall.
They ambitiously decided in 2000 to present The Sound of Music? in Broad Hinton’s Millennium Marquee. This comedy version – adults playing children, men taking women’s parts etc – was hugely successful. Demand for tickets could not be met, even allowing for standing room at the back.
There was clearly an appetite for theatrical entertainment in our community and, following on this success, Broad Hinton Amateur Dramatic Society (BHADS) was formed. The productions starting from Christmas 2000 have been:
|Summer 2001||Hay Fever (Noel Coward)|
|Winter 2001||Snow White|
|Summer 2002||A Murder Is Announced (adapted from Agatha Christie)|
|Winter 2002||Ali Baba|
|Summer 2003||Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime (adapted from Oscar Wilde)|
|Summer 2004||Bonaventure (Charlotte Hastings)|
|Winter 2004||The Three Musketeers|
|Summer 2005||Farndale Avenue Murder Mystery (McGillivray & Zerlin)|
|Summer 2006||The Drunkard (Brian Burton)|
|January 2007||Jack And The Beanstalk|
|Summer 2007||Chase Me Up Farndale Avenue, S’il Vous Plait (as above)|
|January 2008||Treasure Island|
|Summer 2008||A Letter From The General (Maurice McLoughlin)|
|Winter 2008||Everyman (Fifteenth Century Morality Play)|
|Summer 2009||The Importance of being Earnest|
|January 2010||Peter Pan|
|Summer 2010||A Tomb with a View|
|January 2011||Dick Whittington|
|Summer 2011||Blithe Spirit|
|January 2012||King Arthur|
|January 2013||Mother Goose|
|Summer 2013||We found love and an exquisite set of porcelain figures aboard the SS Farndale Avenue (as above)|
|Summer 2014||Summer Moonshine|
|November 2014||Voices from the Great War|
All performances up to summer 2008 were performed in the old Broad Hinton Village Hall, which had a stage but no dressing rooms – actors (adult and child) had to change in tents on the school field, no joke in freezing conditions in the pantomime seasons.
As a result, BHADS was a leading supporter of the initiative to fund a new Village Hall, donating its spare profits to the Appeal. The new hall opened on 9 May 2009 and staged its first production, The Importance of being Earnest, less than two months later.
BHADS today has a membership of 40. The age of the actors ranges from 8-80. BHADS is run by a six-strong committee and is affiliated to the National Operatic & Dramatic Association. Through its productions, adults and children who had never been on stage before have been successfully introduced to acting. Others have learned the skills of set design, set building, lighting & sound, costume making, programme & ticket design and printing.
BHADS has led isolated individuals to participate in group activities and its productions have become an eagerly awaited event in the social calendar of our villages.