The Welwyn Thalians
The Welwyn Thalians were formed in 1929 from a merger with two other amateur societies, the Barnstormers (drama) and the Operatic Society (music). The Old Welwyn Theatre in Parkway, later
the Embassy Cinema, was the first venue. Most of the early shows were Gilbert and Sullivan productions. Dame Flora Robson, an early and active supporter, can still be remembered sweeping down the aisles. In those days ticket prices were 2/4d to 5/9d and a special London train, the 10.52 pm, was put on to take patrons back to the city. The society’s first producer was A W Richardson and it wasn’t long before musical shows and ‘straight’ plays poured out in succession while the reputation of theThalians grew. A large scale production of St Joan was reported favourably at length in the Daily Telegraph no less. Festival triumphs took the society as far as America, where the ‘Lord Howard De Warden Cup’ was won with Not This Man by Sidney Box. The Thalians were also first at the Letchworth Festival. Before closing down for the duration in 1939 they presented the world premier of Castles in the Air written for the society by Sidney Box and Montgomery Tully with music by May H Brahe. This South American romance starred Mildred Thompson in her debut as a dark haired senorita. Her great grandchildren appear in this show today. After the war, in 1947, the Thalians were back in business with The Gondoliers and continued filling the Welwyn Theatre until in 1962 when, after a successful opening performance of Carousel, a fire broke out and the stage was destroyed. The members pulled together and the remaining performances were completed at a local school. When the Campus West Theatre opened the Society moved in and has been performing there ever since. Tempting and nostalgic as it
is to glance back over such successful years it is really the future we must face. Theatre is struggling to compete with life’s modern age of TV and film, however, the “real” experience the theatre gives is unrivalled. We have a lot of fun rehearsing for these shows and performing live is to experience real living.
Performing is fun!
If you fancy having a go, then why not come along and take a look?
Where to find us
We meet on Monday and Thursday evenings at the New Thalian Hall directly opposite B&Q in Bridge Road East. For further details call Tim Spink on Tel: 01438717569