Founded in 1898, the Society originally performed Light Operettas and then Gilbert & Sullivan. The Society has posters dating back to the early 20th century which indicate that they once performed a different operetta on alternate nights, with the cast switching between leading parts and chorus!!
The Society has a virtually unbroken history of performances since its inception with the exception of a short break at the end of WW1 and a longer break during 1941 - 45 when many of the 50+ strong chorus were actively involved in other equally dramatic events.
Having played for many years at the Theatre Royal and then the Hippodrome in Rochdale, the Society moved to a temporary home at the ABC cinema before moving to The Gracie Fields Theatre in 1977, which is our present home.
Officially opened by Dame Gracie Fields in 1978 the theatre has been used by the society ever since. The newly-refurbished Gracie Fields Theatre is purpose built, seating 688 and the seating area is tiered so there are no restricted views. There is a large free floodlit car park with security cameras and disabled access (which includes a lift to stage level). There is also a licensed bar and refreshments kiosk.
Gracie Fields Theatre,
Oulder Hill Leisure Complex,
President - Mr Jeffrey Lawton
Chairman - Mr Derek K Ellis
Secretary - Mrs Kathryn Meredith (01706 653185)
Treasurer - Mr David Heaton
Kathryn Meredith, Marjorie Dale, David Heaton, Derek K Ellis, Jill Chadwick, Emma Wild