The History of Masham Players
The thought behind this section of the website is to have some permanent record of the formation and progress of a typical (or otherwise!) rural Amateur Dramatic Society : - Masham Players.
"The Masham Players came into being in the Autumn of 1946. Prior to this, local drama had been in the hands of the Women's Institute, They, however, had a limit on the number of men who could act in their plays, so it was felt that a separate group should be formed".
The above is a direct quote from the opening page of 'The Masham Players Scrapbook' which was compiled by R.F. (Frank) Theakston the Secretary at the time in December 1953.
There is an interesting letter at the beginning of the scrapbook written by H.W. (Harold) Jackson, who was society Treasurer in 1946. Harold writes :-
"Since it is just over forty years ago, these recollections are not necessarily 100% accurate, particularly since I have no records to which I can refer. Nevertheless they are a reasonably correct account of how the present drama group was formed.
Immediately prior to its formation, the W.I. had their own group. Its producer was Mrs. W.G.B. Schofield. Mrs. Schofield was descended from Ann(e) Neville & she entertained the idea of acting the part of Ann Neville in a play. Not knowing of such a play, she approached Florence Bone, the novelist, to write one specially for the W.I. group. The play was written & not only included Ann Neville but two male characters. Mr. Fisher (at Barclays Bank) & I were asked to play these two parts. To humour the ladies we agreed, but were not co-opted as members of the W.I. Later it seemed to Mr. Fisher & me that we might well be asked again to help out, so we suggested that if a mixed group with no W.I connection could be formed, more men would no doubt join to form a more representative society.
This suggestion was adopted & the W.I. drama group became the Masham Players.
One of their first productions was a play about Mrs. Beeton in which Mr. Fisher & I again took part."
The next entry in the scrap book is as follows : -
An informal meeting of those interested (in joining Masham Players) was held in early October (1946), when a small Committee was formed, consisting of the following people.
Chairman - Mrs. R. Theakston.
- Hon. Sec. - Mr. H Fisher.
- Hon. Treas. - Mr.H.W. Jackson.
- Committee - The Hon Mrs. W.G.B. Schofield
- Mrs. F. Holland
Mrs. E. Winn.
Here we are in 2012 and still going strong. We must be doing something right!
See our lists of Previous Productions