When the curtain went down from the 'Man from Toronto', a comedy in three acts by Douglas Murray, with lovers clinging to each other in the ruddy glow of sunset, the critic of the Woking News and Mail went into verbal raptures: "Horsell Amateur Dramatic Society," he said, "had achieved a distinct triumph in their first public performance". That was on February 2nd 1922.
Performances were rather grand in the early days. Audiences wore evening dress and Mrs Mary Matthews led the Winona Amateur Orchestra, a three-piece comprising violin, cello and piano. This apparently 'further enhanced the performance with beautiful selections'.
Like all societies, HADS has had its memories of celebrities. One was of a young Patrick Moore, teaching for a time at St. Andrew's School in Horsell, took part in five productions. He had an amazing photographic memory, and it is believed that he needed to go through his part only once to know it!
Over the years, the parish hall in Horsell proved to be a happy and pleasant home for HADS' many productions. However, with the opening of the Rhoda McGaw Theatre in the 1970s, the drama groups in the area had a marvellous venue, complete with the latest lighting and sound equipment. Woking Council made this available to all groups, and HADS have put on at least two productions there each year since, as well as participating in the annual Woking Drama Association Festival.
We also utilise Horsell Village Hall for not just most of our rehearsals, but some community evenings where we will put on a short play, sometimes with fish and chips or a buffet.