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A Brief History of Wimborne Drama Productions

Wimborne Drama Productions was formed in November 1928 by a group of enthusiasts - led by Leonard 'Motty' Mottram, an English teacher at the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School - who called themselves 'The Wimborne Dramatic Society'. There were other drama groups in the town before this date no doubt, but no official record of them has been found.

The society's original purpose was to be a social club for theatre-goers, but in 1932 it took the bold step of actually staging a production - and it picked an ambitious first project. Ambrose Applejohn's Adventure had a cast of over forty people and the few remaining photographs show it was a rather stylish affair.

After the War the group merged with Wimborne Operatic Society. This relationship was short lived due to the high cost of staging operatic productions (which ate into the profits made by the dramatic society!) and a sad but amiable parting took place. The dramatic society re-emerged as Wimborne Drama Club.

Ambrose Applejohn's Adventure

Early plays were staged at the Women's Institute Hall until it was demolished, and then at Church House. Fire restrictions caused this venue to be abandoned in favour of "the new secondary modern school at Pamphill" (now QE). When the Allendale Centre opened in 1970, the club at last had a permanent home. There we remained for the next twenty-four years.

In 1994 came a major step forward when the Tivoli Theatre reopened. Wimborne Drama Productions was invited to become the resident amateur company and we haven't looked back since!

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