A Bit About US

 

History of the Society

In the beginning

MAOS HISTORY

The Society was formed in 1927 as the Morley Technical Institute Amateur Operatic Society. (Technical Institute referring to the fact that the rehearsals were held as evening classes at Morley Grammar School through the Local Education Board.)

Our first production was The Mikado, performed at Morley Town Hall on the 8th, 9th and 10th of December 1927. Ticket prices were 1, 2 and 3 Shilling (5p, 10p and 15p).

Gilbert and Sullivan operettas were a popular choice for several years but gradually more mainstream musicals were included, and continued to be presented at Morley Town Hall until 1938.

As well as the main annual musical production, 1974 saw the first MAOS pantomime, which, combined with various social and fund raising events, has continued to keep members, committee and helpers busy (sometimes a little too busy.)

The Society has performed at various venues over the years. Productions resumed after the war and The Vagabond King was performed in 1948 at the Pavilion Cinema in Morley and productions continued there until the Pavilion closed. With comfortable seating for an audience of 800 the front of house facilities were ideal, but not so backstage. Wing space was very limited and dressing rooms were virtually non existent. Work on the stage couldn’t start until the last film had finished on the Saturday night, then the projection screen, speakers and equipment had to be taken out and replaced with backcloths and scenery. The dress rehearsal took place on the Sunday and the show started on the Monday.

The new era

In 1969 the Society returned to the Town Hall with The Desert Song. In 1972 the Society was proud to present the North-Eastern premiere of Pickwick. Harry Secombe who starred in the West End production kindly provided a photograph and a good luck message for the programme. He apologised for not being able to attend the show, as he was “doing a turn” elsewhere.

Our shows continued to be performed at Morley Town Hall until 1992 when we presented South Pacific. After the Thursday performance, (and thankfully during the night) sections of masonry fell from the ceiling and demolished several chairs, forcing the cancellation of the Friday and Saturday performances.

Because we could not be given an accurate timescale for the ceiling repairs, we had to look for an alternative venue for the next show. It was decided that, for the first time ever, we would present our show outside the much loved “Old Morley Borough”. A decision was made to stage the 1993 production of Half a Sixpence at the Civic Theatre in Leeds, as no other venue in Morley could meet all the society’s requirements.

It was a calculated gamble – would the reluctance of some of our patrons to travel to Leeds be offset by the potential of a wider theatre going audience further afield? Morley’s main musical productions continued at The Civic Theatre until 2004, so it seems the “Hobson’s Choice” decision was the correct one.

In 2001 Leeds City Council announced their intention to close the Civic Theatre and convert it into a museum. Despite opposition vigorously led by the Leeds Civic Arts Guild, the Civic Theatre closed in 2005. A replacement theatre was promised and the Guild was instrumental in fighting to protect the welfare of all the societies involved.

Because of uncertainty with the date that the new theatre (later named The Carriageworks) would be open we decided to return to Morley Town Hall in 2005 to present Musical Extravaganza. This was a spectacular compilation of songs, dances and routines from various musicals. This style of production did not need a large set or backcloths and was therefore suited to the comparatively limited stage facilities. The show was a huge success, and in 2007 we presented Musical Extravaganza 2, and again this was very well received in Morley. Our 2006 production of Crazy For You and Anything Goes in 2008 were both staged in The Carriageworks.

Modern Times

In September 2009 we returned to the Town Hall with When The Lights Go On Again, the show which followed a Morley family through the war years was one of our most successful ever. We are delighted that we continue to present our shows in the Town Hall.

2012 saw the completion of a programme of improvements to the Town Hall stage. (Further information)

A handful of our productions over the years have also been staged at Morley High (Grammar) School and Bruntcliffe High School.

Previous Productions

1927  The Mikado

1928  Iolanthe

1929  Merrie England

1930  The Rebel Maid

1931  Ruddigore

1932  The Mikado

1933  Dorothy

1934  Princess Ida

1935  Pirates Of Penzance

1936   The Maid Of The Mountains

1937  The Vagabond King

1938  The Desert Song

1947  The Vagabond King

1948   The New Moon

1949  Maritza

1950  Lilac Domino

1951  Magyar Melody

1952  Rose Marie

1953  Viktoria And Her Hussar

1954  Carissima

1955  The Quaker Girl

1956  Showboat

1957  Waltz Without End

1958  Oklahoma!

1959  White Horse Inn

1960  Carousel

1961  The Merry Widow

1962  Wild Violets

1963  The Desert Song

1964  Summer Song

1965  Annie Get Your Gun

1966  Brigadoon

1967   Kismet

1968   Flower Drum Song

1969  The Desert Song

1970  The Merry Widow

1971  The King And I

1972  Pickwick

1973  Hello Dolly

1974  Dick Whittington

1974  Orpheus In The Underworld

1975  Jack And The Beanstalk

1975  The White Horse Inn

1976  Aladdin

1976   Oklahoma!

1977  Cinderella

1977  The Dancing Years

1978  Goody Two Shoes

1978  Quaker Girl

1979  Robinson Crusoe

1980  Mother Goose

1980  The Card

1980  Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

1981  Cinderella

1981  Annie Get Your Gun

1982  Dick Whittington

1982  No No Nanette

1983  Jack And The Beanstalk

1983  Hello Dolly

1984  Aladdin

1984  Pickwick

1985  Robinson Crusoe

1985  Guys And Dolls

1986  Cinderella

1986  Summer Song

1987  Mother Goose

1987  Orpheus In The Underworld

1988  Babes In The Wood

 

1988  My Fair Lady

1989  Sinbad The Sailor

1989  Fiddler On The Roof

1990  Jack And The Beanstalk

1990  Oklahoma!

1991  Dick Whittington

1991  The Merry Widow

1992  Aladdin

1992  South Pacific

1993  Robinson Crusoe

1993  Half A Sixpence

1994  Mother Goose

1994  Anything Goes

1995  Cinderella

1995  Sweet Charity

1996  Babes In The Wood

1996  Calamity Jane

1997  Snow White

1997  Guys And Dolls

1998  Aladdin

1998  Singin’ In The Rain

1999  Hansel And Gretel

1999  Hello Dolly

2000  Jack And The Beanstalk

2000  Annie

2001  Robinson Crusoe

2001  Oklahoma!

2002  Cinderella

2002  Oliver!

2003  Babes In The Wood

2003  South Pacific

2004  Mother Goose

2004  Sugar

2005   Dick Whittington

2005  Musical Extravaganza

2006  Snow White

2006  Crazy For You

2007   Aladdin

2007  Musical Extravaganza 2

2008  Hansel And Gretel

2008  Anything Goes

2009  Sinbad The Sailor

2009  When The Lights Go On Again

2010  Jack And The Beanstalk

2010  Return To The Forbidden Planet

2011  Goldilocks and The Three Bears

2011  Oliver!

2012   Dick Whittington

2012   Wizard of OZ

2013  Babes In The Wood

2013   Guys And Dolls

2014  Cinderella

2014  Musical Extravaganza III

2015  Snow White

2015  When The Lights Go On Again

2016  Aladdin

2016  Fiddler On The Roof

2017  Peter Pan

2017  Sweet Charity

2018  Sleeping Beauty

2018  Billy

2019  Jack and the Beanstalk

2019  Musical Extravaganza IV

2020  Cinderella

Our Objective

OBJECTIVE

The objective of the Society is ‘To educate the public in the Dramatic and Operatic Arts and to further the development of public appreciation and taste of the said arts’. Although the wording of this now seems a little archaic, our aims remain the same and we always make sure we enjoy ourselves whilst achieving our objective.

HOW YOU CAN BECOME INVOLVED

MAOS are constantly on the lookout for new members, helpers and sponsors. Do you have an interest in acting or singing? Are you new to the area and at a loose end? Can you sew or are you into scenic painting or woodwork? Can you spare a few hours for the week of the show to sell programmes?

Whatever your talent, we can put it to good use. Get in touch or call in to see us. We are a friendly group of like minded enthusiasts and we believe we are “Amateurs” in name only. We also enjoy an active social life.

MAOS would also be delighted to hear from business owners in the area with a view to developing a mutually rewarding partnership.

We are affiliated to the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) www.noda.org.uk

Morley Amateur Operatic Society is a registered charity. No 500601

Costume Hire

We have an extensive wardrobe and props department which is available for hire. Further details and photographs to be updated shortly.

MAOS Group Photo extravaganza
Extravaganza - 4 men sing
Committee

Meet the Committee

Linda Rowberry
Committee President

Tina 'Tacker' Riordan
Wardrobe Mistrress

David Hann - Musical Director

David Hann
Musical Director

Ian Hartley
Treasurer

Stuart Wilson
Stage Manager

Tom Daley - Web Master

Tom Daley
Web Master

Judith Phillips
Front of House Manager

Steven Holt
Business Manager | Ticket & Patron Secretary

Andrea Holt
Ticket & Patron Secretary, Props Master

Sadie Roberts (Secretary)

Sadie Roberts
Secretary

Melanie Harris
Child Protection Officer

Julie Doree
Publicity Officer & Subscription Secretary

Joanne Cooke
Saturday Leader

Simon Phillips
Committee Member

Amy Haley
Committee Member

Jason Reynolds
Committee Member