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Port Talbot And District Amateur Operatic Society

Next Production

"To be confirmed"

is at The Princess Royal Theatre, Port Talbot

April 2013

Theatre Box Office 01639 763214

Princess Royal Theatre Website

Review of My Fair Lady  on Wednesday April 22nd 2009

It was a pleasure to witness yet another sparkling spectacle put on by  Port Talbot and District Amateur Operatic Society at The Princess Royal Theatre in Port Talbot.  "My Fair Lady" was this years offering. In the current climate where almost all theatre attendances have suffered it was  fantastic to see a packed auditorium. The audience were treated to a slick, entertaining and barnstorming show by the society. The role of Henry Higgins played by Peter Morgan, who had incredibly reprised the same role he played for the society in 1985, was very impressive as was Lynne Jones as Eliza. They were ably supported by stage veteran Peter L. Howard (over 60 years as a performer) as Colonel Pickering and Dean Verbeck as Freddy Eynsford-hill, who had to be drafted in at short notice to recreate the role he recently played for Cocket Amateurs. However the stand out performance for me was Ian Vanson-Evans as Alfred P. Doolittle, he brought the character to life and was very, very well received. The large chorus also sang and danced superbly throughout. Mention must also go to the costumes , particularly during the scene at the races where the costumes were applauded. I have seen  "My Fair Lady" many times but have not seen that before. The orchestra were faultless under the direction of Alec Brooks and John Llewellyn and the whole show was directed with great flair by Keith J. Clarke.

Port Talbot and District Amateur Operatic Society was started in 1947 by Mrs Aurelia Vowles John. In the intervening years the society has gone from strength to strength. Assisted by her deputy, Mr Norman John (who would later go on to be the society’s musical director and then their honorary patron), Mrs John took the society from its initial venue at the New Hall, Aberavon, via Margam College, to the Sandfields Comprehensive School hall. Each change of venue was an improvement on the last, and the more modern facilities enabled the Society to present shows, which would have been impossible to stage at their previous performance venues. In 1987, the Society performed its first show at The Princess Royal Theatre; the show was “Music Man”. For the playing members, the stage was huge in comparison to what they had previously performed on and for the first time the Society’s producer at the time, Mr David Thomas (who served the Society for 35 years in this role), did not have to worry about the lack of space available to him. The Society’s annual productions (and the Youth Theatre’s annual productions) are still performed at the Theatre and indeed it is hard to imagine them staging their shows elsewhere. In addition to the Society having to move to different performance venues, the Society’s ‘home’ has also changed many times along the way. For many years, in common with most musical societies at the time, the Society had nowhere to call home; rehearsals were held in various school halls, member’s homes and even in the storeroom of a cycle shop! Then, in the early 70s, the Society, courtesy of the then West Glamorgan County Council, was given the use of a building at the Eastern Schools complex. It boasted large modern rooms and excellent facilities. However, a few short years later, much to the disappointment of the then members the building was held unfit for the purpose, and the Society again was without a place to call ‘home’. Following this the Society set about finding an appropriate building to become their headquarters and eventually a run-down building behind Taibach Library was found. And that, we should say is history, the Society first leased and improved the building, then purchased and further improved; improvements have included an extension and extensive modernisation to provide the members with the comfortable, up-to-date facility that is enjoyed by today’s members. The Society still goes from strength to strength, and in the capable hands of today’s Musical Director, Mr Alec Brooks, Accompanist, Mr John Llewellyn, Producer, Mr Keith Clarke, and Assistant Producer, Mrs Moira David we are sure that it will continue to do so. The Senior Society’s annual production is performed in April each year, with the Youth Theatre’s production staged in October. 

If anybody is interested in joining the Society, please contact the Society’s Secretary, Mr Leighton Joseph on 01639 896228

1947 - The Pirates Of Penzance Leading man was Ivor Emmanuel

1969 - Rose Marie

1991 - The Desert Song

1948 - The Gondoliers

1970 - The Vagabond king

1992 - Hello Dolly

1949 - The Mikado

1971 - The Student Prince

1993 - Irene

1950 - The Yeoman Of The Guard

1972 - Die Fledermaus

1994 - Oklahoma

1951 - Iolanthe

1973 - The Desert Song

1995 - The Pajama Game

1952 - Patience

1974 - Music For All (including Pirates Of Penzance 

1996 - Charlie Girl

1953 - A Waltz dream

1975 - Kings Rhapsody

1997 - Carousel

1954 - Katinka

1976 - Land Of Smiles

1998 - Fiddler On The Roof

1955 - The Lilac Domino

1977 - The Merry Widow

1999 - Oliver

1956 - The Gypsy Baron

1978 - Carousel

2000 - Mame

1957 - The Quaker Girl

1979 - A Waltz Dream

2001 - Me And My Girl

1958 - The Student Prince

1980 - Fiddler On The Roof

2002 - Brigadoon

1959 - The Desert Song

1981 - Oklahoma

2003 - Anything Goes

1960 - Good Night Vienna

1982 - White Horse Inn

2004 - South Pacific

1961 - The Gondoliers

1983 - South Pacific

2005 - Chess

1962 - New Moon

1984 - Brigadoon

2006 - Hello Dolly

1963 - Merry Widow

1985 - My Fair Lady

2007 - Crazy For You

1964 - The Arcadians

1986 - The Great Waltz

2008 - Calamity Jane

1965 - White Horse Inn

1987 - The Music Man

2009 - My Fair Lady

1966 - Naughty Marietta

1988 - Annie Get Your Gun

2010 - Oklahoma

1967 - Magyar Melody

1889 - Half A Sixpence

2011 - Guys And Dolls

1968 - Calamity Jane

1990 - Showboat

2012 - The Music Man

Port Talbot and District Amateur Operatic Society's previous productions

1998 - Fiddler On The Roof

1999 - Oliver

2000 - Mame

2004 - South Pacific

2007 - Crazy For You

The last night of "Crazy For You" in March 2007

2008 - Calamity Jane