Scene Two: Moving Up 1960-1975

On the 2nd June 1960, after a decade of rental, the land was donated to the trustees of Holybourne Dramatic Club. One of those trustees was Lady Charlotte Bonham-Carter the great aunt of actress Helena Bonham-Carter. However, the ageing Nissen hut was crumbling and beyond repair and a replacement building was desperately needed. So, on the 20th September 1961, at an extraordinary general meeting, the Club decided to raise funds for a brand new building.

After ten long years of fundraising, during which time the old Nissen hut was demolished making the Club homeless for a period, their efforts finally paid off and a prefabricated agricultural building costing £8,000, was constructed. The new theatre seated 144 people and housed a large stage, dressing room, kitchen and toilets. The members must have felt they were performing in paradise! On Thursday 6th May 1971, Sir Michael Redgrave opened the new theatre and the invited audience was entertained by “Cat on the Fiddle” by John Dole. The performance was followed by a buffet supper to celebrate another milestone in the history of the Club.

Can you help with missing dates or photos?

1968 The excavation begins
Under construction
The outside is complete!
The main entrance
But the car park is a mess...
...and the inside is merely a shell
Work continues on the building and performances!
The stage under construction
The stage is complete!
May 1971 Opening night arrives
Sir Michael Redgrave meeting the theatre chairman (Constance Kerridge)
Sir Michael Redgrave opens the new theatre
The audience is ready for "The Cat on the Fiddle"
Sir Michael meets the cast after the show
A champagne supper follows
  • 1968 The excavation begins
  • Under construction
  • The outside is complete!
  • The main entrance
  • But the car park is a mess...
  • ...and the inside is merely a shell
  • Work continues on the building and performances!
  • The stage under construction
  • The stage is complete!
  • May 1971 Opening night arrives
  • Sir Michael Redgrave meeting the theatre chairman (Constance Kerridge)
  • Sir Michael Redgrave opens the new theatre
  • The audience is ready for "The Cat on the Fiddle"
  • Sir Michael meets the cast after the show
  • A champagne supper follows

The new theatre also provided an opportunity to move the access road, originally via Complins, to the main London Road. This was financially supported by the residents of Complins who benefitted from the reduced traffic congestion!

During the 1960s the annual pantomime was established and has been running ever since. Children were always an integral part of the cast, which is not surprising as the theatre maintained strong links with local schools. The tradition continues to this day with over one thousand people coming to watch every year and many nights are sold out in advance. This is the only show where every night is unique! Our pantomimes are enjoyed by adults and children of all ages, combining visual and verbal humour with many unscripted deviations. If you haven't seen a Holybourne Theatre pantomime, why not come to the next?

Can you help with missing dates or photos?

Cinderella 1969
Aladdin 1970
Dick Whittington 1971
Red Riding Hood 1977
Humpty Dumpty 1978
Mother Goose 1979
Dick Whittington 1980
Aladdin 1981
Jack and the Beanstalk 1982
Puss in Boots 1986
Sleeping Beauty 1988
Babes in the Wood 1992
Jack and the Beanstalk 1996
Adventures in PantoLand 1997
Cinderella 1999
Hansel and Gretal 2000
Snow White and the magnificent seven 2001
Aladdin 2002
Hickory Dickory Dock 2003
Robin Hood 2004
Dick Whittington 2005
Cinders the true story 2006
Aladdin a railway station 2007
Ali Baba 2008
Sleeping Beauty 2009
Jack and the Beanstalk 2010
Treasure Island 2011
Puss in Boots 2012
Snow White 2013
Captain Hook's Revenge 2014
Cinders - the true story 2015
Jack and the Beanstalk 2016
Puss in Boots 2017
Dick Whittington 2018
Treasure Island 2019
Hansel & Gretel 2020
  • Cinderella 1969
  • Aladdin 1970
  • Dick Whittington 1971
  • Red Riding Hood 1977
  • Humpty Dumpty 1978
  • Mother Goose 1979
  • Dick Whittington 1980
  • Aladdin 1981
  • Jack and the Beanstalk 1982
  • Puss in Boots 1986
  • Sleeping Beauty 1988
  • Babes in the Wood 1992
  • Jack and the Beanstalk 1996
  • Adventures in PantoLand 1997
  • Cinderella 1999
  • Hansel and Gretal 2000
  • Snow White and the magnificent seven 2001
  • Aladdin 2002
  • Hickory Dickory Dock 2003
  • Robin Hood 2004
  • Dick Whittington 2005
  • Cinders the true story 2006
  • Aladdin a railway station 2007
  • Ali Baba 2008
  • Sleeping Beauty 2009
  • Jack and the Beanstalk 2010
  • Treasure Island 2011
  • Puss in Boots 2012
  • Snow White 2013
  • Captain Hook's Revenge 2014
  • Cinders - the true story 2015
  • Jack and the Beanstalk 2016
  • Puss in Boots 2017
  • Dick Whittington 2018
  • Treasure Island 2019
  • Hansel & Gretel 2020


Previous page: Scene One: Humble beginnings 1948-1959
Next page: Scene Three: Youth Theatre 1976-1999

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