Once Upon a Time
The inaugural meeting for the Honiton Community Theatre Company (Formerly Honiton Pantomime Society) was called during 1984. A committee was formed from a group of keen volunteers, being chaired by the then Mayor Patrick Allen.
The first production was the best Pantomime of them all, Cinderella in 1985. A brand new society with no financial backing except from their own back pocket, it was wondered at times if it would work. The first costumes were made from clothes bought at jumble sales and charity shops, the props begged and borrowed from the cast and friends. The show came to close as a complete success, charming the crowd with their enthralling tale of how Cinderella met her Prince Charming.
Since then many shows have been performed, including greats such as Jack and the Beanstalk, Babes in the Wood, Aladdin and Mother Goose, as well as some more unusual scripts, including Treasure Island, Old Mother Hubbard goes West and the tale of King Arthur.
Some of the young members of our society started performing in the chorus in some of our original pantomime shows, and have now gone on to carry out productions on the professional stage. We still see them occasionally in the audience cheering us on.
25th Anniversary Performance
In 2010 we performed our 25th Pantomime and decided to chose a script for Cinderella in homage to the first show we ever produced. Writing our first ever pantomime script as well as the usual enormity of performing a show, we knew we had our work cut out. But with the fabulous team that we have, everyone put in 110% effort as they always do, a cracking rendition and an absolutely great time had by all.
30th Anniversary Year
In the 30th Anniversary year of the group in 2014, we performed ‘Jack and the Beanstalk‘ which was the first production directed by our youngest ever director Alex Jackson who had just turned 18 by show week. This was then followed by our 30th Production ‘Sleeping Beauty‘ the first at our new venue The Beehive and our first ever summer musical ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe‘.
Changing our name
We have changed our name to reflect our ambition to put on more shows every year as a thriving group. This is the first pantomime under our new name and ‘Peter Pan’ which will be the first time we’ve ever produced this Pantomime in February.
The Honiton Pantomime Society has become ‘Honiton Community Theatre Company’ under which our critically acclaimed summer production of ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ was presented as a joint production. The change reflects our presence as the premier amateur performing arts group in the Honiton area. We have over 70 members and are over 30 years old. Quite an achievement for a group formed by then mayor Patrick Allen on a shoestring budget.
Our Chairperson Barbara Simmonds commented;
“We were very proud to be the Honiton Pantomime Society but since many of our members wished to put on plays and musicals, a new name had to be found. Our members voted unanimously on our name and we feel it is modern, comprehensive and reflects who we now are.”
Honiton Community Theatre Company goes from strength to strength every year, a Pantomime every year and more productions than ever planned for 2016 makes us one of the best societies to get involved with.