We started in 2008 in Kidbrooke with six members, basically only four of us wanted to act and the other two, were partners roped into it, so did prop making and box office. We performed our first production that year at Kidbrooke Community Centre with 'The Dumb Waiter' by Pinter. We held our meetings and rehearsals in a community centre on the Kidbrooke Park Estate and slowly built our membership of regulars to about twenty members and started doing two plays a year at local community centres around Eltham, Greenwich and Blackheath.
Like most Am Dram groups we did the staple mix of well known plays such as works from Oscar Wilde, Ayckbourn and because we had some great musical talent in the group, a Gilbert and Sullivan.
Like many small Am Dram theatre groups, we relied on the time and generosity of the members with most of the yearly subs going on meeting room hire and public liability insurance and the local housing association given us a cheap garage space to store props helped, and we got by each year from ticket sales and managed to seek more professional theatres to perform at from the proceeds of the last production. We at a formal meeting of all members formed as a Proprietary Club to release the financial burden and risk on members.
In 2012 a major problem arose when our storage space and meeting facilities where bulldozed down to make make for Kidbrooke Village. We continued to operate but now storing props in spare bedrooms and finding cheap rehearsal space around the area mostly upstairs of pubs etc. Our membership dwindled back to about eight core members while we had no base and in 2013, we tried to put on 'Blood Wedding' at a local pubs function room but a few weeks before the show, the landlord informed us that they did not have the correct licence for theatre, only live music so asking around, we found The London Theatre in New Cross who only took professional companies but felt sorry for us and allowed us to perform for three nights during a break in their programming. We had five nights of bookings to get into three nights, so of course it was full every night and well they liked us and said we behaved like a professional company and we liked them so we again also put on a play at their theatre and in 2015, two of the eight members after being seen in our productions, were cast in professional shows at the theatre. This led in 2016 to the management team getting both their professional Equity cards and spotlight entry which meant some of us could no longer perform in a Am Dram group. Some of us then formed a professional theatre company with the remaining members unwilling and unable due to other commitments being able to take over the running of the club, so no productions or active members up until -
July 2017 - The London Theatre in New Cross put word out to the local community if they were interested in forming a community AM Dram theatre. We approached them to ask if they would be willing to take over the ownership and running of this drama club as we had a structure and membership list in place. They already had a meeting where 15 locals turned up interested in forming a new Am Dram group.
31 July 2017
The London Theatre bought the ownership of this Am Dram Propriety Club and lowered the membership cost to £15 and took away all member costs of being in a show.
All members pay £15 per year which includes full discount membership of the theatre where you can see a number of the theatres professional productions for £5
Members must be over 18