Cockermouth Amateur Theatre - A Pictorial History
Cockermouth Amateur Theatre – A Pictorial History published
in 2010 (ISBN 978-0-9551845-2-9), provides a commentary on
the plays, musicals and operas staged in Cockermouth for more
than 150 years.
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The earliest record of theatre in Cockermouth so far traced in a production of Richard
III, staged in the Brown Cow Public House in 1792. In 1879, a 'new amateur company',
the Cockermouth Entertainment Society (later known as the 'Cockermouth Amateur Dramatic
Club'), was formed. This group staged many plays in and around the town in the years
leading up to World War I and some of their members became principals of the 'Cockermouth
Operatic & Dramatic Society' in the 1920s.
Cockermouth Museum Group's photographic history starts in the early 1900s and
their collection includes rare images of concert parties raising funds to support the
troops during World War I.
From such groups, the Cockermouth Operatic and Dramatic Society was formed in
1921 and performed some twenty seven productions at the Grand Theatre in Station
Road up until the outbreak of World War II. These productions were on a major scale
with casts of thirty to sixty performers accompanied by twenty-one piece orchestras.
Special trains were even run to bring audiences from Keswick and Workington to the
nearby Cockermouth Station. The profits from these productions were donated to the
local Cottage Hospital.
The Workers Education Association formed the Cockermouth Players in 1928,
initially staging their productions in the basement of the Town Hall in Market Street.
For the next fifty years the group staged more than one hundred productions, mainly
in Church Halls.
Throughout this period, various groups staged annual children's pantomimes,
including the All Saints Pantomime Company, formed in 1937, and Sadie Cussons'
Dance School who orchestrated the pantomimes in the 1960s.
In 1984, the current Cockermouth Amateur Dramatic Society (CADS) was formed
and have also staged over one hundred productions in numerous venues in and around
We are still seeking photographs and any other memorabilia from plays and musicals
staged in Cockermouth and if you have any photos or any other information to add to
this collection we would be delighted to hear from you.
Cockermouth Museum Group