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Macclesfield Amateur Dramatic Society (MADS) was formed on 15th October 1947 when nine people met at the shop of butcher Frank Snelson. The intention was to establish an amateur dramatic society associated with Macclesfield, a society which, according to T Bancroft, the Society’s first secretary, “belonged to the townspeople and was independent of any other organisation”.[1] Frank Snelson would become the first Chairman of MADS.

‘See How They Run’ by Philip King was the first production and rehearsals began initially in a small room over Frank Snelson’s shop later moving to a local factory canteen. The play opened on Monday 9th February 1948 at the Brocklehurst Memorial Hall on Queen Victoria Street and ran for five nights.

The Brocklehurst Memorial hall continued to be used for performances until 1954 when the Methodist Educational School on Lord Street was used as a home for MADS. The society would eventually go on to purchase the building outright. The building, now known as MADS Little Theatre, is a Grade II listed building.

In 1976, fire regulations necessitated transferring the theatre to the ground floor from the first leading to a reduced number of seating and limited views due to pillars supporting the upper floor. In 1980 it was decided to rebuild the whole theatre reintroducing a proscenium arch and creating tiered seating in a new auditorium. The initial planned closure of nine months stretched to almost three and a half years. On Wednesday 16th May 1984, the theatre was officially declared open by the MP for Macclesfield, Nicholas Winterton, and the first production, a revival of Philip King’s “On Monday Next” was performed.

MADS currently produces five full length plays a season, in addition to other small productions. The theatre is also used by arrangement with other local performing societies including Macclesfield Majestic Theatre Group.

References

  1. Wild, Andrew (1997). Ever Forward: Fifty years of MADS. Macclesfield: MADS. ISBN 0 95303870 X. 
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Macclesfield Amateur Dramatic Society, that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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