An informal group of amateur actors and actresses from the parish of Broad Hinton, Uffcott and Winterbourne Bassett initially got together in the 1990s to present cabaret and pantomime at Harvest Festival Dinners and Christmas Suppers in Broad Hinton Village Hall.

They ambitiously decided in 2000 to present The Sound of Music? in Broad Hinton’s Millennium Marquee. This comedy version – adults playing children, men taking women’s parts etc – was hugely successful. Demand for tickets could not be met, even allowing for standing room at the back.

There was clearly an appetite for theatrical entertainment in our community and, following on this success, Broad Hinton Amateur Dramatic Society (BHADS) was formed. The productions starting from Christmas 2000 have been:

Winter 2000  Cinderella
Summer 2001  Hay Fever (Noel Coward)
Winter 2001  Snow White
Summer 2002  A Murder Is Announced (adapted from Agatha Christie)
Winter 2002  Ali Baba
Summer 2003  Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime (adapted from Oscar Wilde)
Winter 2003  Pinocchio
Summer 2004  Bonaventure (Charlotte Hastings)
Winter 2004  The Three Musketeers
Summer 2005  Farndale Avenue Murder Mystery (McGillivray & Zerlin)
January 2006  Aladdin
Summer 2006  The Drunkard (Brian Burton)
January 2007  Jack And The Beanstalk
Summer 2007  Chase Me Up Farndale Avenue, S’il Vous Plait (as above)
January 2008  Treasure Island
Summer 2008  A Letter From The General (Maurice McLoughlin)
Winter 2008  Everyman (Fifteenth Century Morality Play)
Summer 2009  The Importance of being Earnest
January 2010  Peter Pan
Summer 2010  A Tomb with a View
January 2011  Dick Whittington
Summer 2011  Blithe Spirit
January 2012  King Arthur
January 2013  Mother Goose
Summer 2013  We found love and an exquisite set of porcelain figures aboard the SS Farndale Avenue (as above)
January 2014  Cinderella
Summer 2014  Summer Moonshine
November 2014  Voices from the Great War
January 2015  Aladdin

All performances up to summer 2008 were performed in the old Broad Hinton Village Hall, which had a stage but no dressing rooms – actors (adult and child) had to change in tents on the school field, no joke in freezing conditions in the pantomime seasons.

As a result, BHADS was a leading supporter of the initiative to fund a new Village Hall, donating its spare profits to the Appeal. The new hall opened on 9 May 2009 and staged its first production, The Importance of being Earnest, less than two months later.

BHADS today has a membership of 40. The age of the actors ranges from 8-80.  BHADS is run by a six-strong committee and is affiliated to the National Operatic & Dramatic Association. Through its productions, adults and children who had never been on stage before have been successfully introduced to acting. Others have learned the skills of set design, set building, lighting & sound, costume making, programme & ticket design and printing.

BHADS has led isolated individuals to participate in group activities and its productions have become an eagerly awaited event in the social calendar of our villages.