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Hello and welcome to the online hub for Bishop Auckland Theatre Society. Check out our latest productions, find out about our 90 year history or get the info you need to join us.
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Founded as a play reading group in 1932 and meeting in one another's houses, the group started to perform shows a few years later in the Jubilee Hall (now the Masonic Hall) and called themselves The Little Theatre Club. The inaugural meeting of The Little Theatre Club was in 1939 but shortly after had to close for the duration of The Second World War.
After the war, the group reformed and began to produce two plays a year and this has continued to this day.
In 1968, the Jubilee Hall closed and LTC's new venue was to be Bishop Auckland Technical College on Woodhouse Lane. Plays were performed there until 1977 when King James I School had a new complex built that would include a stage and auditorium. It was felt that this would be a better venue for LTC as it was closer to the town.
In 1994, Bishop Auckland Town Hall was renovated and a theatre was part of the reconstruction. LTC made the move to the Town Hall and we are still performing there today!
Over the years, as well as two plays a year, the club has frequently done pantomime, these have been both enjoyable and successful. We have even performed a "pantocrime" at Bishop Auckland Police Station!
In 1993, 60 years after the club first met, it was decided that the LTC would change its name. It was changed to Bishop Auckland Theatre Society - BATS.
Most recently, in 2021, we became a charity - enabling us to better provide theatre in our community.
We are a small, friendly society and over the years have had a very enjoyable social aspect to the club, many of us making lasting friendships.
"What a fantastic show, plenty of wit and wisdom alongside great acting. The show did not disappoint."
Chris - Put That Light Out!
"Well we laughed, booed and hissed 'til our throats were sore at the pantomime..."
Nicola - Sleeping Beauty
"Excellent show loved it [...] Fab dancers too, really enjoyed it, great for all the family."