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Grove Park Amateur Dramatic Society 1925 - 1946

The next eventful year for the society was 1936 when, on the strength of an approach made the previous year to the Grove Park Old Girls’ Dramatic Society, it was agreed that the two societies should merge. The first Annual Meeting of the newly formed Grove Park Amateur Dramatic Society was held on 8 April of that year. It was at this meeting that Dr John Reid was elected the society’s first President, an office that he held with great esteem until 1973.

In the summer of 1935, the most ambitious undertaking of its history so far was the society’s open-air production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare at Acton Park, made possible by the generosity of Mr and Mrs William Aston.

The setting was almost perfect: a stage of rich green turf, entrances and exits hidden by clumps of rhododendrons, an orchestra concealed behind the green screen, and room on the lawn for an audience of a thousand.

The cast of ‘Dream’

Productions had now increased to three per year, for the most part performed at the Church House, Grove Park School and Acton Park, plus appearances in the Denbighshire and Flintshire Drama Festivals.

A special meeting in 1938 considered the possibility of finding a permanent home for the society. A most generous offer of land in Caxton Place was made by the President, Dr Reid, and after some months of negotiations, in the Easter holiday of 1939, to the accompaniment of news that Mussolini had invaded Albania, a strenuous weekend was spent erecting a sectional wooden building, purchased at a cost of £180, and from then on known as the ‘Hut’. This became headquarters, rehearsal room, workshop and home to the society - though only for a short while, as war was declared and the Hut was requisitioned.

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