As most of you know in 2022 Maghull Musical Theatre company celebrates its 50th anniversary, we are in the process of organising some fabulous events to celebrate this amazing landmark for the company.
But, where and how did it all start?
Where it all began
On the 19th October 1972, known then as Maghull Amateur Operatic Society, was founded by Gerry Fogarty and Malachy McKever.
‘Oppies’ as it was affectionately known to its members, began putting together shows in none other than our current home St. Andrews Parish Hall, Maghull, and the members paid a whopping £1.50 per year in 'Subs'. The talented members did almost everything in-house from making and gathering props to sewing and creating costumes
The first production was performed in 1973 at the Neptune Theatre in Liverpool. This was the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic ‘South Pacific’, the show was a massive triumph.
After three successful years the company moved venues to the grander stage at the Empire Theatre, Liverpool in 1976; here they produced ‘Rose Marie’ and ‘Carousel’, despite selling well and receiving wonderful reviews, the running cost of this venture proved to be far too expensive and so in 1978 the decision was made to move again.
Crosby Civic Hall was home to the company for the next five happy and productive years performing wonderful shows including ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ and ‘My Fair Lady’.
In order to branch out to a wider audience the decision was made once again for the company to change venues, this time heading to the popular seaside town of Southport and the Little Theatre which has been a second home to the company for some 30 plus years.
Since then the company has grown in both strength and numbers, with members still having a continually active part not only performing on stage but with props and costumes, front of house and even crewing backstage.
Since its beginning Maghull theatre company has gone on to perform several review shows and operettas and over 70 musicals, with ‘South Pacific’ still being a favourite for both audiences and the company itself, so much so that to date it is their most performed show.
As time goes by members come and go but MMTC are proud to say that many of our earliest members are still life members of the company today, still in regular contact via chairman Betty Hall.
Over the years MMTC have had some incredibly special members, whose impact on the company lead to creating awards in their honour. The first award was donated in honour of Joe Bentham and his wife Davida, both of whom were founding members.
Each year the award is presented to a member of the company usual at the annual dinner dance, the recipient of the award is chosen by the company President.
The shield is awarded for, loyalty, showing extra commitment, having a willingness to help and being a good ambassador. Such recipients include Tony & Thelma Adamson, Sarah Fletcher, and Neil Townsend.
The second trophy is the Davies Cup or as it is also known the Chairman's choice award, this cup is in memory of Anita Davies who was also a founding member, Anita had taken on so many roles over the years, one members said “Anita had MMTC in her veins”.
This special award is given out twice yearly at the end of show week, it is awarded to a person or couple who have shown great improvement, enthusiasm, and commitment. It is a highly sort after prize and has been awarded to many members including Kay Davies, Matt Christiansen and most recently it was awarded to the Heap family for their dedication and commitment to the company.
Cup award winners
So, as we struggle through turbulent times, we can look back fondly at many incredibly happy memories, but more so start to feel excited once again about our future and what is next for MMTC.
Share your memories
We would love to hear your stories and memories as we look towards our 50th Anniversary, we want to create a special commemorative booklet, so please do get in contact with us either via the comments below or directly via email, help us build a catalogue of special memories of the past for the future to come.