The earliest information we have about Altrincham Little Theatre dates from 1896 when we were called The St Margaret’s Church Institute Amateur Dramatics Society. The Society was born out of the Bible Reading Groups associated with the Church and they performed plays/playlets at Tea Functions.
The first recorded play was at a Senior Bible Class Tea Party where there is a mention of a play but no title. At the Junior Bible Class Tea Party two days later on 15th January 1896 there is mention of a play “My Turn Next”
The Society blossomed and continued to perform up to the 1st World War when performances were stopped until the cessation of hostilities. The stoppage was repeated during the 2nd World War and again performances continued. There were two more plays under the name of St Margaret’s at which time there was a name change to The Club Theatre. It is known that many of the early plays were in fact sketches and one act plays and they were also only performed once or twice.
Since the restart of the performances in 1947 we have grown to performing for 7 nights and producing 5 plays a season. We have been performing at our current Theatre since November 1962 and this was only interrupted during the 1982/83 season when we closed for extensive re-building. We are now fortunate to have full facilities, including full size rehearsal area, bar/lounge, wardrobe facilities, all dressing facilities and all technical functions. The Theatre has been purposely kept in the traditional style with a stepped auditorium, the stage is 22 ft proscenium arch by 16 ft depth.
Activities at the Theatre are various and our aim is to use the Theatre for its main purpose, performance. This is obviously limited to the time available to the stage crew and all the helpers etc. All help is purely voluntary but there is a very strong core of caring helpers. Included in our aims to select plays is our belief in new works, we firmly believe that we need to encourage new authors and new plays. Coupled with this we also run a Drama School, aged from 10 to 18 yrs. We completed our Centenary year in 1996.
We present the Hale One-Act Play Festival and in accordance with our encouragement of youth we are fortunate to welcome local Schools for their annual show where we have children up to the age of 11 yrs on stage. We have Professional entertainers in covering all types of performance but these have to be limited due to the availability of the helpers. Constantly striving to improve our standards we have been fortunate to receive awards for our achievements from both the Greater Manchester Drama Federation and the Cheshire Theatre Guild.
We changed our name to Altrincham Little Theatre in August 2012 as it was felt that the club connotation no longer gave the correct indication of our purpose.