ABOUT QUARRY BANK MUSICAL THEATRE SOCIETY
Dr Kate Rogers, Dudley Councillor, upon completion of the new Quarry Bank Community Centre, approached Mr Edgar Cartwright, who had been accompanist for the original Cradley Forge Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society which disbanded in 1957, with a view to a new Society being formed to perform shows and revues at the new Community Centre.
Edgar Cartwright approached members of the original Cradley Forge Amateur and Dramatic Society and a meeting was called at the new Community Centre, together with Dr Kate Rogers and officials of the centre.
It was agreed that a new Operatic Society would be formed.
Founder members of the new society who attended this meeting were: Mr Edgar Cartwright, Mrs Bessie Cartwright, Mr Tom Genner, Mrs Sybil Genner, Mrs Vera Dunn, Mrs Joyce Webb, Mrs Doreen Nicklin and Mr Brian Clark.
From that meeting and through the founder members, the Quarry Bank Community Centre Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society was formed.
The society had no funds, and facilities at the Community Centre were not suitable for large stage productions, so the first production was 'Midsummer Madness', a revue staged in June of 1962, followed by 'A Grand Night for Singing' in November 1962.
These initial revues were a huge success and the then Chairman, Mr Brian Genner, soon realised that the society had the potential to move forward. Under his guidance, the society switched to the more suitable venue of Netherton Arts Centre where it staged 'Oklahoma' in September 1963. The society still enjoys a September date at Netherton Arts Centre each year for its annual production.
In December 1963, the society returned to its roots of the Quarry Bank Community Centre to stage 'Christmas Crackers', another review show which proved another huge success. 1963 not only marks the 1st fully staged musical production by the society, but is also the year when it was decided to change its name to the Quarry Bank Amateur Operatic Society. From 1963 to 1975, when Edgar Cartwright served as the Societies first Musical Director, a Hammond Organ was hired each year as accompaniment to the fully staged Musical shows. This was followed in 1976 where a full theatre orchestra was hired for the Societies production of 'Camelot' which has continued for each subsequent annual production.
The society has, through the years, staged many musical shows from Oklahoma in 1963 through to Me and My Girl in 2004, and has also been fortunate enough to stage Midlands Amateur Premieres such as Camelot in 1976, The Sound of Music in 1977, Showtune in 2005 and Wonderful Town in 2005.
One of the aims of the society when it was formed in 1962 was to donate funds raised from annual productions and revues to local charities. Over the years, we have been fortunate enough to be able to donate to many local charities.
On February 5th 2013 members made the bold decision to support some significant changes to the running of the society by voting in a new constitution. It was at this AGM that our long standing Chairperson Doreen Nicklin stood down following many years of service. It is also at this time that the society was renamed to become Quarry Bank Musical Theatre Society. Steve Ganner was appointed as Chairman, ushering in a new vision and wish to move the society to the larger Brierley Hill Civic Hall for performances.
In April 2013 Doreen Nicklin was inaugurated as the new President of QBMTS following her many years of loyal service. Tommy Mundon was given the honour of being the societies first and only Patron and both continue to support the society as ambassadors.
Ushering in a new era for QBMTS Brian Genner was appointed as President for our 2014 and 2105 seasons and due to the sad passing of Tommy Mundon in 2014, Ken Allen became our new Patron.
A new committee, President Neal Clarke and Chairman Carl Cook were appointed after the Global Pandemic of 2020, with the first show since 2019's Singin' in the Rain being Shrek in 2022. Shrek was our largest selling show in our history and is a sign of intent for the society going forward. QBMTS Youth, created in 2017 continues to showcase the brightest local talent, picking up yearly awards for whole production and individual performances.