Yeadon Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society was formed in when a group of like-minded people decided that it was
time for Yeadon to have its own Amateur Operatic Society. The Society’s first production, “The Unfair Sex” by Eric Hudson, took place in April 1931. The event was not without its off-stage dramas in that the leading lady, Rene Varley, fell ill and had to be replaced by someone from Menston Thespians!
Yeadon performed its first musical, “A Chinese Honeymoon”, in February 1932. The Wharfedale and Airedale Observer gave the production a rave review:
“Yeadon Amateur Operatic and Dramatic society have set themselves a high standard in their first musical production “A Chinese Honeymoon” presented each night this week at the Town Hall. Large audiences have found the show one of excellent entertainment value.”
The Society put on a number of plays and musicals until the Second World War was declared in 1939, stopping rehearsals for the classic musical “Showboat” in its tracks. Our next production, “Without the Prince”, was staged in October 1945 to be followed by “The Vagabond King” in March 1946, thus establishing a pattern which prevails to the present day – play in October, musical in March. In all, Yeadon Amateurs have staged 70 musicals and 58 full-length plays.
We gave our first Christmas Concert in December 1976, featuring a mixture of chorus items, solos, audience carols and show-stopping band numbers. The success of our Christmas owes as much to audiences as to performers, creating an atmosphere heralding the start of the season’s festivities.
2010 marked YAODS 80th production, Stephen Sondheim’s Gypsy. We try to challenge our acting members, artistic design teams and indeed our audiences with plays and musicals of different genres – the classics (Blithe Spirit, The King and I), recent modern classics (La Cage Aux Folles, The Darling Buds of May), hits of the fringe theatre (Nunsense) or shows to interest our younger audiences (Beauty and the Beast). Our success is built on the fact that we do not stick to a formula – our goal is simply the highest possible standard of all forms of theatre.