Blackburn Musical Theatre Company, Blackburn Amateur Dramatic and Musical Society up until 2006, came into existence in 1912 when a band who called themselves Mummers performed two short plays. They went on to stage the first big show by amateurs in Blackburn ‘Sunday’ at the Olympia Theatre, in 1913.
A few years on, and in 1919 the company embarked on its first week-long production The Marriage Market, guaranteed by four society members. Until 1930 shows were performed at the Theatre Royal and the company’s departure from that theatre was due to the growth of the talkies. Since then, the company has performed at venues including the Palace Theatre, Grand Theatre, Community Theatre on Troy Street and in 1968 performed at the Odeon on Penny and Windsor Hall through to the late 1970s.
The company moved out of town in 1986 when Annie Get Your Gun was its first production at the Civic Theatre in Oswaldtwistle. Thankfully, our Blackburn audiences followed us and it was recognised that our company continually generated larger audiences than other groups which performed there.
We were delighted to return to Blackburn in 2008 with Annie as our first production at the revamped Thwaites Empire Theatre, where we continue to perform to this day. The company continues to thrive and has a very good reputation for producing first-class shows. Being a charity we donate money every year to deserving causes and like many other local theatre groups need the continued patronage of our audiences in order to survive. Production costs rise year on year and we are grateful for any donations or sponsorships that we receive.
We marked our centenary in 2012 with Carousel and a Centenary Showcase, as well as a gala dinner for members to celebrate our achievements. Here’s to the next 100 years!