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ATG History

Towards the end of 1968 leaflets dropped through the letterboxes of houses in the Forestdale and Addington Village area, asking anyone interested in forming a drama group to come to a meeting at St Mary’s Church Hall in Addington Village at 8.00pm on 27th November 1968. Thirty-five people attended the meeting and the group, to be called Addington Theatre Group, was formed. The first production was "Trelawny of the Wells", by Arthur Pinero, at Selsdon Hall on 2nd and 3rd May 1969.

Right from the start the Group put on three productions a year as well as holding many social events. Between 1972 and 1990 We had an annual dinner dance for many years and after play parties have always been held in the houses of members.

From 1969 until 1993 we performed at Selsdon Hall and had to find rehearsal rooms either in the Selsdon Hall committee room, St Francis Hall on Monks Hill Estate or Borough Grange in Sanderstead. Our scenery was originally stored in the garage of one of our members but eventually we were able to rent a "hobbies room" on Forestdale, which was about the size of a triple garage. Scenery was painted either in members’ drives, outside the hobbies’ room or in the back yard of Selsdon Hall — there have been times when we have had to sweep the snow off flats before painting them, and of course frozen paint is very difficult to work with.

In the beginning we only performed plays — comedies, dramas, thrillers, etc. but In November 1988 we performed our first musical — "Jack the Ripper", which was a great success. Since then we have performed musicals or pantomimes for many of our November/December productions.

In 1984 we heard that the Hamsey Green Guide Company had only a few members and were prepared to let us share their hut in Tithe Pit Shaw Lane for rehearsals. After a few years the Guide Company disbanded and we took over the hut completely as a club house (to this day entitled "The Hut"), where we can rehearse, build and store scenery and hold social events.

In 1993 we moved our performances to Warlingham Church Hall, the first production there being "The Owl and the Pussycat". We have been in Warlingham ever since and are very happy there, becoming part of the local community, from where we now draw a good percentage of our audiences.

The name of the group has changed twice since we left the Addington area, finally becoming A.T.G., which is how it was always referred to by members. We have now been in existence for over 40 years, we have excellent performance and rehearsal facilities and loyal members.