History

Nanki Poo, from Mikado, 1924
Nanki Poo, from The Mikado – MTS’ first show in 1924

How it all began

The first recorded meeting of the Society was held on Tuesday 21st November 1922 when twenty enthusiasts met at the Sheridan Hotel. Following that meeting the newly formed Society staged their first production of Mikado on Wednesday 6th to Saturday 9th February 1924 at Stafford’s Borough Hall (now the Gatehouse Theatre).

MTS has performed all but two of its shows at the Gatehouse Theatre (formerly The Borough Hall) and 2007 saw the 25th anniversary of the Borough Hall being reopened as Stafford’s very own Gatehouse Theatre, by his Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester. The Borough Hall was originally opened on 20th June 1877 and the building once housed Stafford Borough Council. In the building’s early days, the Borough Council offices, the library and the Wragge Museum occupied the ground floor and on the first floor was a large Assembly Hall with a stage, which was used for meetings, dances, concerts and plays.

The site on which Stafford Gatehouse Theatre now stands has, for hundreds of years, been a crucial civic centre for the town, as well as being located in what could be regarded as something of a ‘Theatre district’ in the 18th and 19th Century. The official and oldest town theatre was the Lyceum in Martin Street established in 1792 with the help of Richard Brinsley Sheridan. It seated 600 and is reported to have had visits from many influential guests including Charles Dickens.

The Society is very proud of its long association with the Gatehouse Theatre and values its contribution to the success of the Society in providing such a professional environment in which to stage the Society’s productions.