P&P Origins v3

Poole and Parkstone Productions.
Volume 3

The Sixties

Bitter Sweet and Quaker Girl joined hands with Rose Marie and Goodnight Vienna to hold back the
advance of the brash and exciting different forces of South Pacific, Oklahoma, Call Me Madam and Annie Get Your Gun. Carousel vied with White Horse Inn for a place on the Regent stage.

The new American shows brought the chorus into the story. The choreography required dimensions of movement seldom demanded by the old romantics. It is small wonder that amateur groups all over the country reached out eagerly to accept the new challenges which created a place for the younger talent.

On 23rd May 1968 the Company was preparing for Carousel at the Regent when it was learned that the theatre was to be closed on July 1st and re-opened as a Bingo Hall! The production was reluctantly moved to the Pavilion in Bournemouth, which would not be available until February 1969. The cost of the theatre, complete with orchestra and stage hands would go up from £586 at the Regent to £1,250 at the Pavilion. 1969 may have been ‘one small step’ for Neil Armstrong but it was a giant leap for P&P!

During 1969 Bert Cobb resigned as Chairman.
Having auditioned in 1924 he had completed forty six years with the Society, undoubtedly qualifying for membership of what he himself referred to as “The Great Unpaid“.

The Seventies

1970 started with a bright golden haze on the meadow and with names such as Gillian Vincent, Kay Hardyman, Amy Welsley, Denys Greenfield and Bert Wilcox, our new Chairman, who also presided over the stage proceedings as Judge Carnes. Edna Tice was back “on loan” as our Producer and Chris Shiner subdued the orchestra.

My Fair Lady was followed by Oliver. Most of Fagin’s “Boys” are now into their Fourties and some have moved to the other side of the world. We lost money on this.


During the 70s Bert Wilcox gave up the chair to Ken Cornick. John Stringer became MD and the Society moved back to Poole when it presented Gigi at the Towngate Theatre, newly opened and with a long climb to the temporary upstairs dressing rooms!
We gave £500 to the Arts Centre for new equipment and our President Alderman F Rowe presented another £750. If only they had put another two hundred seats in! Altogether our contributions to local charities had reached £10,000.

The Eighties

The Music Man did not get the eighties off to a good start. The public received the show with a frenzy of indifference. We were broke again!

It was to be the decade of the money-making concert, of Joanne Chapman and of the Autumn productions which are still going strong today. From Music from the Movies to Colour My World, they alternated with the Spring Shows to establish P&P as a force to be reckoned with in a part of England where there are so many Societies of a very high standard.


  • Researched by Alan Binning

End of Volume 3

P&P Musicals

P&P Musicals

P&P Singers

P&P Singers

P&P Players

P&P Players