the proposal to organise a Victorian Music Hall evening in the School
was greeted with some scepticism by other members of the Committee and
there were doubts as to whether or not it would be supported. And indeed
the first “open” meeting attracted a Chairman and two pianists, but
no performers. However the three of them knew enough people to mount a
show in May of 1983 for which tickets were priced at a guinea. There was
free bar and a Ploughman’s Supper in the interval. Many of the
audience came in costume and although the amount raised was a meagre £32,
the evening was deemed such a success that it was included in the
programme of events for the following year.
its reputation widened, performers from beyond the School community were
attracted and have remained an important part of the Company ever since.
Many pupils from the School have also taken part over the years, some of
them remaining with us throughout their twenties. All in all, a count of
past and present performers made when we celebrated our Twentieth Season
in 2002 numbered an incredible 211. Only one had appeared in all twenty
shows, but there were 3 on stage in 2002 who had appeared in the first
show in 1983.
are fortunate to have a keen and talented Musical Director and also the
services of a former parent who is able to choreograph our chorus sets
to good effect – despite the wide age range of the performers. The
Chorus now regularly numbers between 30 and 40 people ranging from 5 to
recent years we have strayed from our roots in Victorian Music Hall and
have permitted more modern material to creep in
as our chorus has looked for something more demanding to perform.
However we have retained the overall format with a Chairman to introduce
the acts and interact with the audience.
have also increased the number of performances from a single night in
1983 to 4 in recent years.
the mid eighties we did take the show “on Tour” with performances in
Camberley, Yateley, Farnborough, Church Crookham and even in the
Maltings in Farnham, however we now concentrate our performances in the
Hall at Court Moor to save the expense and complexity of moving the
increasingly sophisticated lighting and sound equipment that we now use.
1987 we have been providing entertainment for the Yateley Lions who
bring a number of elderly people in buses from care homes in the area to
enjoy the show. In addition we usually dedicate one evening during the
week to charities other than the School. They undertake all the
advertising, ticket sales and front-of-house work in exchange for the
proceeds. The Friday and Saturday remain fundraisers for the School
Society and typically raise £2,000+ .
Court Moor Palace of Varieties will open its doors again for its 24th season with performances on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th June. The first of these (Thursday) will be a charity performance and the Friday performance will be for the Court Moor School Society.