Manor Musical Theatre Company name was changed in June 2015 from the original *The Manor Operatic Society* the decision was taken by the company to move more towards lighter popular musicals in an endeavour to encourage more members of all ages.
The company has a strong reputation for presenting high quality productions built up over many years. An insight into those early years follows: By 1951, there was only one operatic society in Sutton Coldfield- namely the Emily Broughton Players, who during and immediately after the war had specialised in Gilbert and Sullivan and shows such as Tom Jones, Rebel Maid, The Grand Duchess and "Cav and Pag".
The Sutton Operatic which had performed grand opera under the direction of Victor Fleming and his wife had closed down in the late 1940s. Suddenly, there was a general feeling among the ex-members of the above societies that there was room for another operatic society and a preliminary meeting was held at the home of Harold Burke on l4th July 1952. There were eleven people at this first meeting: Harold, Ivy and Cecily Burke, Dorothy Lewis, Norman Fairey, Stan Finchett, Tommy Dobbin, George Marriott and Ted Vaughan Jones all of whom became long serving members of the society and most playing on stage with distinction.
The original name, Manor Operatic, was a reference to the Manor of Sutton, as in Manor Road and Manor Drive; our first choice was The Royal Operatic Society; unfortunately the Home Office refused us permission to use the name.
Many shows were considered for our first production and it was late November before we decided on "A Country Girl" with music by Lionel Monckton which was considered attractive and musically interesting without being over-demanding as we could not be sure of our musical strength in such a new company. Our show was performed at the Sutton Coldfield Town Hall from the l2th to l6th May 1953 in the presence of members of the cast from "The Archers" - it was well received and a financial success and we gave a donation of 75 guineas to The Infantile Paralysis Fellowship. This was a generous amount in 1953 and it set the company on the road of annual donations to many causes which have always given the company great pleasure.
Seat prices were five shillings, three shillings and sixpence and two shillings and sixpence.
* Dr Harold Burke * 1902-1973. Hon LLD (Birm), CEng, Hon FIProdE, FIMechE, FBIM, MSAE
Founder of the Manor Operatic Society, it's members are very proud to still maintain
the family connection with Harold's daughter Cecily Gilbert BEM our President