Hereford musical theatre company. (HMTC) is Herefordshire's leading musical theatre company. We were founded in 1898 as Hereford Amateur Operatic Society. We have a fantastic, enthusiastic membership ranging from ages 8 to 80!
The Tomkins Theatre
We have our own theatre & clubroom in Whitecross Road, Hereford which can be booked for private functions when we are not rehearsing there. It has a fantastic stage, dance floor, tables & chairs, sound & lighting system, perfect for any party! To hire contact Paul Morris on 07836298670.
The adult company stages 2 major musicals every year at the Tomkins Theatre in the spring and at the Courtyard Theatre in the autumn. We are renowned for our professional standards even though we are amateurs. We sing, dance, act, all with excellent lighting, staging & sound. We love entertaining the audiences of Hereford. We also produce an annual summer concert involving all members which is staged at our own theatre along with a dazzling Christmas show.
HMTC Concert Group - Available to Hire!
We also have a concert party that can provide excellent entertainment for private functions! To book contact Ann Kemp on 01684 562155.
HMTC Youth Theatre
We have a thriving youth theatre (ages 8 to 15) which meets on Sunday afternoons at our clubroom and stages its own show every year and there are often opportunities for youth members to be involved in the main company productions at The Courtyard. To sign up your child contact Nicky Willet firstname.lastname@example.org
Please support HMTC!
We are a charity so we are always in need of support, be that financial through advertising or sponsorships, or voluntary assistance with anything ranging from costumes, to backstage, front of house to fundraising, publicity and promotion. Click here to support us
HMTC Potted History
Hereford Musical Theatre Company is a strong and important part of the City of Hereford’s Historical Heritage, being founded in the year 1898 as Hereford Amateur Operatic Society (HAOS). In that year a group of enthusiasts led by Mr George Banks and supported by Mr F T Carver, Mr A E Capel and others, who were all keen on the Savoy Operas decided to stage a public performance. They chose “The Sorcerer” and so it was, HAOS began.
By the Year 1903 the interest created by these pioneer efforts resulted in the firm establishment of a Society, under the presidency of Sir John Cotterell.
At that time no proper theatre was available, and the Drill Hall, Friar Street was used, where conditions were far from ideal, and it is noted that a young gentleman, Percy C Hull, assisted with an acetylene lamp. He of course went on to greater things becoming Sir Percy C Hull, DMus, organist and choir master of Hereford Cathedral, he was also president of the Society.
An interesting note that those travelling from the County used horse transport. In the first two performances there was only a piano to accompany the singing, and the performance ran for two nights, but by 1903 had gone from strength to strength to allow yearly public performances and by 1904 full week performances, with the use of a full orchestra.
During the two world wars the Society was unable to produce, with one exception, when in 1915 a charity performance was given to raise funds for the Red Cross and the St John Ambulance Brigade and this is a strong tradition carried on by today’s members.
After 1911, The Kemble Theatre, Broad Street was used as the Society’s regular venue, with only one or two exceptions, until its demolition, when in 1962 the Society transferred to The County (or Palladium) Theatre, Berrington Street.
1938 revival year. The Arcadians was performed which saw the coming of many new faces, but also, regrettably, the retirement of some of the old stalwarts. Revived again in 1947 with “The Belle of New York”, still had the interest of many of the old members, although the majority of those performing were of the new generation!
The Post War years saw the introduction of the popular American Style musical and from then on the Society performed the more modern style American and British musicals. The Society during this time was faced with the problem of where to perform, The Kemble and The County had gone, and were very grateful to the Commanding Officer of Bradbury Lines for coming to the rescue, allowing us the use of the Garrison Theatre, which until the early 70’s was home to HAOS, when the upsurge of the IRA activities caused us once again to search for a new home.
The Monks at Belmont Abbey proved most hospitable and were our hosts until we, like other societies, were able to transfer to our “Dream”, our own theatre, The Nell Gwynne.
The early seventies saw a period of growth and vision by the officers of that time. The future of the Society lay its own base, roots if you like and looking to encourage youth so that the future of the Society was ensured.
To this end, the Society were fortunate to purchase its own headquarters, and founded its youth group. The establishment of a permanent rehearsal/clubroom, enabled the Society to grow from strength to strength and in 2007 the society changed its name to Hereford Musical Theatre Company to reflect the productions in musical theatre rather than traditional operatics. And so we are where we are today HMTC enjoys a reputation for the excellence of its productions, long may it continue!