Our Next Show

Whistle Down the Wind

18th – 21st October 2017

Palace Theatre

Past Shows.

Explore some of the most memorable productions in our 100 year history.

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Welcome to LODS

Leigh Operatic & Dramatic Society was formed in 1917. Within two years the Society’s success and increased membership made it necessary to move from the original Clarke’s College in London Road to more commodious premises at Elm Hall.

In 1922, after many sleepless nights and committee meetings, LODS decided to take the ambitious move to the Ambassador’s Theatre in Tylers Avenue, opening with Gilbert & Sullivan’s “The Gondoliers”.

In 1932 a move to the first-class facilities at the Southend Hippodrome led to the production of “The New Moon” in 1934. That magnificent show was generally acknowledged as the finest amateur production ever given in the town and created a sensation upon its initial performance. The advent of the “talkies” necessitated a move to the New Palace Theatre, then back to the Ambassador’s in 1936, but returning again to the Palace in 1938. Over the Second World War the Society had to scale down its productions but continued on by regularly giving first-rate revue type entertainment to the troops around the county.

The first post-war production was “Wild Violets” at the Palace in 1946. Ours is a record of which we feel justly proud. We have presented shows ranging from grand opera to the avant-garde (including three world amateur premieres) as well as countless entertainments for charitable organisations.

Today LODS continues this tradition, always ready to take a risk in order to offer something new, something exciting, but above all something entertaining.

OUR NEXT SHOW

Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber | Lyrics by Jim Steinman

18th – 21st October 2017 | Palace Theatre, Westcliff

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Based on the novel by Mary Hayley Bell and subsequent Richard Attenborough-produced film, Whistle Down the Wind follows the fortunes of a fugitive caught between the prejudice of adults and the innocence of the young.

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim Steinman, together with Patricia Knop and Gale Edwards (co-book writers with Andrew Lloyd Webber) reset the original story in Louisiana in 1959.

Whistle Down the Wind revolves around the time and place where the word teenager was invented. Swallow, a 15 year-old-girl growing up in America’s deep South in the fifties, discovers a mysterious man hiding out in a barn. When she asks who he is and the first words he utters are “Jesus Christ”, it’s as if all her prayers have been answered. Swallow and the town’s other children vow to protect the stranger from the world that waits outside – the townspeople who are determined to catch a fugitive hiding it their midst. As fantasy and reality collide, Swallow is torn between the two and begins to discover who she is and where she is going.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s emotive score combines hauntingly beautiful love songs and explosive rock music with lyrics by acclaimed rock’n’roll songwriter Jim Steinman. The score contrasts the relentless influence of the modern world with the traditional values of the old days – something which the community at the heart of Whistle Down the Wind yearns to return to.

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100

years of award-winning theatre

1917
2017