Colne Operatic Society

Colne Operatic Society was formed in 1947, after a two year gap following the end of World War 2 in 1945, from the Society which before the war had been known as Colne Vocal Harmonists.

Colne Vocal Harmonists had presented Musical Dramas set in and around the local area with titles such as ‘Monkroyd', ‘Walverden' and ‘Grassington' which had been written by local musician and writer Frank Salter.

The new Colne Operatic Society began its programme with ‘Merrie England ' by Edward German presented at the Municipal Hall, Colne in the last week of February 1947. Admission prices in pre-decimal money ranged from 1/- in the pit to 5/- in the balcony with souvenir programmes priced at 6d.

Since that first show the society has presented at least one and more recently two productions each year which in the early period were mainly the Operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan.

The Society continued to perform at the Municipal Hall in Colne with rehearsals being held in the now demolished Clarendon Rooms situated above the Co-op Garage in Barrowford Road, Colne.

Cast and chorus rehearsed the music and dancing until four weeks before the production date when a professional (paid) Producer arrived from London to direct the entire cast and set the scenes to give the final overall polished performance. This involved rehearsals on at least four night each week and afternoons and evenings on Sunday with no excuses for absence being accepted.

These London producers were accommodated for this period in the best hotels in the area which obviously incurred a significant cost and this practice continued until1963 when talented locally based producers became the norm.

In June 1978 the Society entered into partnership with two other local operatic societies, St John's and Great Marsden Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society and the Freelance Society, to purchase and refurbish our wonderful home the Pendle Hippodrome Theatre which opened to the public in December of 1986.

In October 2007, after 60 years performing musicals for the people of Colne, Colne Operatic Society merged with the other remaining local operatic society St John's . Together they formed the Pendle Hippodrome Theatre Company, and look forward to many more years performing to the audiences at the Pendle Hippodrome Theatre.


1947 March Merrie England
1947 November The Gondoliers
1948 November The Mikado
1949 September Miss Hook Of Holland
1950 March Yeomen Of The Guard
1950 November Tom Jones
1951 November Flora Dora
1952 November Pirates Of Penzance
1953 March Wycoller Dene
1953 November The Desert Song
1954 October Rose Marie
1955 November The Quaker Girl
1956 November The Lilac Domino
1957 October Viktoria And Her Hussar
1958 October The Maid Of The Mountains
1959 October The Merry Widow
1960 October The New Moon
1961 October Free As Air
1962 October The Count Of Luxembourg
1963 April The Gondoliers
1963 October Oklahoma
1964 March The Mikado
1964 October Annie Get Your Gun
1965 October White Horse Inn
1966 October Naughty Marietta
1967 October Brigadoon
1968 October Calamity Jane
1969 February Dick Whittington
1970 April South Pacific
1970 December Oliver
1971 April Half A Sixpence
1972 March Carousel
1972 October The Sound Of Music
1973 March The Student Prince
1973 October Finian's Rainbow
1974 March Camelot
1975 March Waltzes From Vienna
1976 October Pirates Of Penzance
1977 March My Fair Lady
1977 October Rose Marie
1978 March Summer Song
1978 October Gondoliers
1979 March Pyjama Game
1979 October Gypsy Baron
1980 March Pickwick
1980 October La Belle Helene
1981 March Arcadians
1981 October The Merry Widow
1982 October Guys And Dolls
1983 March Sweet Charity
1983 October Die Fledermaus
1984 March Irene
1984 October The Music Man
1985 March Orpheus In The Underworld
1985 October Hans Anderson
1986 March Underneath The Arches
1987 January Camelot
1987 October Sweeney Todd
1988 March The Sound Of Music
1988 October La Vie Parisienne
1989 March Annie
1989 October Beyond The Rainbow
1990 March The Wizard Of Oz
1990 October Kismet
1991 March Mame
1991 December Cinderella
1992 October Anything Goes
1993 March The Pirates Of Penzance (Broadway Version)
1993 October Gypsy
1994 March Calamity Jane
1994 October 42 Nd Street
1995 March No No Nanette
1995 October On The 20 Th Century
1996 March Hans Anderson
1996 October Follies
1997 October Singin' In The Rain
1998 October Me And My Girl
1999 May Red Hot And Cole
1999 December Snow White And The Seven Dwarves
2000 March Noises Off
2000 October Sweeney Todd
2001 March Around The World In Song
2001 October Mack And Mabel
2002 March Half A Sixpence
2002 October High Society
2003 March The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas
2003 October The Revenge Of Sherlock Holmes
2004 March Annie
2004 December Beauty And The Beast
2005 March Old Time Music Hall
2005 October Brigadoon
2006 March Oklahoma
2006 October The Pirates Of Penzance (Broadway Version)
2007 October Calamity Jane