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Home   Dartford   News   Article

Actors from Dartford Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society ready to step back on the big stage at the Orchard Theatre

02 April 2014
by Julia Roberts

Dartford Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (DAODS), which has been performing for more than 100 years, has enjoyed such a busy year it can now afford to once again stage productions at The Orchard.

The 1,000-seat theatre became DAODs’ second home when it opened in 1982 and staged at least two productions there every year.

But financial constraints led to the society leaving The Orchard in April last year and perform solely from its headquarters, Heathfields Hall in Heath Lane.

Dartford Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society, back when they performed Calendar Girls

Dartford Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society, back when they performed Calendar Girls

Chairman Dave Hughes said: “We absolutely didn’t want to take a break from performing our shows on such a big stage but, with productions costing up to £40,000 a show, the reality was that we just couldn’t afford to continue with two shows per year.

“There was a time when we weren’t sure if we would ever be able to return to The Orchard, but after a really successful year we’re now looking forward to going back there in October, and have already booked our slot for 2015.”

DAODS loves a challenge – the group once staged the famous Calendar Girls – and is holding auditions next month for its Half A Sixpence.

“Performing at a professional venue is an amazing experience and we want as many local people as possible to be given that opportunity,” added Mr Hughes.

The Orchard Theatre

The Orchard Theatre

DAODS, which was formed in 1906, is currently concentrating its efforts on its latest production, the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Whistle Down the Wind.

It is the society’s fifth show in a year and is being performed at Heathfields Hall from April 8 to 12.

Tickets are available from or on 01474 702511.

The auditions for Half A Sixpence will also be held at the hall from 7.30pm on April 14.

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