History

Exeter Amateur Operatic Society (EAOS) was formed in 1904 and is Exeter’s oldest amateur Society. Our first production,’ The Pirates of Penzance’ was staged in 1905 at the Royal Public Rooms in London Inn Square and was such a success it was decided to stage another show in December that year but this time at a much grander venue, Exeter’s much loved Theatre Royal which could seat 900 patrons. Shows continued here for one week every year until 1916 resuming again in 1920 and continued until the outbreak of the second world war in 1939.The first production after the war was ‘Merrie England’ in 1946. Productions continued every year at The Theatre Royal until it was demolished 1962.

For two years the Society presented shows at St. Georges Hall in Market Street until a new home was found at the Savoy Cinema just across the road from the old Theatre Royal and in 1965 opened with ‘Oklahoma!’ one of the most popular post war shows and playing to an audience of 1900 per night.

In 1969 the Society presented’ The Gondoliers’ as a second show at the recently opened Northcott Theatre. The Society then returned to the ABC as it was then called for a further three years until it was also demolished.

Pink Champagne’ was the choice for the Society’s opening at the Northcott Theatre in 1973 and it is here we have presented shows every year since.

At the July 2009 Annual General Meeting it was proposed for a name change. The majority of members voted in favour of this and hence we are now  called ‘Exeter Musical Society’ or E.M.S. for short.

We have a proud history and tradition in Exeter and are the only amateur society in Exeter to stage musicals with a full orchestra at a professional theatre the next one being ‘Guys and Dolls’ in 2013. We employ an outside Director, Choreographer and Musical Director and aim to present shows to the highest standard.

Of course we always need new members to keep the Society alive and thriving, whether acting, singing, dancing, backstage or just to support, if you feel like ’having a go’ then feel free to get in touch