The Geisha performed in 1962
A Chard operatic society was first formed in 1961 by a group of old pupils of Holyrood School, who had interests in acting, singing and dancing. Originally called Holyrood Old Scholars Operatic Society (HOSOS), the first production, The Geisha, was presented in 1962. For that first show, the old pupils, most of them under thirty, were joined by a few school pupils, members of staff and ‘outsiders’ and the production was hailed as a great success. The name of the group was changed to Chard Light Operatic Society in 1965 when the productions moved to The Guildhall. Since then, a wide variety of musicals have been staged, from ever popular Gilbert & Sullivan through old favourites such as The Desert Song and Die Fledermaus to Broadway hits like Oklahoma, Hello Dolly, The Pajama Game and the world’s favourite musical – The Sound of Music – which was chosen to celebrate the Society’s 50th Anniversary in 2012.
Over the years the Society has won a variety of prestigious theatrical awards and is widely recognised for the quality of its productions. However, times have changed and, in order to widen the scope of its presentations, in 2015 the name was changed to Chard Entertainment Society. Now, in addition to musical theatre, members also stage a wide variety of concerts and plays to entertain local audiences.
Members are drawn from all ages and abilities. There is no requirement for experience – just a desire to enjoy the theatre! There are also plenty of non-performing opportunities; such as scenery construction and painting, making costumes, front of house duties and helping backstage.