EVESHAM Operatic and Dramatic Society can boast of being one of the oldest dramatic societies in the country, having begun life in 1881. To celebrate this fact The Vale of Evesham Historical Society has mounted a display in Evesham Library.

The display traces the history of the society from 1881 up to the present day with fascinating old photographs of productions and performers, programmes, posters and flyers. This includes a copy of the poster for the original 1881 production and some early photographs from the 1920’s.

Over the years EODS went by a few different names. It started as Evesham Amateur Dramatic Society (EADS), which group continued until 1947. However, during this time, in 1902, Evesham Amateur Operatic Society (EAOS) was formed and the two societies performed separately so that Evesham was lucky enough to often have two or more live performances a year! In 1947 the two societies merged to become Evesham Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (EAODS) and this continued until the late 1960’s when they felt they had sufficient experience to be able to drop ‘Amateur’ from their title and became the EODS we know today!

Over its lifetime the society has put on productions almost every year (except during WW1 and WW2) so there is a wealth of material on display. Residents of Evesham may well find photographs of family or friends (or even themselves!) in the display. The display also pays tribute to Gertie Salisbury, a stalwart of EODS, who joined the society in 1922 and continued to take an active part up to her death in 1981.

The Vale of Evesham Historical Society is grateful to EODS for allowing them access to their archives in order to bring this piece of Evesham history to the attention of all.