Beauty and the Beast, 1972

With two shows under our respective belts it was felt time to embark on a bigger production – a late Christmas pantomime.

Note that now the show comes under the auspices of The Grange Theatre and the word ‘Company’ never appeared again. Even at this early stage of our history, Fred and Val’s gentle but firm authoritarian hand became apparent!

No doubt with their past successes with pantos at the village hall in Great Haseley (where they lived before buying the Grange) it isn’t hard to see why they should confidently embark on the largest show to date and the hoped-for ticket sales would bolster the theatre’s bank account along with a donation to the Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary. Fred and Val continued to support various human and animal charites throughout the entire history of their theatre and over the years donated many hundreds of pounds to deserving causes. (Point of fact – a separate account had been opened to deal specifically with these finances and Fred would willingly show them to any interested parties. Even at this early remove nobody dreamed of asking for expenses and for the entire history of our theatre nobody ever did. We received no external grants whatsoever; we sank or swam entirely by our own efforts. That fact concentrated our minds wonderfully!)



These seven little photos, the programme and a ticket are totally accidental survivors – in those days we had much more on our minds than thinking of starting any sort of archive and, indeed, one was never begun; it was only when the theatre was ended and the Grange was being emptied for sale many years later that such memorabilia was found tucked away in cupboards and drawers. That the show photographs  of this website exist at all is down to pure chance.