History

The society was founded in The Fenton Hotel in October 1890. The first production, ‘H.M.S. Pinafore’ was performed at the Coliseum on Cookridge Street in the December of that year.

1893: Saw the society move to its current home at the Leeds Grand Theatre. That years’ production was the smash hit ‘La Fille de Madame Angot’.

1939: Following a successful performance of Ivor Novello’s ‘Glamorous Night’, the society ceased producing shows until after World War II. The society re-formed in 1948.

1953: In celebration of the Queen’s Coronation, the society produced ‘Merrie England’. Merrie England has been performed six times over the years, all of which were at some point of historical celebration.

LAOS West Side Story

1950s and 1960s: The society went on to produce a mix of old shows and new releases, similar to nowadays, with hits such as ‘Carousel’ and ‘Oklahoma!’.

1960s: The society purchased a swimming pool for the Silverdales Holiday Camp for under-privileged children. Children from Leeds still go to the camp for holidays every year.

1966: It was decided to enter ‘Song of Norway’ into the Waterford International Festival of Light Opera. This involved the whole production moving to Ireland for the festival. The society was triumphant, sweeping the boards, which was then repeated the following year with ‘The Count of Luxembourg’, followed by a 3rd place with ‘The Vagabond King’ twelve months later.

1972: The Society were asked to put on ‘The Merry Widow’ in a tent in Roundhay Park, to celebrate the Park’s centenary.

1989: In its centenary year, the society went back to its roots and produced ‘100 Musical Years’ at the Civic Theatre. Due to it’s success this production became a regular addition to the LAOS calendar for many years.

1994: The society presented the Yorkshire Amateur Premiere of ‘Chess’, pre-empting the recent Abba revival.

LAOS Jesus Christ Superstar

2005: After great successes with ‘My Fair Lady’ and ‘42nd Street’ at the Grand, the theatre had to close for major refurbishment. The Company became the first amateur society to play at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, and achieved 95% attendances for Jesus Christ Superstar.

2005: The Civic Theatre was taken over as a museum, and the autumn ‘Musical Years’ was performed firstly at the famous City Varieties and the following year at the new Carriageworks Theatre.

2006: Sell out for ‘West Side Story’ at West Yorkshire Playhouse

2008: Sell out for ‘Sweeney Todd’ at West Yorkshire Playhouse

2008: LAOS return to Leeds Grand Theatre to perform ‘Oliver!’, achieving 98% attendance and highly acclaimed reviews.

2009: Double performances of 'The Producers' and 'King and I'.

2010: A busy year with 'Fiddler on the Roof' and 'Beauty and the Beast'.

2011: Just one show this year but a great one, ‘South Pacific at West Yorkshire Playhouse from 26 March 2011.

2012: LAOS performed 'Chess' at Leeds Grand Theatre from 13th to 17th March 2012 and 'Guys and Dolls' at West Yorkshire Playhouse 22nd-29th September 2012.

2013: Another busy year with The Sound of Musicin March at Leeds Grand Theatre and ‘Footloose’ at The West Yorkshire Playhouse in September. 

2014: A return to ‘42nd Street’ kicked off 2014 in great style at Leeds Grand Theatre and was followed, at the start of our 125th Year, with a dramatic production of ‘Aspects of Love’ in The Courtyard Theatre at The West Yorkshire Playhouse.

2015: A spectacular and highly acclaimed production of ‘Hairspray’ at Leeds Grand Theatre in May, attended on Gala night by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Major S M Hardy, rounded off our 125th Year in style.

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