Hello and welcome to Carlton Theatre Group (formerly Carlton Dramatic Society) or just Carlton for short! We are Wimbledon's longest running amateur dramatics group and we're still going strong 90 years later!
The Carlton Dramatic Society was formed in 1927 by a group of theatre enthusiasts based at St Barnabas Church in Wimbledon. The Society flourished during those early years, presenting two major productions a year and eventually finding a permanent home in the newly built Wimbledon Public Hall. War time brought a cessation of activity, but on reformation in 1945 the Society embarked on a series of major productions, often playing to capacity in the vast theatre.
Undoubtedly, the highlight came in 1963 when the Group performed the morality play Everyman in St George’s Chapel Windsor in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen and many members of the Royal Family – the first and only time a dramatic presentation has been mounted in that magnificent church. This was followed in the following year by the production of The Vigil in the main house of Wimbledon Theatre – the only time an amateur group has presented a straight play in that venue.
We began a new chapter in 2015 when we made the huge decision to change our name from Carlton Dramatic Society to Carlton Theatre Group but we did not change our approach to putting on brilliant shows and having a laugh at the same time.