Woodley Light Operatic Society
Our Society

Woodley Light Operatic Society is an amateur musical society in Woodley, Berkshire, performing two musical shows each year. This is usually a summer musical and a winter operetta - everything from Cole Porter to Gilbert and Sullivan.

WLOS has been putting on shows since 1968, and, with loyal audiences coming back each time, continues its tradition of combining high standards with lots of fun for its members.

Membership is made up of people of all ages and occupations, with a wide range of experience from beginners to those with many years of doing shows.

Whilst most members are performers, many too get involved in numerous other aspects of putting on a show - such as marketing and publicity, wardrobe, sets, props, box-office, backstage, make-up, ushering at the theatre on show nights, etc.

Our History

In 1968 a local newspaper carried an advertisement seeking people interested in amateur operatics as it was hoped to form a new local society. It was from that first meeting of just a handful of members that Woodley Light Operatic Society was born.

The new membership had risen to about 20 when they gave their first concert in that year at Bulmershe School in Woodley. They continued to perform concerts during that first year and the Society staged its first production - White Horse Inn - at Bulmershe School in January 1969.

Unfortunately today none of the original members are still active within the Society, although many current members have been in the Society for over 20 years.

In 1988 the Society celebrated its 20th Anniversary with a second production of Fiddler on The Roof at the Hexagon in Reading, an enormously successful production for the Society. In 1993 the Society celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a very successful production of Anything Goes.

Membership today is, as it always was, made up of people of all ages and occupations. It is a great family society; one has only to peruse our programmes to see that many families are all involved in productions, on stage, backstage and front of house. Many engagements and marriages have arisen from membership and many future WLOS members born over the years.

Like all amateur societies WLOS has had to face difficult times. There have been times when finances have been low (but never morale), and, thanks to strong committees and continued support from the membership, and despite the ever-increasing costs of staging shows, WLOS has continued to entertain and is proud of its reputation for being amateur in name but professional in its performances.

The committee and members would like to thank their audiences, their sponsors and their advertisers, for their continued support over the years. Your support and approval makes our every effort worthwhile and we hope to be able to entertain you for many years to come.

Founded 1968 - Registered Charity No. LP272166AIR
Our Constitution

Affiliated to NODA

Radio 4 did an item on the society in 1984 when Bob Symes visited rehearsals for Hello Dolly.

In Memoriam

WLOS would like to remember Julia Higgs who after a year's battle with a brain tumour sadly died on 21st January 2015 at home peacefully with her family around her. Julia joined WLOS in 1984 and her happy smiling face was seen on stage for many years.
As well as appearing on stage Julia was an active committee member, social committee member and for many years wardrobe mistress. Her house was always a hub of activity and used as a venue for costume collection, ballet shoe dying and wig making evenings! Many a post show party was held at Julia's house with her fast asleep on the sofa.
It was through Julia that Ron and Mary became involved with Ron appearing on stage and then later front of house along with Mary.
Julia will be missed by many societies in the area she always had a happy smile and never had a bad word to say about anyone.
Our thoughts are with her family, Ray, Mary, Christopher, Catherine and Eli.

WLOS would like to remember Betty Simpson who after a short battle with cancer sadly died on August 12th 2014 at Duchess of Kent House with her family around her.
Betty joined WLOS in 1987 and enjoyed performing in many shows along with her daughter Jane until her retirement from performing in 2005. She then became a very active front of house helper along with her husband Colin.
Betty was always happy to be involved in WLOS activities both on and off stage and will be missed by all who played alongside her.
Our thoughts are with her family Colin, Jane, Neil, David and Richard.

WLOS would like to remember Ron Henson who sadly lost his battle to a long illness on Sunday 16th November 2013.
Ron was a lovely man always willing to help anyone in any way he could.
Ron appeared on stage in many of our productions, and many of us have fond memories of his excellent portrayal of the hen-pecked husband in The Boyfriend when he played Lord Brockhurst. Ron was often the winner of the ‘who sold the most tickets prize’ as he had a huge circle of friends ready willing and able to come along and support him on stage. After retiring from treading the boards Ron and his wife Mary were ever present in the front of house team for all our productions.
Our thoughts are with Mary and his family, especially Julia and Ray who have appeared in many WLOS shows.

WLOS would like to remember Ray Fullbrook, who died peacefully in June 2012 in DOK House after losing his battle with leukaemia. Ray has been a long standing member of WLOS and other local societies, both on and off stage. Those who worked with him have fond memories of him a a very happy and easygoing person with a great sense of humour. Our thoughts are with his family and wife Thelma.

WLOS would like to remember Barbara Rust, who sadly passed away in January 2012. Barbara was a long standing and very active member of the society. When not on stage she would be found helping out back stage with props, helping run Front of House or organising social events with the social committee. One of Barbara’s memorable roles on stage was when she played Fräulein Schneider in Cabaret with her husband David playing Herr Schultz.

WLOS would like to remember David Rust, who sadly passed away in October 2010. David was a long standing member of the society and more recently our President. He will be missed and our thoughts are with his wife Barbara and his family.

WLOS would like to remember Geoff Bamford, who sadly passed away in April 2007. Geoff was a lighting director with WLOS and many other societies over the years, and will be greatly missed.


©WLOS 2016
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