The MAD Theatre Company

Our History

". . . . What Milnrow needs is an amateur dramatic society!" So said
Margaret Hopkinson to her friend (the late) Jean McIntosh way back in
August 1971.

They advertised in the Rochdale Observer for like-minded people to
attend a meeting at the St Stephen's Church Hall (next to the old
Milnrow Council Offices) and from this meeting the Milnrow Amateur
Dramatic Society was "born". Margaret's husband, Derek, elected to be
the first chairman and they presented their first play "The Bride and
the Bachelor" at the then Roch Valley High School in April 1972. Local
landowner Allen Marshall directed the play and it was quite a

Since then, MADS had gone from strength-to-strength presenting
comedies, thrillers, farces and pantomimes.

In our "spare time" we have organised fund-raising events which have
paid for a portable defibrillator for the Milnrow Health Centre and
tables and a vent-axia fan for Butterworth Hall. We have also taken
one-act plays to various care homes and sheltered accommodation
establishments to entertain the residents, some of which were not able
to get out to the theatre.

In early 1981, it was obvious that MADS could no longer afford the
increased cost of hire charges levied by Hollingworth High School 
and as Milnrow Parish School was unable to accommodate them due to
major building work, they went into limbo.

However, in the summer of 1984, thanks to the Rev Malcolm Edwards
(vicar of Milnrow Parish Church) who offered the use of the school hall
for future productions, they were able to have a 'home' . . . and MADS
was "reborn" and have presented their shows there ever since.

Although MADS has thrived over the years, they have also had their
share of bad luck! In November 1985 a fire at their storage
facility destroyed everything they had including scenery, costumes and
props, but with the very kind help of the North Manchester Amateur
Operatic and Dramatic Society they were able to stage "The Patient in
4B" at the Milnrow Parish School Hall in 1986.

In 2000 we changed our name to The MAD Theatre Company, mainly because
some of our members lived outside the Milnrow area and we thought that
whilst keeping the MAD in our title it would also mean "Milnrow and District".

Over the past decade we have moved some of our productions to the Ellenroad Steam Museum in Milnrow, which provides an historic and interesting setting within the mill.  Our latest production was "Peterloo" in October 2019, performed to full houses at the mill. Since then, we have also put on perfomances of, "Last Panto in Little Grimley" and "The Speed-Dating Time Machine" at Butterworth Hall. 


Contact Information

The MAD Theatre Company

Butterworth Hall Welfare Centre
New Street

Tel: 0161 762 0616

Mobile: 07930 881 948