Dereham Theatre Company


Tickets now on sale for DOSYTCo's Concert

"Everybody's Talking About DOSYTCo" 


Telephone 01362 288 124

Bright & Beautiful Flowers
3A Wellington Road, Dereham
NR19 2BP

Dereham Memorial Hall, where most of our productions are performed

Dereham Theatre Company (formerly Dereham Operatic Society) is a charitable Trust and was formed in 1948 to offer the local community education and enlightenment in amateur dramatic arts. A very grand way of saying that we were formed to entertain the people of Dereham and Norfolk!

Our Shakespearian motto "Mere folk who give distraction are we" comes from Cole Porter's musical "Kiss Me Kate", which we first performed in 1970, and is based upon one of William Shakespeare's most famous plays "The Taming of the Shrew".

We stage three productions a year (not including the productions of our youth group) including a major musical in the autumn, a pantomime over the Christmas period and a play in the spring.  There is something for everyone!

If you are looking to join one of the premier operatic and dramatic societies in Norfolk as either a performer (we actively encourage all whatever your ability or experience, whether you are a singer, an actor, dancer, or just enjoy being on stage), backstage helper, front of house staff or just looking to purchase some tickets for our next show ........ you need look no further; Welcome to our website.

Quick Contacts


Rehearsal Studio
The Studio
Rear of Dereham Memorial Hall
62 Norwich Street
East Dereham
Norfolk, NR19 1AD
All queries should be directed
through our Facebook Page 
Dereham Operatic Society - The Matchgirls

The Matchgirls

Producer - Tony Wilds

Musical Director - Andy Lofthouse

Choreographer - Jean Cator

Wednesday 27th to Saturday 30th October 2010
at Northgate High School, Dereham


KATE - Danielle Warne
JOE - Kevin Reeve
ANNIE BESANT - Jude Oulare
POLLY - Val Lofthouse
MRS. PURKISS - Ruth Hannent
WINNIE - Claire Doughty
BERT - Thomas Middleton
JESSIE - Jayne Andrew
PERCE - Martyn Rolfe
MR POTTER - Nick King
MYNEL - Greg Reeve
OLD MIN - Lavinia Pirret
PAULA - Jackie Buckingham
NELL - Chloe Cousins
BEATTIE - Jade Copeman
DOCKER - Nick King


Chloe Bailey, Laura Chapman (MAGGIE), Martha Bailey (FRANCES), Helen Bailey, Emma Hammond, Megan Aves, Hayley Carter, Heather Neave, Jeanie Woods, Gemma Canham (LOUIE), Joyce Neale, Jackie Buckingham

Review by Jim Farr (NODA)
"I always find it a pleasure to attend Dereham’s productions and was delighted to be asked along again to review their main musical for 2010. I have been longing to see a production of the Matchgirls ever since I first heard it on CD. I was intrigued to see how this production would come alive on stage and for that matter how Dereham would manage in their temporary home. With their usual flair they provided a little extra beforehand by way of a display of antique matches from the Bryant and May factory and photographs of the real life heroines of the original strike. On stage the performance from the Dereham ladies was upbeat and energetic and whilst the male cast gave good account of themselves the shortage of men was rather noticeable. The dance routines were well conceived and executed by the ladies, all resplendent in neat tidy costumes; perhaps a shade too clean given the conditions. Musically this production was backed by a lively six piece orchestra under the direction of Andy Lofthouse. Sets looked very effective and although scene changes were a little cumbersome on opening night, my spies tell me these improved during the run as the team got use to their new surroundings. Good use was made of the stage, with both set design and movement. Having seen the show I can’t help thinking the authors sold the Matchgirls short with a rather sugary treatment of the subject, which failed to reflect the real suffering and hardships of the girls. Of the leading ladies, we were treated to an emotional performance from Danielle Warne as Kate; who found herself torn between the chance of a new life abroad and loyalty to her work colleagues. A feisty, crusading performance from Jude Oularé as the social reformer, Annie Besant and a very tender, motherly performance from Ruth Hannent as Mrs Purkiss. Two super cameo roles; one from Jayne Andrews (Jessie), I particularly liked the spats between her and Danielle Warne, the other from Lavinia Pirret (Old Min), a real scene stealer – with excellent make-up to match the role. Despite looking a little tense with his solo numbers Kevin Reeve as Joe, leader of the Dockers, produced a good performance and was ably assisted by his work mate Martyn Rolfe (Perce). There was also a fine performance from Nick Bird, who managed to keep his Irish accent throughout the production, playing the role of George Bernard Shaw. Vocally the show sounded good most of the time, especially the ladies’ chorus numbers, but for my money, the best was kept to last with the rendition of “Waiting”. In addition to being an entertainment, this experience was an education and I left with feelings of admiration and respect for the original Matchgirls. If it were not for this musical I suspect their contribution to social reform and working conditions would be all but forgotten. Sugary it may have been, but a sweet reminder to us all of those gallant ladies and campaigner who took up their cause. I’m so pleased to have seen it."

May 2019

Diary Dates



Everybody's Talking About DOSYTCo
12th - 13th July 2019
Dereham Memorial Hall


2019 AGM

71st Annual General Meeting
29th April 2019
The Studio


2019 Autumn Musical

1st - 5th October 2019
Dereham Memorial Hall


Christmas Pantomime

27th Dec 2019- 1st Jan 2020
Dereham Memorial Hall