It was at a meeting on the 13th April 1972 at Shirlee Gaston’s Dance Studio in Wellington that brought about the creation of Telford and District Light Operatic Players (more commonly known as TADLOP). A dozen parents of some of the pupils and other like-minded people had perceived that the district (rapidly becoming Telford) lacked an organisation to perform light opera and musicals. What was needed was a Society to bring a little “West End” theatre to the area.
Within two weeks an organisation was formed and almost 50 people had expressed an interest in being involved in putting on the very first show “Calamity Jane”. It started with a donation of £5 with the first show costing around £500. Tickets were 30p and programmes only 5p.
Shirlee Gaston – Calamity Jane in our first show in 1972
After three nights at Oakengates Town Hall and all bills paid, the Society had made £25 towards its next production, and since these very humble beginnings has gone on to stage a series of almost 100 lavish musicals for generations of Shropshire audiences.
Today the Society is a registered Charity with the objective to “educate the public in the dramatic and operatic arts and to further the development of public appreciation and taste in the said arts”. Many would agree that TADLOP meets these aims with the fully-fledged musicals we produce each year. However, at TADLOP we believe we can give much more to our community.
At the heart of our mission is reaching out; to our friends, to our families, to our community. While our annual shows bring the heart of the West End to a paying audience, with both classics and introducing Shropshire audiences to new shows – we have been lucky enough to stage several Shropshire premieres, including Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita and, in 2019, Sunset Boulevard – we have reached beyond the wonderful Oakengates stage which has been our home for over 50 years. We have a performing group who are regularly invited to perform for all kinds of community groups, reaching an audience far beyond those who come to see our shows. Find out more about ‘Promote’ here.
From Age UK visits and celebrating Telford’s 50th Birthday with the Wrekin Housing Trusts, Women’s Institute concerts and helping with the fundraising for the Anstice as well as various church funds, to participating in the World Heritage Festival and enjoying a close link with Ironbridge Museum Trusts and sponsoring the fantastic Let’s Go Quackers event in 2018 which raised over £30,000 for the Severn Hospice and Jayne Sargent Foundation, TADLOP prides itself on being active in our community.