Theatre on Norfolk began in 1793. On the slopes of Flagstaff Hill in Kingston
the first theatre in Australasia to produce regular entertainment was
started and a play was put on once a month. During the Second Settlement
a theatre was built with the Old Military Barracks compound and the soldiers
and officers formed the “Corps Dramatique” and acted
all the parts.
Details of later theatre productions are a bit sketchy but in the 1930s
there was a Norfolk Island Dramatic Society who regularly performed
for the public. The first play they produced was “Mr Pym Passes
By” followed by others including “Peg of my Heart”,
“Private Lives” and “Daddy Longlegs”.
After the Second World War the Norfolk Island Dramatic Society
again became active and over the years many folks participated in their
In early 1980 the Arts Council of Norfolk Island decided to re-form the
Dramatic Society and this time round it was given the name NATS –
Norfolk Amateur Theatrical Society. Eric Williams became the
first president of NATS. In the 1980’s the Society was very active
and this was largely in part to the enormous effort put in by Roy Shaw
who co-ordinated many of the productions.
In 1998 NATS took over the organisation of the Norfolk
Island Theatre Festival and
it is an annual event. “Theatre
in Paradise” is held in September each year and NATS welcomes
entries from all amateur theatre groups and also audience members from
both sides of the Tasman.
continues to be run by a small but dedicated group and readily welcomes
you would like to be part of NATS please contact
us. Also be sure to join
our group on Facebook.