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 performances.

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.

NATS continues to be run by a small but dedicated group and readily welcomes new members.

If you would like to be part of NATS please contact us. Also be sure to join our group on Facebook.



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