About the Windsor Theatre Guild
All About Us...
Windsor Theatre Guild is Windsor’s most-established non-professional theatre company and combines an illustrious history with a commitment to innovation, inclusivity, and fun! We welcome all new members, whether you want to be on or back stage, and can offer you a great mix of shows, social events, and community.
If you like what you see, then why not check out how easy it is to join? There’s lots to get involved in, and great people to meet. Take a look at the website, then drop us an email, turn up at an audition/play reading, or fill out the membership form & join a great group.
We would love to meet you!
Windsor Theatre Guild was formed in 1939.
With membership charged at a mere 1-2 shillings a year (between 5-10p these days) it’s first official play was "Conflict" by Miles Malleson in 1939, which was performed in the Labour Hall in St. Leonard’s Road.
Windsor Theatre Guild’s second production was Ibsen’s "A Doll’s House". This was performed for three nights in January 1940 and the programme on this occasion was professionally printed (that for Conflict had been handwritten). It must have been gratifying for all concerned when the press headlined its review “A Society with a Future”.
A Doll’s House, 1940
The cast of The Merry Wives of Windsor outside the Chapter Garden, 1951
In addition to its regular programme of productions the Guild threw itself enthusiastically into projects aimed to boost the war effort during WWII, with proceeds from an evening of three one-act plays being donated to the Red Cross.
The Guild turned its hand to Shakespeare for the first time in Sept 1941 when it presented The Merry Wives of Windsor, directed by founder member Dorothea Alexander at the Conservative Club to great critical acclaim.
The Guild was invited several times to submit plays for the Toynbee Hall Theatre Drama Festival in East London. A RADA adjudicator in 1943 giving his adjudication of the Guild’s performance of The Intruder by Maurice Maeterlinck said that the entry was “beautifully played and beautifully produced”.
In 1951 the Guild was invited to stage The Merry Wives of Windsor as part of Windsor’s contribution to the celebration of the Festival of Britain, the huge national event designed to give the country a boost after the long years of war. This marked the start of it’s annual summertime open air Shakespeare productions.
So wrote the Slough Observer in 1973: “and it is true that throughout the middle years the Guild did indeed continue to endeavour to choose plays, some traditional some experimental, that would stretch its actors and stimulate its audience rather than the plays that form the staple diet of most amateur dramatic societies.” Over the next 45 years the Guild continued to balance the new with the established, and we attempt to honour that balance today.
Moving props outside Windsor Castle 1942
If you fancy adding to this amazing history, get in touch today!
Look Back in Anger 2014 Maidenhead Town Hall
The Two Gentlemen of Verona 2002