In 1977 the late Eve Dods decided that Walberton should stage a musical event to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, and the Walberton Choral Group was formed to put on “Trial by Jury” in the Coronation Hall, Slindon as part of a double bill with “World without Men” presented by the Walberton WI. Those involved in “Trial” enjoyed themselves so much that they wanted to continue, and in 1978 Eve directed the first full length show to be presented by the Walberton Operatic Society, Gilbert and Sullivan’s “HMS Pinafore”.
The Society continued to perform G&S shows under Eve’s enthusiastic and gifted direction until 1984 when she decided to step down, and for the next few years the Society remained active with concerts, workshops and social events.
Then in 1989 the Society was renamed the Walberton Operatic and Dramatic Society (WOADS), to embrace both musicals and plays, and “Trial by Jury”, directed by Madeline Doman, and “Playgoers”, directed by Jan Bryan were presented in the newly completed Walberton Village Hall. Since then the Society has presented a musical and a play every year with a generous sprinkling of concerts and other entertainments. Directed by Madeline Doman, Jan Bryan, David Fido, Clive Balaam, Paula Tinker and Emily Dadson.
In 2007 the Society changed its name to the Walberton Players to encompass all its activities.
The Society started with 23 members and now has approximately 50, and six other founder members. Eve was its first Chairman, followed by Jo Hyde, Tim Sims-Williams, Madeline Doman and David Fido. The Society has always maintained its local emphasis, and believes that therein lies its strength. The Queen and Walberton Players are both still going strong. Long may they both do so!