The Old Stagers
) is an amateur theatre
group, founded in 1842 by Hon. Frederick Ponsonby
(later Earl of Bessborough
) to perform during Kent's annual Canterbury Cricket Week
Originally the Canterbury Old Stagers
, it took its current name in 1851.
It claims to be the oldest surviving amateur dramatic
company in the world, having staged its first shows in Canterbury
It has continued to give annual performances since (with intermissions for the two World Wars
It now stages its plays at the Gulbenkian Theatre
The Old Stagers has close links to Kent County Cricket Club and the I Zingari nomadic amateur cricket club. Ponsonby was also a founder of I Zingari, and later became president of Surrey County Cricket Club. One of the earliest Old Stagers was the Kent and England cricketer Alfred Mynn who first appeared in 1847 and then regularly until his death in 1861.
Old Stagers Amateur Dramatic Society records, including programmes, newspaper reviews and photographs of productions from 1842-2003, are archived at Canterbury Cathedral Library as item U449.
This page was last edited on 17 April 2018, at 00:43 (UTC)
under CC BY-SA license.