John Gower as ‘Roat’ and Sue Burgess as ‘Susy Henderson’. (Wait Until Dark, SBADS 2001)

Who are we?

South Brent Amateur Dramatic Society is a bit of a mouthful, so we’re almost always known as SBADS. Our members range from 8 to 80+, come from a wide range of backgrounds, do all sorts of day jobs and (shhh!) not all are from South Brent itself. All of us are involved because making brilliant productions to entertain south Devon is both rewarding and fun.

Our actors aren’t ‘luvvies’, our directors aren’t tyrants, and our auditions aren’t formal: we’re just a friendly bunch of ordinary people who can put on a jolly good show.

What do we do?

SBADS usually stages two or three productions a year in South Brent Village Hall on the edge of Dartmoor National Park. We perform a wide variety of productions, ranging from one-man shows through full-cast plays to our larger-than-life and ever-popular pantomimes.

Putting on these shows is not just about ‘treading the boards’ on stage: behind every SBADS performance is a team designing, building and painting the scenery, making realistic props and cunning contraptions, creating stunning costumes, arranging atmospheric lighting and surprising effects, making music, styling hair and applying make-up, selling tickets and staffing the bar.

If you are in south Devon and have ever wondered how the ‘magic’ of theatre happens, then SBADS is a great place to find out.

As well as the drama, we also hold social events, including theatre trips, whenever we can and have a team in the local skittles league who play every few weeks.

You can find out more about us and our forthcoming productions on our website and through Facebook (www.facebook.com/southbrentamateurdramaticsociety).

If you are interested in joining us in any capacity – actor, stage crew, director, producer, technician, artist, stage designer, stage constructor, bar staff etc. – then please drop us a line by e-mail; full contact details are here. You can also join SBADS using our on-line form.

SBADS History

Charles Tothill putting the ‘lid’ on William Windatt, watched by John Salter and Trevor Jones: SBADS Sleeping Beauty, 1949

The SBADS archive, originally compiled by Maggie Taylor, covers over 240 plays across more than 170 productions and begins in 1925 with an account of the lively musical and theatrical entertainments produced and often written by Mr Arthur Manning. This redoubtable gentleman was mainly responsible, with a little bit of help from his friends, for the village performances for the next 30 years. The name ‘SBADS’ was formally adopted in 1934.

The ’40s & ’50s were golden years as the society flourished with a wide variety of drama and pantomime being performed. The arrival of television briefly dented our fortunes, but by the 1970s SBADS was back in full swing. We regularly won prizes from the South Devon Drama Federation… that we continued to win until the Federation folded in 2014.

The 1980s saw SBADS venture into revues alongside drama and the 1990s brought a very busy spell with up to five productions a year – drama, farce and pantomimes galore.  SBADS even went on tour during this decade.

The 2019 SBADS production of ‘The Real Inspector Hound’

Now we are in the 21st century and, excepting a pandemic-driven hiatus, we are still busy with many different types of productions and learning new skills every step of the way.

Delve into our archive

You can find out more about our past productions, and the people involved in them, at the SBADS digital archive, which includes detailed listings for nearly every show we have performed since the very beginning, and hundreds of pictures taken since 1945.