NOSTALGIA: Eastbourne Operatic and Dramatic Society celebrates 100 years

EODS centenary SUS-171011-165647001
EODS centenary SUS-171011-165647001

2017 is a big year for Eastbourne Operatic and Dramatic Society as the group celebrates 110 years of entertaining the people of Eastbourne and beyond.

It all began when two Eastbournians, Emeric Beaman, the music critic of the Eastbourne Gazette, and Cuthbert Hawle, the organist of the Catholic Church, conceived the idea of founding an Operatic and Dramatic Society.

Support was forthcoming, a committee was formed and the light opera Maritana played four performances commencing on May 30 1907 at the Devonshire Park Theatre.

The cast of that first production are pictured.

The society has grown and developed over the years and now boasts not only dramatic and operatic sections, but a thriving youth wing too.

Driven by current chair Wendy Dovey and supported by a band of hardworking volunteers alongside professional workmen, 2016 saw the start of a major refurbishment of EODS much-loved centre in Seaside.

The rather tired set of buildings, which had served EODS well over the years, were in need of a little TLC and what has emerged is a light, airy, modern multi-purpose community hub with well-designed rehearsal, workshop, kitchen and storage areas.

Marketing and publicity manager Tom Lynn has refined and updated the EODS website providing user-friendly access to members of the public.

The full history of EODS, photographs and information about forthcoming events can all be found at

To celebrate this remarkable anniversary, EODS have held a special festival with a string of different events to amuse and entertain from old time music hall to children’s shows.

With a desire to constantly improve the experience of theatregoers, EODS made big changes to their open-air Shakespeare production last year with new marquees providing better sight lines and an expanded and professional lighting rig to enhance the performance.

Old customs remain however, with EODS continuing to provide a magnificent selection of home-made cakes alongside tea, coffee, wine and beer.

EODS is also on the lookout for new members to join their friendly family.

For more information visit or email