We were formed in 1948, more than sixty years ago, and started out
as part of a youth club.
Shortly after the second world war in September 1945 Mrs. Nora Kent,
the wife of the then editor of the Willesden Chronicle, approached
the Reverend Jones of St Paul's Oxgate to see if any members of the
youth club would be interested in a Drama section. Our Vice
President, Peter Fidler, a member of the youth club, was one of
The first production of the group, for one night only, was a
selection of sketches, musical items and a one act play. This was
followed in March 1946 with a production of 3 three one act plays.
Admission was free and after an impassioned speech at the end of the
show by a member of the audience a silver collection, for the group,
was taken. This raised £12 8s, over £300 by current values, which
was promptly kept by the Vicar. This did not go down too well.
It was suggested by one of the Church members that the Group should
set out on its own and in March 1946 the Madhatters was formed under
the leadership of Mrs. Kent. The first production was a three act
play, Call It a Day, by Dodi Smith, picked mainly because it had 16
characters and everyone in the Group could be used.
Since then the Madhatters have put on one or two comedies every year
and have also been involved in community plays in Gladstone Park
staged by Brent Arts Council.
Please click here for further details of past productions, other
community pays, a full list of productions and photo albums.
In August 2010 we gave Madhatters papers going back to 1948 to the
Brent Archives, in Willesden Green Library. This means that anyone
with an interest in drama in Dollis Hill can access our records.