MEMBERS of the Southampton Musical Society performed the operetta, Tom Jones, at the Palace Theatre in 1935.

This photograph was taken by the well-known local photographer of the time Nellie G Smith, who had a studio in Commercial Road.

A review of the production in the Daily Echo said:“The opera went with a hearty swing but the audience was not nearly as big as it should have been.”

The society’s inaugural performance, Handel’s Messiah, took place at the Central Hall in Southampton in 1928 and was followed a year later by Haydn’s Creation.

Daily Echo:

In 1931, the society broadened its horizons and put on an extravagant production of Hiawatha, the first time it had been performed outside London.

The production ran for six performances, had a cast of 285, including 60 ballet dancers, and was accompanied by the 36-piece Northwood Orchestra.

The show was highly successful as it was repeated in April 1934.

The society carries on its theatrical tradition to this day with regular productions in and around Southampton.

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