About us

Our group

We meet every Friday at 7:30pm and met online throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 2021 we’ve been using our new rehearsal venue – Napier Hall in Horndean.

Our membership is drawn from a diverse range of sectors including teaching, retail, social work, administration, accountancy, librarianship and IT support. We always offer a warm welcome to new members, with or without any previous experience. We respect diversity and equal opportunity through fostering an inclusive culture of widening participation.

As a community-based group, we aim to stimulate an interest in amateur dramatics and try to provide our members with the opportunity to be involved in any aspect of amateur theatre. Above all, we like to make it fun!

We have typically staged three or four productions a year and try hard to provide all our members with the opportunity to take an acting role or, if they prefer, to try their hand at anything from the wide range of backstage activities needed, such as:

The First Mrs Fraser, October 1951


We are probably one of the oldest amateur theatre groups in Hampshire, having been around for more than 70 years.

Back in 1946, a group of friends went to see the dress rehearsal of a play being performed at the church hall. This inspired them to form their own drama group which was set up under the auspices of the Horndean Social Centre, later to become the Horndean Community Association (H.C.A.).

The group quickly moved into play production, initially confining themselves to one-act plays. Rehearsals for these early productions were held in the opulent and impressive surroundings of the dining room of Cadlington House in nearby Blendworth. The final product was performed to much acclaim at the Annual Cadlington House Garden Party.

The first full length play to be performed by the group was “The Camel's Back” by Arnold Hesley. The play was very well received and this success really launched the group for its future ventures, not knowing then that the group would still be going strong into the 21st Century.

The Society moved to Merchistoun Hall in the early 1950s, initial operating as the H.C.A. Drama Group.  The group was later renamed the Horndean Amateur Theatrical Society, or HATS as it was commonly known, and became a Section of Horndean Community Association in 1987. 

Members voted to leave Merchistoun Hall in September 2020 and become an independent group. In April 2021 we rebranded ourselves as Horndean Amateur Theatre.