Theatre Clubs

Most members of RAFTA get involved with the Association through joining one of RAFTA’s member clubs, of which today there are between 8 and 12.  The number of theatre clubs in RAFTA has always been a movable feast: whilst clubs at some RAF stations have thrived for many years, clubs based at other stations have formed and disbanded as and when servicemen with a theatrical bent have been posted in or out of the station.  What is certainly true is that the RAF has shrunk considerably since RAFTA was founded and many RAF stations have closed or become tri-service ‘Joint’ establishments.  Following petitioning by a number of RAFTA members, the RAFTA Constitution was reviewed and amended in 2009 to allow clubs that are not resident on RAF or tri-service establishments to join the Association.  This change means that when RAF stations close in the future, such closure need not be the end of any associated theatre club.  Also, RAFTA members who live far from an RAF station can join together to form a club; this allows our members to remain engaged with the Association even if they end up posted or retired to an area without a significant RAF presence.

So what is the relationship between RAFTA and its member clubs?  First, it is worth noting that RAFTA does not govern its member clubs; RAFTA and its clubs do not follow a traditional military command relationship.  Indeed, if one wanted to set up a new theatre club at an RAF station, that club would not be obliged to join RAFTA.  However, the club and its members would be missing out on the opportunity to share knowledge, experience and good times with other RAFTA members!  It is also worth noting that RAFTA does not bankroll its clubs; indeed, some clubs are possibly richer than the Association.  That said, on a case-by-case basis RAFTA may make loans or grants to member clubs to allow them to achieve specific goals that advance theatre in the RAF.  Membership of RAFTA is a pre-condition for any club that wishes to enter the annual RAFTA One Act Play Festival, and many would argue that being able to attend and compete at this wonderful weekend of theatre is well worth the membership fee!  Finally, member clubs of RAFTA can publicise their endeavours through the Association and also seek advice, help and support from other RAFTA members and member clubs.

RAF Boulmer: Boulmer Theatrical Society
Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire: Shakespeare at The George
RAF Brize Norton: Brize Norton Theatre Club
Coltishall: Theatre 101
Defence Academy Shrivenham: Academy Players
RAF Cottesmore: Hoverless Theatre Club
RAF Cranwell: Cranwell Amateur Theatre Society
RAF Halton: HATS
RAF Henlow: Henlow Amateur Theatrical Society
RAF High Wycombe: Command Performers
RAF Honington: Buccaneer Players
Innsworth: Adelphi Theatre Club
London Area: PostScript Players
MOD Lyneham: The Herculean Players
RAF Waddington: Lancastria Theatre