established 1931.

the beginning

In 1930, Frederick W Rowe, a member of the Gilbert and Sullivan Fellowship, was asked to provide a programme for a fellowship evening. He decided to present a two one act plays, and enlisted the Fellowship's leading lady, Kathleen Davey, to help. Neither Frederick nor his fellow players had any idea to form a dramatic society, but they were so pleased with their efforts that they decided to do so.

Plans were already in hand for the big Hospital's Fair, arranged for the summer of 1931, so they decided to repeat the two plays and produce others in order to raise funds for the fair.

The player's needed a name; influenced by the popularity of JB Priestly's novel "The Good Companions" and the charitable cause they had in mind, they adopted "The Good Samaritans".

This was then localised by substituting "Tamar", hence "The Good Tamaritans".

At a society meeting in December 1931, the group decided to shorten the company name to

"The Tamaritans".


the blitz

During the Second World War, the Tamaritans would face their first and only hiatus in their entire history. During an air raid on Plymouth City Centre, The Little Theatre, which had been the Tamaritans' practising location for many years, were bombed and completely destroyed. The group meeting and productions momentarily ceased, but the spirit of the members was unquenchable.

Soon, small groups were meeting in each others houses on Sunday afternoons for play readings. As the war clouds began to recede, the Tamaritans put on several popular plays were presented to men and women in the Forces, believing that focusing on the troops morale was instrumental. 

When the war finally ended come 1945, the company had made a small, but valuable contribution to the war effort, after performing more than thirty plays to the troops in bases across Plymouth.

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