The Royal Manor Theatre Company has come a long way since its birth, nearly 70 years ago as the Portland Dramatic Society! Sprung from the ideas of a dozen or so people wanting to bring live theatre back to Portland after the war, it's beginnings were small and modest.
Starting in 1947 the group joined various concerts, contributing sketches and thus gained experience. In April 1949, the first full-length play, "Mystery at Greenfingers" by J.B. Priestley was performed in the Masonic Hall, Victoria Square. This was the beginning of an active period for Portland Dramatic Society. Between 1949 and 1957 eighteen one-act and thirteen full-length plays were presented around the island. The Borstal Officers Club, Easton Methodist Hall, the old Palace Cinema in Easton Square, Brackenbury Schoolroom and the Jubilee Hall all played host to Portland's own theatre group. The plays presented included "The Bishops Candlesticks", "The Shop at Sly Corner", "The Hollow", "The Chiltern Hundreds" and "Blithe Spirit".