History of Telstars

Satellite in Space Launched in Cardiff in the autumn of 1963, the award-winning Telstars Theatre Company took its name from the first ever TV relay satellite launched in the same year. Formed originally by BT Personnel, the company enjoyed early local success and quickly grew in size and stature, performing to audiences throughout Britain. Its unequivocal commitment to tragedy and comedy, to period and contemporary drama, to lavish spectaculars and intimate dialogues, remains strong. From the light farce of Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Ernest", through the sophisticated humour of Alan Ayckbourn's "A Chorus of Disapproval" to the simmering cauldron of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" or the demands of Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Nights Dream”, Telstars has met each challenge with equal aplomb.

In a career of such diverse profusion, there have been notable peaks of success. In 1975 the Argentinean Director Roberto D'Amico, returning to Cardiff after earlier links with Telstars in Tennessee Williams’ "The Rose Tattoo", directed the company in Sergio de Cecco's "The Cockpit" - an Argentinean adaptation of a classical drama translated exclusively into English for Telstars in its British Premiere. A special command performance for a distinguished audience of diplomats and ambassadors, at the Argentinean Embassy in London, remains a very special memory

Scene from Arthur Millers' The Crucible Other memorable seasons include two tours of Florida in 1976 and 1981. The former with performances of Somerset Maugham's "The Noble Spaniard", N.F. Simpson's "Was he Anyone?" and Dylan Thomas' "Under Milk Wood" to rave reviews and packed houses included the invitation of a British group to play at the Florida Theatre Conference. In 1996 Week In - Week Out, an ITV Documentary programme, asked Telstars to appear as members of a fictitious Welsh Assembly to show what the consequences could be if Wales ever had one. The rest is history! Then in 2000 the company was featured in the BBC series “Time Out - an A - Z of hobbies and obsessions" representing 'Grease Paint'. The series was shown Nationwide and ran for 8 weeks.

In their 40th Anniversary year, Telstars were invited by Coleg Gwent, Wales’ largest F.E. College, to perform “The Hitchhiker”. Next came Alan Ayckbourn's “Communicating Doors”, one of Telstars’ most demanding productions from a technical aspect. The company’s usual high standard of teamwork ensured that all went well. Immediately after the full-length production, they began rehearsing "Zorro" the Panto, written and directed by Wendy Stowe. The company could have been forgiven if they had chosen to take it easy after such a hectic period but in true Telstars fashion, they launched themselves into their next decade with energy and enthusiasm.

Telstars Theatre Company is a self-financing group, with a small regular membership of just 10-15 people drawn from all walks of life. New members are always welcome. Essentially a Drama group, they perform occasional musical reviews. Funds are raised via an annual membership fee and through the sale of tickets and programmes. The company meets regularly on Thursday evenings, with additional rehearsals and work times for specific performances. Members are encouraged to participate in acting, producing, directing, writing, stage-management and back-stage work. Experience is not essential and newcomers will find encouragement, support and advice from existing members with a wide range of skills and aptitudes. Telstars have had an influx of new members recently ensuring that their fifth decade will be as productive and successful as their previous four!