Kalamunda Dramatic Society Beginnings
The very first performance of KADS was 7th August 1909
The Swan Express (Midland Junction, WA : Published Friday 13 August 1909)
In spite of the rough heavy weather the settlers in and around Kalamunda,
turned up in good numbers to witness the initial performance of the Kalamunda
Amateur Dramatic Society in the Agricultural Hall, in aid of the funds of the
proposed library. The Society staged two dramas, "The Wrong Box" and "Kiss and be Friends."
The staging was perfect, and the pieces were carried out without a hitch. The stage
represented a morning room in a country villa.
In "The Wrong Box" the dialogue revealed an insufficiency of rehearsal. At times
the domineering father was not quite convincing. Uncle Croesus was received with
rounds of applause, and acted the part well as the eccentric and nervous but rich
uncle. The meek mother and wife did her part well, and so did Aunt Oesus, and
although the servants' parts were small they carried them out to perfection.
In the piece "Kiss and be Friends" the dialogue was wanting in tone and the
wife's part required a little more rehearsal. The husband did his part well with
the Major, but the Major was not quite the spruce dandy that he was supposed to
be. On the whole, however, the pieces were a credit to the director, and the
ladies and gentlemen who took part, and with a few more rehearsals the society
will soon overcome the first few mistakes they have made.
During the interval several ladies and gentlemen rendered songs and recitations,
which were much appreciated, and a pleasant evening was brought to a close by a dance.
The new stage in the Agricultural Hall is a credit to those who erected it and
everyone will wish the Kalamunda Amateur Dramatic Society every success in their
endeavour to make the library a complete success.
Historical information and images kindly provided with the assistance of the Kalamunda Historical Society.
The building that houses KADS Theatre
The first building on this site was in 1911, when the original weatherboard
& iron St Barnabas Church was moved from the corner of Boonooloo Road & Kalamunda
Hill to this site.
By 1926, the original church had deteriorated badly and Mr Arthur Thorogood
offered to build a brick church in memory of his mother. The church was
designed to be easily enlarged as the Kalamunda poplation grew. As the building
reached completion, all the furnishings were provided by the voluntary effort of the
On Sunday, May 13 1928, Archbishop Riley consecrated the new brick church. As the
population grew it was decided to build a new church, rather than enlarging the brick
In December 1963, the new St. Barnabas Chruch in Railway Road was consecrated and
this building (the KADS Theatre) was therefore no longer a church.
The building was taken over by the St. John Ambulance service and a
garage built at the side to hold the ambulance. At that time, it was possible
to drive out of the garage on to Central Road.
In 1977, the new ambulance depot in Railway Road was completed and the Kalamunda
Shire Council aquired this building to form part of the new Town Square. At that
time KADS was operating out of the homes of members and putting on shows at the
KADS continued to perform at the Agricultural Hall until 1981, when the building
was used as a theatre for the first time with a production of "Gaslight".
Interior of St Barnabas Church Kalamunda 1916.
St Barnabas Church Kalamunda c1928.
KADS Photo Archive
If you would like to contribute photographs, articles, or other miscellaneous
information about the history of KADS, we would love to hear from you.
(Currently, our photo archive has been provided with the kind assistance of previous KADS actors, directors and Members)