Although Keynsham Light Opera Group have been in existence for more than 40 years, the first talk of forming a light opera group in Keynsham actually began during the First World War, when several Gilbert & Sullivan operas were performed. But it was not until April 1966 that local people began to meet to study musical comedy , leading to the formation of Keynsham Light Opera Group in 1967.

Our first full-scale production took place in April 1969: Trial by Jury with excerpts from Bizet’s Carmen. The show took place at Saltford Hall, the venue where KLOG still performs. However, in 1969 the stage hadn’t even been completed! Tickets cost four shillings (20p), and the budget was £33, with profits donated to the Red Cross. With very few interruptions since then, KLOG has been entertaining the local community with musical productions, maintaining our high quality and production values for over 40 years. We are run by an elected Committee of members, who give up (a great deal of) their time to organise various aspects of the group.

We perform two shows each year, traditionally in April and October. The Spring show is normally a “traditional” musical, while in Autumn we give free rein to our imaginations and produce our own, original show, which is normally more of a “concert-style” production. Our members’ ages range widely, from fourteen to 83, not counting shows involving children such as Annie. We are always on the lookout for new members, performing and non-performing, to join the group, so if you are interested in either being in the spotlight, or helping out behind the scenes with scenery, props, wardrobe, front of house etc. KLOG would love to hear from you. Prospective new performing members may be asked to take a short, informal audition before joining the group, but no formal musical knowledge is required. Rehearsals take place at Broadlands School in Keynsham on Monday and Wednesday evenings throughout the year.

When recently asked “what is it like to be a member of KLOG?”, the first thing many of our existing members commented on was the friendliness of the group. New members get a very warm welcome. That doesn’t mean that we focus more on socialising than delivering quality productions, but we are noted for having fun while we work! They also said that they enjoyed getting away from everyday life to become a character. Why not come along, either to watch one of our productions, or join the group and find out for yourself!

We are fortunate to have a thriving Patrons’ section. Patrons receive the group’s newsletters and have priority booking facilities. If you are interested in supporting the group, our Patrons’ secretary Maureen Quilter can be contacted on 0117 986 4742.

Although we generally perform to full houses, it costs a great deal to put on such good shows, and we therefore have to find additional sources of income. It is never easy to fundraise, especially in our current tough economic times, but KLOG members regularly hold fundraising events such as carol singing, band/theme nights, car boot sales and more. We are always on the lookout for ways in which we can raise additional funds. One of our most popular is through character sponsorship. If you represent a local business, organisation or charity we would be very interested to discuss ways in which you can benefit from advertising, sponsoring or being associated with a KLOG production: we perform to up to 1200 local people, twice a year, as well as at the Keynsham Music Festival and Victorian Evening. We have dedicated local supporters that play a vital role in ensuring the continued success of the group. If you feel you can help too, please get in touch.

Don’t forget to bookmark our website and return again in the future to find out what KLOG is up to. We are always busy rehearsing and our next production is never too far away!