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SLT Turns 50 Today!!

According to a piece found in the 1974 January Bar & Social News section of that month’s newsletter, SLT had its 7th birthday on January 26th.

That means SLT turns 50 … today.

1967 was the year of our first production The Alchemist by Ben Jonson. Performances ran from October 30 – November 4.

For SLT, 1967 is an historic year and we will be celebrating our 50 years over the next 12 months with several socials, 50th anniversary merchandise and the return to our beloved Old Fire Station in West Norwood … and for fun and context, asides from the inception of the South London Theatre Centre, here is what also happened in 1967:

In Theatre: SLT stage their first ever production, The Alchemist. Alan Ayckbourn’s first major success Relatively Speaking opens at the Duke of York; Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead gets its debut at the Old Vic and playwright Joe Orton is found beaten to death by his lover Kenneth Halliwell.

In Music: The Doors, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Pink Floyd release their debut albums this year and The Beatles release the classic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Sandi Shaw representing the UK wins the Eurovision Song Contest with ‘Puppet on a String’, the first English language song to win the competition.

In Cinemas: 1967 is the year that Clint Eastwood stars in A Fistful of Dollars the first successful ‘Spaghetti Western’ elevating the genre and his career. Dustin Hoffman has his first major role in The Graduate wining him an Oscar nomination. The Jungle Book is released and is the last feature Walt Disney works on before his death. In the UK, ‘mod masterpiece’ Blowup was released to critical acclaim and Charlie Chaplin’s final motion picture A Countess From Hong Kong opened in January.

On TV: BBC 2 aired its first programme in full colour and hit shows this year include The Forsyte Saga and cult classic The Prisoner.

In the News: This was the year the first ever pulsar was observed by Jocelyn Bell and Antony Hewish. In other space news, the UK’s very first satellite Ariel 3 was launched. The UK applied to be a part of the EEC and Concorde was unveiled in Paris. Homosexuality was decriminalised, Milton Keynes was declared a ‘New Town’ and Sir Francis Chichester completed his single-handed world circumnavigation in Gipsy Moth IV. Tragedy struck in November as Hither Green witnessed the death of 49 people in one of the UK’s worst derailments. In happier times the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank was opened and St. Pancras received a Grade I listing protecting it from demolishment. And in a year of firsts, Norwell Roberts became the first black police officer in the Met and Enfield was the location of the country’s very first automatic cash machine.