READ all about it ­— a theatre company will be going back to its roots to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

The Three Towns, which was formed thanks to the help from the local press, will be performing Gilbert & Sullivan's most popular musical, The Mikado next month.

It was back in 1968, on May 23 that the music teacher at Tyldesley Boys Secondary School, Neville Parry put out an invitation through the local newspapers to music lovers interested in forming a signing group.

This was met with an enthusiastic response and that same year the Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley Amateur Operation Society was formed.

A year later, the society became known at The Three Towns and its first production, staged at Leigh Boys Grammar was The Gondoliers.

Since those days the society has gone from strength to strength and continues to flourish, now attracting members from a much wider area.

The society's tradition of performing Gilbert and Sullivan only continued until 1996, when it was to provide audiencess with a greater variety of musical style and performances, which proved to be a great hit.

And over the years, the society has celebrated huge success. This includes Bryan Secombe being accepted by The D’Oyly Carte Opera Company and now sings with the Royal Opera at Covent Garden.

Keith Hoare went to Vienna to study music and Janet Waldock sang with the Sadlers Wells Opera Company

Rebecca Goulden was a finalist in BBC Radio 2 Choirgirl of the Year 1998, Ben Warbis dancer with the society, began his training at Kathleen Atherton Academy of Dance, Leigh and now performs with the Michael Clark Company.

Currently David Kay, Victoria Goulden, David Griffiths, Ken Rees and Susan Bradley have won awards for their performances. David, Victoria, Eileen, Julia and Lauren have performed at Buxton Opera House and/or Harrogate Theatre at the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival.

Catherine Kay at The Three Towns said: "Behind every successful society lies a strong support team, if not performing then working back stage on scenery, props, costumes, or front of house. The society encourages a supportive family atmosphere.

"There are many Associate Members who provide financial support, in addition to other committed loyal supporters who attend their shows and concerts year after year.

"The Three Towns would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported them in any way over the last fifty years."

Rehearsals are currently way for their show The Mikado, which runs from May 14 to May 18 at St Joseph's Hall.

Tickets can be booked on 01942 605369 and online at