When Insurevue disbanded in 1973, it seemed that the end was in sight for amateur dramatics within the insurance industry in Leeds. However, a team of enthusiasts, led by the likes of Alan Smith, Noel Meer, Bob Sutherland and Barrie Ward decided to keep the tradition alive. They moulded a group of insurance workers, largely inexperienced, into a performing company and on 14th January 1974, their dreams were rewarded with the opening night of Gershwin’s musical, “Lady Be Good”. LIDOS was born!
With an operatic show under their belts, LIDOS decided to show the Leeds audiences that the “dramatic” part of their title could also be upheld. In May of the same year, LIDOS staged the comedy play “They Don’t Grow on Trees”.
The following years proved that LIDOS was here to stay with a musical and a play performed each year until 1977, when they decided to try their hand at pantomime. Much to the childrens’ delight, LIDOS produced “Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp”, which was directed by Alan Smith, who also played the dame, Widow Twankey.
There have been many changes over the years, not least the parting from the insurance industry in 1978, but LIDOS has gone from strength to strength and in 2013 LIDOS celebrated its 40th anniversary.