John Hedley Palin was born May 12, 1913 in Macclesfield, Cheshire. His Parents were Ernest John Palin and Emily Pickford. In the 1911 census, his father’s occupation was a confectioner. His father died when he was just 4 years of age. John married a Connie Walton in 1938 and they had one son.
If we say that this is as fine as anything of his [Hedley Palin’s] that we have seen for many a season, that his delicate and sure handling of a large cast, and his exquisitely designed and lit sets gave off, like a vapour, those intangible qualities and essences of poetry which permeated every scene and under one spell, then he has only had his due.
The Lark by Jean Anouilh was presented by MADS as part of the 1966 Macclesfield Arts Festival, allowing the Society to choose a difficult but rewarding play away from the main play season. Again produced by John H Palin, the leading role, that of Joan of Arc, was played by Dorothy Nixon in ‘a stupendous performance’.
John H Palin’s production of The Physicists by Friedrich Durrenmatt, second play of the 1966/67 season was awarded the Simon Saft Memorial Trophy at the 1967 AGM of the British Drama League (North Western Section) for the most outstanding and adventurous play.
Hedley Palin gained further festival success in 1970 when his production of the one-act play The Animal won the open section of the Cheshire Drama Festival. In the early part of 1972, Hedley Palin’s production of Yves Cabrol’s The Elephant went one further, to the Northern Area Final, in 1974.
Hedley Palin’s main season production of Jane Eyre reached the final of the 1974 Cheshire Community Council One-Act Play Competition and would receive considerable complimentary press coverage following the five-night run at the Little Theatre in February 1974.
The John H Palin Trophy for Stagecraft, awarded by the British Theatre Association, was inaugurated at the start of the 1974/75 season in recognition of his second term as adjudicator.
Hedley was elected an honorary life member of MADS at the 1974 AGM, president in 1979 and would directed a remarkable total of sixty-seven plays for MADS before his death in 1990.