Peterborough New Theatre
In the spotlight for this month, after briefly teasing their upcoming autumn season last month and following their recent renovation and upcoming new ownership, I’m introducing you to the Peterborough New Theatre.
The theatre itself has a rich history, as it began life as an Odeon cinema in 1937, designed by architect Harry Weedon; and the building was one of the original cinemas of the Odeon chain. It sadly closed as a cinema in 1991, but in 2001 the building went under redevelopment, and reopened as The Broadway Theatre (which has now been renamed to the Peterborough New Theatre).
A platform stage was built within the original proscenium and the original Art Deco interior of the auditorium restored, and the auditorium is now one of the finest interiors remaining from the original Odeon cinema chain. With a seated capacity of 1,140 – it’s one of the largest venues in the region and is capable of hosting national touring plays, theatre productions, music, comedy and films.
The late Peterborough philanthropist Peter Boizot (founder of the Pizza Express chain) spent £9m of his own money to recreate the beautiful building as a cornerstone of cultural life in the city. Currently, The Dawe Charitable Trust has invested £1m to make the New Theatre Peterborough central to the life of all Peterborough’s communities, and the theatre welcomes performers, promoters and audiences from any and every community.
However, the theatre can only be strong when the people of Peterborough and surrounding areas work with it. It needs YOU to support it; be it through being a volunteer, financially by hiring it, or most importantly by simply attending shows as a member of the audience.
The same goes for any venue, which is why our magazine is so passionate about promoting live entertainment and encouraging people to get out there and keep it live; but naturally it’s incredibly difficult when you’re trying to get off the ground and running as a new venue – so this place needs your support.
However, with Selladoor Worldwide taking over management of the theatre from 1st September 2019, the theatre is hoping for a bright future.
It’s already off to a strong start with an exciting launch of Edinburgh Fringe Festival comedy previews, titled ‘PETERBURGH FRINGE!’ that took place in July, and coming up on Thursday 15th August, the legendary Motown band THE FOUR TOPS are performing live in their only UK Theatre show.
As mentioned previously, their upcoming autumn season features an eclectic mix of shows – from family shows, comedies, dramas, tribute shows and more. There is certainly something for everyone, so be sure to check out newtheatre-peterborough.com for further details and the full list of shows.