New-look Preston Playhouse takes centre stage

Preston Mayor, Coun Trevor Hart, with trustees and members of Preston Playhouse celebrating the completion of major works to update and improve the foyer areas of the theatre.
Preston Mayor, Coun Trevor Hart, with trustees and members of Preston Playhouse celebrating the completion of major works to update and improve the foyer areas of the theatre.

The trustees and members of Preston Playhouse were delighted to gather in celebration of the completion of major works to update and improve the foyer areas of the theatre.

Among the guests were the Preston Mayor, Coun Trevor Hart, the presidents of Preston Drama Club, Broughton Players, Grimsargh Players, Preston Musical Comedy Society and Preston Gilbert and Sullivan Society.

Preston Mayor, Coun Trevor Hart, with trustees and members of Preston Playhouse celebrating the completion of major works to update and improve the foyer areas of the theatre.

Preston Mayor, Coun Trevor Hart, with trustees and members of Preston Playhouse celebrating the completion of major works to update and improve the foyer areas of the theatre.

These amateur societies stage plays and musical shows at the Playhouse throughout the season from September to June.

Also present was Joan Hardman, a long-time member of Preston Drama Club, who was in the audience on the opening night of the first play to be staged at the theatre in the autumn of 1949.

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Dennis Yardley, chairman of trustees, says: “The update to the foyer has made a brighter, more spacious, and welcoming entrance to the theatre which can also be used for rehearsals, teaching and exhibitions.

Trustees and members of Preston Playhouse celebrating the completion of major works to update and improve the foyer areas of the theatre.

Trustees and members of Preston Playhouse celebrating the completion of major works to update and improve the foyer areas of the theatre.

“The trustees are very grateful for the financial support for the project provided by the Arts Council, England and the Lancashire Environmental Fund.”

Prior to being converted to a theatre in 1949, the building had started life as a Quaker Meeting House in 1847 and had a number of different uses in the meanwhile, one of which is believed to have been a dance hall.

Now in its 70th year as a theatre, the Playhouse continues to be a welcoming centre for theatre in the city, with some 20 productions each season.

The amateur societies stage around 15 of these. The others include shows presented by the Players Drama School, which uses the theatre for developing young talent every Saturday during term time, the Miss Preston pageant, a Christmas Brass Band concert, and shows involving acts such as The Houghton Weavers and local Equity members.

Dr John Wilson, President Preston Gilbert and Sullivan Society with Tony Shaw, trustee at the reopening of Preston Playhouse

Dr John Wilson, President Preston Gilbert and Sullivan Society with Tony Shaw, trustee at the reopening of Preston Playhouse

Next on stage is Grimsargh Players with its production of Theft, a comedy by Eric Chappell, followed by a concert presented by the Preston Gilbert and Sullivan Society tomorrow.

Freckleton Band, supported by chorists from Preston Musical Comedy Society, will present an Evening of Christmas Magic on Saturday, December 2.

Details and online ticket booking can be found at www.prestonplayhouse.co.uk.

Joan Mackin, member of Grimsargh Players with Alex Tagg, past chairman of trustees at the reopening of Preston Playhouse

Joan Mackin, member of Grimsargh Players with Alex Tagg, past chairman of trustees at the reopening of Preston Playhouse