Cirque Du Sparkle dance show goes on despite all odds after Preston Guild Hall closure

A dance school which had to bend over backwards to book a new venue for its showcase after Preston Guild Hall closed has pulled the feat off.

Tuesday, 9th July 2019, 1:33 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th July 2019, 2:33 pm
Performers for Cirque Du Sparkle hit a striking pose. Credit: Caz Conlon Photography

At least 150 dancers performed in Cirque Du Sparkle at Blackburn Empire Theatre across two shows on Sunday, July 7.

Harriet Gingell, owner of Sparkle Dance in Preston, says the show was a success, without any major hitches. The performance came after she had to scramble to secure the new space when the Charter Theatre and Great Hall shut unexpectedly in under just three weeks before the show.

Harriet said: “It was a big mission but we managed it - a complete three-60 turn around after the Guild Hall closed.

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“But the shows went well. The first show wasn’t as smooth as we would have liked but the audience didn’t notice, it was just backstage. The second show went really smoothly.

“We had quite a few children who weren’t able to do it because of holidays so we had to change routines slightly but we survived.

“The children just had such a great time, they were just beaming.

“All the performers absolutely loved it, they had been waiting for the showcase for a long time.

“We’ve had lots of people say to us they really enjoyed it. Everybody said it was very professional.”

Asked if she would think about using the Guild Hall again if a new operator is found Harriet said: “It’s something I’d really have to consider. I probably wouldn’t use their box office again.”

If you don't already know...

Former operator of the Charter Theatre and Great Hall Simon Rigby closed the two auditoriums at Preston Guild Hall in late May.

It threw upcoming shows, including the Cirque Du Sparkle showcase, into doubt. Many promoters had to pivot to find new venues for their events in a short time frame.

Mr Rigby then put the Guild Hall into Administration in early June. Later the same month, in a surprise turn of events, Mr Rigby then announced he was reopening the two auditoriums under a new company.

But, swooping in, Preston City Council put a stop to that, taking back control of the venue overnight. The city authority has now announced a call for a new operator to take on the Guild Hall.