Stage is set for new era at Wellingborough’s Castle theatre

Wellingborough's Castle theatre
Wellingborough's Castle theatre

A new team is in place and they would love to have your support with a new era for Wellingborough’s Castle theatre.

The Castle theatre has had a tough year, with the company which was contracted to run it being put into administration before its doors closed in June.

Wellingborough Council vowed to get the venue re-opened and not only have they done this, they are now looking to the future and trying to give the people of Wellingborough the theatre they want and deserve.

Hazel Clover was brought in as interim manager and she is part of a team of seven which is working to get the theatre back on its feet.

Her aims have included putting in place a ‘quality team’ of staff, carrying out compliance work on the building to get it back up and running, and re-opening the box office.

She said: “It was challenging, but it was about finding solutions.”

Another priority for Hazel was organising a programme for the coming months, including a Christmas show.

Tickets are selling well for Snow White On Ice, with about a third of them already sold.

Also lined up for the coming months are sing-along Grease, live broadcasts from the RSC, Frank’s Comedy Club and films are being shown, with Bridget Jones’s Baby proving hugely popular with customers.

Frank’s restaurant remained open throughout the theatre’s closure and Hazel has thanked Frank’s for its support both during that time and since the re-opening.

A number of community groups have signed up for shows, including Wellingborough Pantomime Society which will be putting on Cinderella in January.

There is a new logo, new website and new social media accounts to keep people up-to-date with what’s on at the theatre.

More than 2,000 people have signed up to the theatre’s new mailing list and a new friends group has also been launched, with about 70 people attending its first event recently.

Hazel said they are working on the programme for next year as well as already looking ahead to 2018, and she is keen for customers to see ‘just how far we have come.’

She is preparing a report for Wellingborough Council to show what they have achieved and looking ahead to how the theatre may be run in the future.

And while Hazel and her team have been amazed by the support from the community since the closure, they really want to get people back through the doors and enjoying the theatre once more.

She said: “Come along and support us by buying tickets.

“Sign up to find out what’s going on and follow us on social media.

“We also want community groups to talk to us about getting involved.”

While it has been a challenging few months and Hazel admitted they have had to find ‘a new way of working,’ she added: “It’s an exciting time here now.”

Leader of Wellingborough Council Martin Griffiths said he is extremely grateful to Hazel for her hard work since taking on the role and the ‘highly motivated’ team she has put in place.

He said council officers are working on a report to be presented to the council regarding the long-term future of the theatre, and he said they have several organisations, including a couple of theatre chains, who may be interested in options for its long-term future.

He also thanked all the community groups and volunteers who are supporting the theatre, and he added: “Our council is fully committed to The Castle theatre and will do everything we can to ensure it remains an important asset for our town and borough and a facility that will be enjoyed for many years to come.”

To visit the new website click here