Events planned to mark a milestone

Bridget Jones Baby at Alnwick Playhouse
Bridget Jones Baby at Alnwick Playhouse

Special screenings of a film set to be a huge hit with cinema-goers will be held at Alnwick Playhouse next month to mark five years since its manager took over the reins.

And Alnwick Playhouse has managed to secure the showings of Bridget Jones’s Baby on the weekend it is released across the rest of the country.

Jo Potts, manager of Alnwick Playhouse

Jo Potts, manager of Alnwick Playhouse

Jo Potts took over as manager at the Playhouse in August 2011, and since then the venue has gone from strength to strength.

To coincide with the anniversary, and the Playhouse’s latest endeavour to reach out to families and children alongside the already packed programme of entertainment, Bridget Jones’s Baby will be screened all weekend from Friday, September 16 to Sunday, September 18, with a daytime ‘bring in baby’ viewing on the Friday for parents and babies.

There will be evening screenings on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and you can book tickets online.

In the five years that Jo has been manager of the Playhouse numerous major projects have taken place and the venue has excelled.

Creative Cocoon session at Alnwick Playhouse. By Amber Brown

Creative Cocoon session at Alnwick Playhouse. By Amber Brown

She said: “Five years at Alnwick Playhouse has gone very quickly due to the major projects we have achieved since my time in post.

“When I first came we had one phone line in and out of the building and no online booking system, with a website we could not update ourselves.

“The new website, with online booking, was the first development, followed swiftly by the removal of the 35mm film projector to be updated with a new digital projector and satellite discs to allow a better movie experience and contracts to stream the MET Opera, National Theatre, RSC, and this season, Michael Buble.

“Where I think Alnwick is truly unique is the support I have had from the community. A new café was installed and I am still extremely grateful to Geoff and Ben Keenan from Outlook for project managing that whole development for free. Without Geoff to reposition the Box Office and hang the fabulous large comedy characters donated for display by Alnwick-born Viv Dykes, at a time when we simply had no money, in the first year change would not have happened so quickly.

Creative Cocoon at Alnwick Playhouse.  By Amber Brown

Creative Cocoon at Alnwick Playhouse. By Amber Brown

“In my first year when we had lost Arts Council money of £40,000, then Mayor Alan Symmonds informed me there would be a Mayor’s Ball to raise funds for the Playhouse and the Playhouse Community Concert Band would play, I knew then how much this Playhouse was valued and loved, and long may we continue.”

The Playhouse has recently received a large grant from the Arts Council for the Creative Cocoon project for family and children’s events and workshops, which have had a huge success, with sold-out sessions over the summer.

Jo added: “With the potential plans to work with Northumberland County Council to develop the building to work more effectively for the community there is still much more work to done.”