Alnwick Playhouse set for grand reopening after a £3.3million refurbishment

Alnwick Playhouse is finally set to welcome back patrons following a £3.3million refurbishment.

Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 10th January 2020, 3:56 pm
Alnwick Playhouse prior to its refurbishment.

A grand opening weekend of events is planned to celebrate the reopening of the historic venue after a 17-month absence.

Manger Jo Potts said: “The closure of the Playhouse has allowed this well-loved arts centre to be restored and repaired to the highest of standards, bringing the whole building back to life.

“We trust the new and improved Playhouse will continue to entertain Alnwick and the wider community for many years to come.”

From January 3-5, there will be broadcasts of the musical productions, 42nd Street and Cats, public tours of the building and a celebratory evening on Saturday with traditional music from Alistair Anderson and his band.

The Alnwick Forum will also be holding a special drop in session on Saturday from 10am to 4pm, including a presentation in the auditorium between 10am and 11am to explain the aims and future challenges for the Playhouse. It is free but tickets must be pre-booked.

The library, which has relocated from Green Batt, will be running cartoon drawing workshops, story sessions and a meet and greet with Mog the cat for younger children.

The Playhouse closed its doors in August 2018 to undergo restoration and refurbishments. Northumberland County Council has contributed £2.5 million towards the cost of the work, with the Playhouse raising a further £800,000.

On the ground floor the Playhouse box office is now joined by the library and tourist information centre. There is an improved café space which sees local restaurateur McKenna’s come to Alnwick.

On the first floor the newly renovated auditorium, gallery space and bar have all been beautifully refurbished.

The spring season offers the largest comedy line-up ever seen at the Playhouse including Gary Delaney as well as 2017 Britain’s Got Talent runner-up Daliso Chaponda.

A range of dance performances are also being presented, from Ballet Theatre UK with The Wizard of Oz to a contemporary reimagining of tap by Old Kent Road.

Alnwick Theatre Club, Alnwick Stage Musical Society and Duchess’s Community High School are also back on home ground in the new year.

For full details, times and ticket prices go to www.alnwickplayhouse.co.uk