Wednesday, 17 January 2024
Hebden Bridge Little Theatre Celebrates Centenary
Every thespian knows that 'the show must go on', but during 2024 Hebden Bridge Little Theatre is celebrating keeping it on for 100 years!
Since being founded in 1924, the theatre has only ever suffered two brief periods of closure – the 2020/21 COVID lockdown and when building and relocating to its current 120-seater venue in Holme Street in 1992/3.
Not even the Second World War could prevent the curtain being raised, with well over 70,000 seats being sold during the six-year conflict, despite fears of air raids and gas attacks. Programmes even warned that patrons were expected to bring their gas masks to the performance.
And the same Blitz Spirit has been evident in overcoming the floods with which Hebden Bridge has unfortunately become synonymous.
Although the Boxing Day Flood of 2015 covered the theatre two feet deep in foul water, the help of volunteers, the army and the community ensured that everything was up and running again within a few weeks, and no shows had to be cancelled.
Hannah Stow, President of Hebden Bridge Little Theatre (photo attached), says, "We have since installed flood doors, and although there will doubtless be other challenges to face, the resilience we have always shown in the face of adversity should help us overcome them.
"I am so proud to be the theatre's president during the Centenary year, and hope the public helps us celebrate in style by attending some of the superb events we have lined up in honour of the anniversary."
Fittingly, as it was penned in 1924, the five-play Centenary schedule kicks off with Noel Coward's Hay Fever, being staged between February 26 and March 2.
Hannah Stow, who is directing the production herself, continues "This play sees Coward at his hilarious best, and we have a highly talented and experienced cast who are already smashing it in rehearsals. I'm confident this will prove a cracking Centenary showpiece."
Tickets for Hay Fever and other Centenary productions cost £11-£9, and can be obtained online at www.hblt.co.uk.
The other Centenary productions scheduled for 2024 are:
April 8-13: The Long Road by Shelagh Stephenson
June 17 -22: A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
October 7 -12: Beryl by Maxine Peake
December 2-7: One Man, Two Guvnors by Richard Bean.