Richmond Theatre Celebrates 120th Birthday
After undergoing a refurbishment this summer, Richmond Theatre will be throwing open its doors to celebrate its 120th Birthday, wowing visitors with a series of one night events and a special community open day.
Richmond Theatre has been at the heart of the community over the past 120 years, therefore community engagement and customer experience is the overarching focus for the anniversary year.
To begin the celebrations, Fane Productions, in association with Richmond Theatre, have curated an exciting 120th Anniversary Series. Opening on 13 September 2019 is An Evening with Bonnie Langford with Bonnie sharing songs and behind-the-scenes stories from her glittering career on stage, including tributes to some iconic leading ladies with a touch of Stevie Wonder. Continuing on 14 September 2019 is Nicholas Parsons & Gyles Brandreth: Just a Minute or Two - celebrating their half century friendship and varied tales of their different and impressive careers.
The celebrations keep going on 15 September 2019 with Richmond Theatre's Open Day inviting the community to look behind-the-scenes for free and have unrivalled access to Frank Matcham's beautiful theatre. Visitors will be able to meet the team, take part in creative learning activities, get on stage
and learn some technical skills, as well as see the venue up close and personal.
On the same evening, and concluding the week's events, is All the World's a Stage, a free event for the community in association with The Richmond Local History Society and The Richmond Society. This event will be uncovering 120 years of fascinating history of Richmond Theatre hosted by: Theatre Director Brendan Riding; the Chairman of the Frank Matcham Society, Mark Fox; Paul Velluet, a local architect and chairman of the Richmond Local History Society; and some other special guests.
Throughout the 120th year, Richmond Theatre will be donating 120 tickets per month to members of the community who may not otherwise be able to visit the theatre. They will be working with local charities and organisations, with the support of producers and promoters of the season's shows, to enable the wider proportion of the community to experience the powerful medium of live entertainment.
Theatre Director, Brendan Riding said: "I'm so excited to reintroduce everyone to our beautiful theatre. This is a theatre of the community and for the community. So many people have such amazing memories of it and I know they will continue making memories for generations to come. I personally have a long relationship with Richmond Theatre, firstly as a customer, later as an actor and then when working with Theatre Producer, Bill Kenwright, where I was fortunate enough to bring countless shows to the theatre. I can't wait to share our theatre with the community again with our anniversary celebrations and our autumn season of shows."
The multi-million pound summer refurbishment has focused on both the interior and exterior of the Theatre. There has been a full redecoration and cleaning of the theatre's façade, and internally, an extensive deep clean of the auditorium and proscenium arch, while retaining all the character and charm of the original features.
Robert Hill from The Historic Building Advisory Services says, "It was imperative that we ensured the heritage of this wonderful building was preserved and enhanced. It is hoped that this refreshed appearance will glow both night and day and that it will stand out with the pomp it would have had when the clientele arrived by carriage rather than by car."
Internally, customers will feel the difference in atmosphere, as the replacement of the mechanical plant on the roof has enabled a better and more consistent air conditioning temperature to be maintained in all public spaces. In addition, all three of the Theatre's bars have been fully renovated to enhance customers experience, including doubling the number of sales points across the venue to ease the queues before, during and after performances, and all feature a new colour scheme influenced by the auditorium.
The project team have recently worked on landmark projects at The Theatre Royal Drury Lane and The Royal Opera House. Andrew Ellingworth, project Director from Gleeds said; "The work is not intended to redesign or change the overall look of the building, but to recapture at least some of the character it would have had in its heyday at the end of the 19th century."
More anniversary celebrations will be announced over the upcoming year.
Richmond Theatre celebrates their 120th Anniversary this autumn with a packed season of shows from early September onwards. For more information, visit: ATGTICKETS.COM/Richmond.