Scroll down to find out how to get involved!
When Henry Filloux-Bennett took over as Artistic Director and CEO of the Lawrence Batley Theatre in March 2019, one of the first things he did was set about planning for the town centre theatre’s 25th birthday celebrations. And what is a birthday without a party?
Traditional Shakespeare was swept to one side and resulted in Henry V being adapted into a 90s-style neon-laden tunefest. Reimagined as a feud between those who would throw a traditional, classy party and the opposition – a bunch of loud, lairy, Northerners with a penchant for bright colours and banging tunes – no ordinary company of players was sought to perform it. The call went out to the people of Huddersfield to get involved with this community production; no experience required, completely inclusive, open to all ages. The people of Huddersfield – at least 60 of them – answered.
The performances were a big hit and it seemed certain that another community production would be on the cards in 2020. But we all know what happened to plans in 2020, don’t we? Not ones to be easily deterred, the ever-resourceful Olivia Race of Front Room Productions headed the creation of a different sort of community production.
A Christmas Carol (⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘Impressively realised’ – The Stage) was adapted by Olivia, with members of the Huddersfield community giving voice to the well-known characters. Beautiful illustrations accompanied the words and music, and the finished product was able for people to stream at home throughout December 2020.
It was with much excitement that the announcement of a 2021 community production was made last week, and the hunt for applicants has begun once more. We are sworn to secrecy regarding what the play will be this time around, but all will be revealed in due course.
Olivia Race will be taking the lead once again and said: “We are keen to get as many people involved as possible. Everyone who wants to take part can be in it! Our community productions are fully inclusive and open to anyone who wants to join in”.
So what are you waiting for? You can find out more and register your interest HERE. A Zoom session will be held on Thursday (24th) evening for people to drop in, hear more and ask questions, the link is available on the registration page. You can register your interest up until July 2nd 2021.
With the theatre undergoing significant refurbishment over the summer, a stage full of Huddersfieldians should provide a thorough welcome to the changes!