The first acts have been booked and tickets are on sale now for the eagerly-anticipated opening season of Tamworth’s new-look, more modern, more state-of-the-art Assembly Rooms theatre and entertainment venue.
We’re delighted to reveal the first round of acts that have been confirmed for when the curtain goes up later this year, following a multi-million-pound refurbishment of the iconic Corporation Street theatre.
Originally built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, Tamworth Assembly Rooms been undergoing the largest refurbishment in its 130-year history to turn it into a more versatile, more accessible and more impressive venue fit for 21st century audiences.
The first acts have been booked and tickets are now on sale for the long-awaited opening season which will kick off in impressive style this November with a spectacular ballet production of The Wizard of Oz, performed by one of the UK’s most beloved touring ballet companies.
Ballet Theatre UK tours both nationally and internationally with critically-acclaimed productions. The Wizard of Oz is a full-length two-act ballet adaptation of the popular tale told through the magic of classical dance.
While the full season of events will be detailed in the coming weeks, we can reveal that it includes some exciting new shows such as comedy, an intimate stage play, stars of the West End, a 25-character Dad’s Army show performed by two actors, Britain’s Got Talent finalists and the UK’s premier wartime act and Sooty!
And as well as featuring some great new acts, the opening season will also include some of the nostalgic and tribute shows which have been popular with audiences throughout the years, plus the return of popular community groups who are keen to come back to the much-loved theatre.
Among the first community groups to tread the boards of the new-look venue will be the cast of Stage It Performing Arts Academy with a December show, Tamworth Voices and Tamworth Pantomime Company which will be returning this Christmas with its ‘biggest and boldest’ panto to date – Aladdin.
Aladdin will fly into Tamworth Assembly Rooms on December 14 to Christmas Eve with a magic carpet ride of a show featuring a whole host of popular local performers. These include Alex Farrell as the hilarious Dame Widow Twankey, Terry Batham as the evil Abanazar, former ITV newsreader Llewela Bailey and Tamworth Castle’s very own Olivia Shepherd.
The cast of the pantomime will be giving people a taste of their slapstick comedy at Tamworth Carnival this weekend on Saturday, June 1, so you can meet the characters and get a small flavour of things to come.
The ambitious project to bring the historic Tamworth Assembly Rooms into the 21st century includes a complete change of the internal layout, apart from the main auditorium, to create an impressive, versatile building, with more space that can be used for a variety of purposes.
This includes extensions to the side and rear to add a new multi-use space, extra toilet facilities and an extended backstage area. As well as much-needed extra room, this will also provide opportunities for the theatre to be used for a wider range of events.
The aim is for the glass-fronted multi-use space at the front of the new extension to be used for a variety of events such as conferences, art exhibitions, galleries and meetings.
During the evenings, it could be used for smaller events such as open-mic nights, poetry readings and comedy nights. On busy show evenings, the idea is for it to be used as a secondary bar area to the main café/bar which is being created on the other side of the building.
The rear of the extension will provide improved backstage facilities, including a glass-walled ‘green room’, rehearsal space for performers and dressing rooms.
For more details, and to buy tickets for the opening season of shows at Tamworth Assembly Rooms, visit www.tamworthartsandevents.co.uk.
If you can’t wait that long, we have a fantastic FREE music event taking place at the Castle Grounds bandstand on the evening of Saturday, July 6, which will be a celebration of the music and performers who have graced the stage of Tamworth Assembly Rooms throughout the decades. This will include music from The Beatles, the Rolling stones and many more, with tasty street food, delicious drinks, and the stunning backdrop of Tamworth Castle.
Cllr John Chesworth, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Culture and Operational Services, said: “This is an exciting announcement which we know the people of Tamworth have been anticipating for a while. Refurbishing such an historic building has not been without its challenges, but we are delighted to now be booking the first acts which will appear as part of the opening season. We already have some great shows lined up, so I would encourage people to browse the website, have a look at all the shows that have gone on sale so far and get their tickets booked so they can experience the new-look theatre first hand.”