TAMWORTH Assembly Rooms may have closed for refurbishment but the show must go on.
A number of the theatre’s regular users will be going out into the community, performing in alternative locations, to ensure audiences do not miss out this year.
Annual favourites such as Tamworth Drama Festival and Tamworth Arts Club productions will carry on as part of ‘Tamworth Assembly Rooms on Tour’, which aims to make sure the town’s arts groups are able to perform while their theatre is extended and modernised.
The ‘on tour’ seasons starts with the week-long Tamworth Hastilow Drama Festival which this year will take place at the Two Rivers High School Theatre in the Torc Campus off Silver Link Road.
The 2016 festival kicks off on Tuesday March 15 for five nights of captivating one-act plays performed by the best the region has to offer in amateur drama.
Theatre companies from Tamworth and the wider area will compete, with performances scored throughout the week by Bev Clark from the Guild of Drama Adjudicators.
Up to three plays will be performed each night and winners in a variety of categories will progress to the next round of the All England Drama Festival.
Last year’s Hastilow Festival winners – TACT – went on to be crowned English champions in the national contest.
The festival runs from Tuesday March 15 to Saturday March 19 and tickets are priced at £5 per evening or £20 for the week. Tuesday evening’s performance includes opening entertainment by the pupils of Two Rivers School.
Next to go on tour will be Tamworth Arts Club which will stage Return to the Forbidden Planet at the Landau Forte Tamworth Sixth Form Academy in Ashby Road.
The rock spectacular blasts off from the Landau theatre on Tuesday March 29 for a five-night run until Saturday April 2. Inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the comedy musical is packed with rock and roll classics such as Young Girl, Good Vibrations, Great Balls of Fire, Monster Mash and the Shoop Shoop Song.
With special effects, great music, singing and dancing, as well as a live band, Return to the Forbidden Planet promises to be an unforgettable night at the theatre.
Tickets are priced at £12.50 and £11.50 concessions, or £40 for a group ticket based on two standard and two concessions. Audiences are invited to fully immerse themselves in the interactive show by attending in sci-fi costume.
Special VIP tickets are available for the Thursday night performance at the price of £18.95. This includes welcome and interval drinks, a light buffet and the opportunity to meet the cast on stage at the end of the show.
Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Economy, Cllr Steve Claymore, said:
“The much-needed regeneration of Tamworth Assembly Rooms represents a significant investment in our arts provision and will give Tamworth an impressive, modern theatre fit for the 21st century.
“Ensuring that the town’s popular arts groups can still perform during the closure period is a top priority, both for their benefit and for the audiences who have come to look forward to their regular events. To this end, the Arts and Events team will be working with groups to identify alternative locations and explore other opportunities to ensure the show goes on until their new-look theatre is ready to welcome them back.”
Tickets for both the Tamworth Hastilow Drama Festival and Return to the Forbidden Planet are available online at www.tamworthartsandevents.co.uk, from the Tourist Information Centre in Corporation Street or by calling the Box Office on 01827 709618. A transaction fee of £1 is payable on all online and telephone bookings.