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Fairfield @50: Fairfield Halls Celebrates 50 Years

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by Angela Lord (subscribe)
Freelance writer specialising in arts, travel and entertainment news, previews and reviews.
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Fairfield at 50 - Arts venue celebrates its half century

Croydon's Fairfield Halls are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, with an Autumn season of drama, music, comedy and special events.

September kicks off with comedian Jon Richardson, host of Channel 4's Stand Up for the Week and team captain in 8 Out of 10 Cats.

There are more laughs to follow, with Stephen K Amos serving up his new stand-up show in October, after a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival.

Soap Opera, a comedy thriller based on TV soaps, features Leslie Grantham and Michelle Gayle from East Enders, Graham Cole from The Bill and Hattie Hayridge, who played Holly in Red Dwarf.

A revival of the Oscar-winning movie Driving Miss Daisy stars Gwen Taylor from Coronation street and Don Warrington, from Rising Damp. The 50th anniversary production of Billy Liar, starring Marcus Patrick from Hollyoaks, is scheduled for early November.

The Fairfield Halls are so-named because the site used to be a field where a fair was held for over five centuries. Work started on the building in the late 1950's and it was opened by the Queen Mother in 1962.

The Ashcroft Theatre, part of the Fairfield Halls complex, was opened three days later by Dame Peggy Ashcroft, the Croydon-born actress who gave the theatre its name.

To mark the anniversary, the website Fairfield at Fifty has been set up, featuring over 2,000 digitised images looking back over the art centre's rich history and the host of famous faces who have appeared there.

Information and bookings - Fairfield Halls box office 020 8688 9291
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Why? 50th anniversary of theatre and arts centre
When: September to December 2012
Phone: 020 8688 9291
Where: Park Lane, Croydon
Cost: From 5 upwards
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