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Magic returning to Tamworth as historic theatre to re-open
An iconic and historic theatre in Staffordshire will be back with a bang when it re-opens later this year after a multi-million-pound refurbishment. The new-look Tamworth Assembly Rooms, built to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee 130 years ago, will be entertaining audiences once again from November after being closed for three years for essential modernisation and improvement work. The new state-of-the-art theatre, which staged its last show in its old building in June 2016, has announced the first round of acts for when the curtain goes up again at the Corporation Street venue later this year.
The Wizard of Oz kicks off the opening season at Tamworth Assembly Rooms
The long-awaited opening season will kick off in style in 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. The full season of shows and events will be detailed in the coming weeks, but the line-up will include a 25-character Dad's Army show performed by two actors, Britain's Got Talent finalists, an intimate stage play, stars of the West End, the UK's premier wartime act, and Sooty! The opening season will also include a number of popular tribute shows plus the return of popular community groups to the Assembly Rooms.
Alex Farrell to star as Dame Widow Twankey in Aladdin
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, local group Tamworth Voices, and Tamworth Pantomime Company which will be returning this Christmas with Aladdin. Its latest panto flies into Tamworth Assembly Rooms on December 14 until Christmas Eve with a cast featuring a whole host of popular local performers including 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 ambitious project to bring the Assembly Rooms into the 21st century includes a major transformation of the internal layout 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 a 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 space at the front of the new extension to be used for a variety of events such as conferences, art exhibitions, galleries and meetings while, during the evenings, it could be used for smaller events such as open-mic nights, poetry readings and comedy nights. And on busy show evenings, it could be used as a secondary bar area to the main café/bar which is being created on the other side of the building.