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Tamworth Hastilow Drama Festival

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
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The Show Goes On In Traditional Theatrical Style
Its regular venue may be closed for the next 18 months, but in true theatrical tradition the show must go on. Tamworth Assembly Rooms closed its doors in February for major refurbishment work, so a number of the theatre's regular users will now be going out into the community to perform in alternative locations.

Annual favourites such as Tamworth Drama Festival and Tamworth Arts Club productions will carry on as part of 'Tamworth Assembly Rooms on Tour', both in order to keep audiences entertained and to ensure that the town's arts groups are able to perform while the theatre is extended and modernised.

Tamworth Assembly Rooms
The closure of Tamworth Assembly Rooms is forcing theatre to go on tour

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, Tamworth. The 2016 festival runs for five nights from Tuesday 15 to Saturday 19 March with a series of captivating one-act plays performed by local amateur dramatic groups.

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.

Return to the Forbidden Planet
Return to the Forbidden Planet will be performed in the local community

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, Tamworth, from Tuesday 29 March until Saturday April 2.

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."

Tamworth Assembly Rooms
How the Assembly Rooms should look after the 18 month refurbishment

Tickets for the Tamworth Hastilow Drama Festival are priced at 5 per evening or 20 for the week, with Tuesday evening's performance including opening entertainment by the pupils of Two Rivers School. Tickets are available online here, 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.
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Why? The Show Must Go On As Theatre Takes To The Community
When: 15-19 March 2016
Phone: 01827 709618
Where: Two Rivers High School, Torc Campus, Silver Link Road, Tamworth, Staffordshire B77 2HJ
Cost: Tickets 5 each
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