Peterborough’s former Broadway Theatre is set to re-launch under the new management of Selladoor Worldwide – one of the UK’s leading touring theatre producers and no. 38 in The Stage 100’s 2019 list of most influential people working in the performing arts industry
The theatre will re-open its doors from September 2019 as the Peterborough New Theatre, and joins The Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe, and Queen’s Theatre, Barnstaple, under the operation of Selladoor Venues, alongside the Pavilion Theatre, Blackpool, in partnership with the Blackpool Entertainment Company.
The New Theatre’s inaugural season will include two of Selladoor’s hit touring productions, Avenue Q and Madagascar The Musical, alongside Adam Spiegel Productions’ The Mousetrap, and Prime Pantomimes’ The Wizard of Oz, with further productions to be announced in due course.
Peterborough philanthropist Peter Boizot spent £9m of his own money to recreate the beautiful 1930’s Art Deco building as a cornerstone of Peterborough cultural life. Following several attempts to breathe new life into the building in recent years, The Dawe Charitable Trust took over the lease of the building and has invested a further £1m to make The New Theatre central to the life of all Peterborough’s communities.
Selladoor Worldwide’s production of Avenue Q was previously programmed to run at the venue in March 2019 before the theatre was sadly forced to close. Selladoor is now delighted to be able to finally bring the show to the theatre, and will contact customers who had previously booked tickets for Avenue Q but were not given the opportunity to enjoy the show and did not receive a refund. Selladoor will offer to honour these tickets for the week of the show’s run from 24 – 28 September.
David Hutchinson, CEO, Selladoor Worldwide said, “We’ve been working closely with the trust since the collapse of the previous administration, to find a viable future for this beautiful venue. It’s clear that Peterborough deserves a number one venue for larger scale work. There is fantastic local support for this building and I am truly delighted to add the newly renamed Peterborough New Theatre to the Selladoor Venue portfolio. Our mission remains, to produce and present quality diverse, daring and dynamic work. And our new Peterborough home will present so many opportunities to bring thrilling theatre and live events to the city. We clearly have some work to build trust, following the unfortunate collapse of previous managers. We don’t underestimate that task. But we’re leading with a number of our own largest productions – one of which, Avenue Q, was a victim of the recent collapse. We have confidence that the Peterborough New Theatre can be a building of local and national importance.”
Dr Peter Dawe, OBE, The Dawe Charitable Trust, said, “Having Selladoor Worldwide, a professional theatre management company, take over the running of the Peterborough theatre is what my team has been working for since we took over. My team especially Vijju Churchman and Tarba Gill have worked tirelessly to make the theatre an attractive commercial proposition. The reward is that Peterborough, for the first time in decades, will enjoy top acts, performances and theatre on a regular basis. The Dawe Charitable Trust will continue to support the theatre in the years to come.”
Tom Stickland, Theatres Trust said, “The [Peterborough New Theatre] is a venue with extraordinary potential. It has been on our Theatres at Risk register since 2016 when it was threatened with redevelopment into flats. Having campaigned to save the theatre building, Theatres Trust is delighted that it has now found an operator in Selladoor that can bring experience of theatre nationwide, to make sure that the people of Peterborough can enjoy quality large scale theatre and ensure the building continues to be protected.”
As well as the main auditorium, Selladoor Worldwide will be rejuvenating the exceptional front of house spaces and bringing them back to life. They will be introducing delicious food offers, with friendly bar service and a welcoming place to relax before the show, making the New Theatre a one-stop-venue for a great night out. The wonderful Broadway Suite will be reborn with speciality dining events, live music nights and fabulous opportunities for private hire.
Keen to be an important centre for the city, and integrate with the community, the theatre will be welcoming local volunteers to be a part of the New Theatre family. There will be opportunities to assist with customer visits, special events and marketing, all enhancing the customer experience and giving the chance for those with a passion for the arts to get involved.