Heaton Park & Hall
14th December 2017
Rosalind Saul, Senior Reporter
"Plans revealed for theatre to be built in Heaton Park, Prestwich"
AFTER bringing colour and art to a North West park, a theatre company has announced plans to make sure the magic continues in the years to come.
Feelgood Theatre Productions has become an established part of Heaton Park and last year pulled in audiences for its production of a Midsummer Night's Dream. Now it has revealed its own dream of building a theatre within the park. At a special event attended by the High Sheriff of Manchester Gerry Yeung OBE, the multi-award winning theatre company unveiled its schedule for 2018 and the vision for its future in Prestwich.
Caroline Clegg, artistic director of Feelgood Theatre, said:
"In 2016, we became a stakeholder and official theatre partner for the park and we have developed a very positive working relationship in the last 16 months, creating four world premieres and six shows.
Our audiences have grown by 50 per cent in just twelve months and we are now looking to introduce a full programme of events for 2018. Our long-term aspiration is to build a theatre within the park, but this is subject to our producing a feasibility study and business plan for consideration by the council and satisfying them that the project is sustainable. We know it will mean hard work, commitment and dedication but like Manchester, Feelgood gets things done."
The company is working in conjunction with Manchester City Council on the plans, which it hopes will come to fruition by 2025. In the meantime plans include a series of shows taking place in eco-friendly ‘pop up’ structures, as well as running internship programmes and opportunities for participants young and old to get involved, as well as continuing to develop a volunteer network with the Friends of Heaton Hall.
This year's schedule includes Marvellous Music at Heaton: A Family Musical Concert in Heaton Hall in Easter, a summer production of Romeo and Juliet (an open air promenade), A Ghost Story of Heaton in autumn and a Christmas Concert and Story Telling.
Manchester council's executive member for schools, culture and leisure, Cllr Luthfur Rahman, added:
"Feelgood Theatre have interpreted the beautiful setting of Heaton Park and Hall to create a series of performances which have enthralled people of all ages, so we're pleased that they have now set out their new programme of events for 2018. We will work closely with them to examine whether their long-term vision of creating a theatre within the park can be achieved."