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Published 8th May 2017

The exterior of Middlesbrough Little Theatre in 1957

Come and explore the history of theatre in Middlesbrough and of Middlesbrough Theatre, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. 

The rare opportunity to take a peek backstage takes place on Wednesday, May 10 as part of this year’s Local History Month celebrations.

At the height of their popularity there were some 20 theatres and music halls in Middlesbrough, but the closure of the last ‘legitimate’ theatre – the Opera House – in the 1920s led to representatives of more than 40 local amateur dramatic societies to consider forming a company to keep theatre alive in the Boro.

From that meeting was born the Little Theatre – renamed Middlesbrough Theatre 20 years ago.

Popular speaker Martin Peagam will outline the history of theatres in the town, from the first regular theatre nearly 160 years go up to the creation of the Little Theatre in 1957.

Ray Burton, Chair of Middlesbrough Little Theatre Ltd - the amateur dramatic society which built the Little Theatre and ran it until the mid-1970s - will talk about the theatre’s history from its inception to the present day.

It is also hoped the evening will feature reminiscences from members of the amateur operatic societies who have been staging productions in the theatre since its earliest days.

An accompanying display of newspaper cuttings and memorabilia - 60 years of Middlesbrough (Little) Theatre – runs until Wednesday, May 31 at Middlesbrough Central Library.

  • All are invited to an informative and entertaining evening of dramatic history on Wednesday, May 10.

Please note there is a £3 admission fee for this event which was incorrectly advertised as free in the Local History Month brochure.

The one-hour event starts at 7.30pm - call 01642 81 51 81 to book.




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