An open morning at Lowther Pavilion proved a big success – so much so that it could become a regular event.
Around 200 people took the opportunity to see behind the scenes at the Lytham theatre - and find out more about plans to refurbish the venue under a proposed £5.25m three-phase scheme intended to be complete in time to mark Lowther’s centenary in 2021.
A public appeal entitled Love Lowther, to generate cash towards the initial phase of the work, has already topped £300,000 and plans for the development of the foyer and café areas are to go forward for consideration by Fylde Council this spring, with the hope that the venue will be closed for as brief a time as possible while initial aspects of the revamp get under way.
Lowther general manager Roger McCann, who conducted tours along with the venue’s operations manager Iain Orr, said: “The open morning was really successful and we plan to repeat it, probably twice a year.
“We had about 200 people during the morning and we wanted them to know what it feels like to be a performer on the stage at Lowther, so the tours began in the dressing room where visitors heard a bit about the history of the theatre. “They were then called onto the stage, where they learned about various aspects, including how the scenery works and how actors know where to stand.
“The stage manager then gave the warning to ‘stand by’ and they were plunged into darkness before the curtains opened to full light and sound with an audience cheering.
“After a short talk about other theatre traditions and superstitions, they went up to the lighting box to see the whole thing from the other side, as the next tour party took their place on the stage.
“People are always fascinated by how theatre works. Our job is to make it seem as simple as possible so this was a great opportunity to see how much work and how many people are involved in the simplest operation, such as opening the front curtain and lighting the stage.
“While the tours were going on, children were entertained in the Studio with storytelling by Miss Spellbound, who encouraged the youngsters to dress up and create their own.
“Visitors were also able to look at the plans for the development of the building and Andy Wolfe, the architect, was on hand to answer questions.”
Details of the Love Lowther appeal at www.lowtherpavilion.co.uk or from (01253) 794221.