Theatre raises its curtains on a brand-new state of the art studio space

The thriving multi arts venue in the heart of Chorley, Chorley Theatre has opened a brand-new studio space which will be used for special events, rehearsals, community groups, music, plays, comedy and more.

The grand opening of the space took place on 17 November and the Mayor of Chorley, Councillor Steve Holgate and Libby Burke, who is set to Direct a production of Macbeth in the theatre in March 2022, were on hand to cut the ribbon.

The Studio has a bar area and toilets and is fully accessible throughout. The main area is 12 square metres and designed to be flexible, either with seating for up to 100 people, or standing areas for music events. It means events can be staged ‘in the round’ rather than the traditional proscenium format of the main theatre.

Ian Robinson, Operations Director at Chorley Theatre said, “This a great new room that will add to the events we offer, and to Chorley in general. It’s taken nearly four years to get open, with the last 18 months being a particular struggle.

“We’d like to thank everyone who supported the project, especially Chorley Council, and those who made donations in recent months. We look forward to being able to stage more exciting events and provide even more opportunities for local talent to perform in front of Chorley audiences”

The new studio space sits next door to the theatre on the site of a former Indian restaurant. Chorley Council supported the expansion as part of its investment into the local economy and creative arts by purchasing the derelict unit allowing for the Theatre to occupy the space.

Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council said, “We’re thrilled to have supported the expansion of the Chorley Theatre and it was great to be a part of the grand opening. To have such a vibrant and diverse venue in the town is a wonderful asset and people across the borough have been enjoying performances for generations.

“As a Council we are committed to investing in our local community and to support our local economy to thrive.

“I look forward to seeing how the Theatre uses its new studio space and encourage everyone check out the venue’s up-coming productions.”

The historic Chorley Theatre on Dole Lane first opened its doors in 1910 as a picture house and has been operated by the award-winning Chorley Amateur Dramatic & Operatic Society (CADOS) since the 1960s. They have always staged at least six productions a year at the venue and will now be adding at least four plays in the new Studio.

It is also the home of Chorley Youth Theatre who meet every Saturday, putting on shows throughout the year; and Chorley Empire Cinema, with regular film screenings making the building one of the oldest still-operating purpose-built cinemas in the world.

Over the last decade it has built a reputation for comedy with shows by Jason Manford and John Bishop among others, becoming a regular stop for touring shows.

Chorley Theatre is run by volunteers, with famous former members including Steve Pemberton, from the League of Gentlemen, and Barry Mason, composer of Delilah.

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