Theatre Royal’s 150th anniversary season is unveiled

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Two Nottingham chorus girls, who trod the boards together at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal in the 1940s and ’50s, were among those who celebrated the launch of the theatre’s 150th birthday celebrations.

The two friends, Cherise Crewe (née Hutton) and Gillian Haywood (née Widdowson), joined local dignitaries, theatre representatives and actor Christopher Biggins, who plays Widow Twankey in this year’s pantomime Aladdin, to remember the theatre’s rich history – and to look forward to a new programme of shows.

Cherise and Gillian, who are both 82, first performed together in 1948. As chorus girls they appeared alongside stars such as Julie Andrews, Tony Hancock, Dame Vera Lynn and Laurel and Hardy – and described all of them as ‘lovely people’.

Cherry and Gillian at the Theatre Royal.

Cherise and Gillian with their collection of autographs.

One of the highlights of the upcoming season is a brand new interpretation of the Robin Hood story. Hood, which is a collaboration between the theatre at local theatre company New Perspectives, follows our folklore hero through the past 150 years of Nottinghamshire’s history, from robbing the rich on a Victorian steam train in 1865 to a disturbance in present day Sherwood Forest. Written by some of the region’s leading writers, it runs from 17th to 26th September.

The theatre is also reprising a production of Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s biting social satire The School for Scandal. The play was the theatre’s first show in 1865 and for this revival the action will take place around the building before culminating on the main stage.  The play opens on 8th September for a five-day run and early booking is recommended.

Join in the laughter with Ken Dodd’s Happiness Show which comes Nottingham on 20th September. Ken’s career spans nearly 60 years – and it all began in 1954 at the Empire Theatre, the smaller theatre which stood next to the Theatre Royal.

Over the coming months, audiences can also look forward to a golden ticket competition, in which £3,000-worth of prizes will be given away, and a series of open days. There will also be specially-designed merchandise on sale.

For more details the upcoming celebrations, or if you want to share your memories, visit the Theatre Royal website. You can also join in the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag .

Posted on 28 March 2015
Featured author: Catherine Allen Marketing Assistant

Arts fan, runner and cyclist who has been living in Nottingham for more than a decade. Loves real ale, craft beer, good food, travelling and sausage dogs.

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