By ThePlayhouse at 13:56 on 04/09/12
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The Playhouse Theatre in Weston-super-Mare is throwing its doors open to allow the community the tour behind the scenes.
On Sunday September 23, the High Street theatre will stage an open day with illustrated talks and conducted tours led by the Friends of the Playhouse.
The aim of the day is for residents and tourists to Weston to learn more about the history of the 664-seat venue and to see how it operates today as the main theatre for North Somerset.
Freda Johnston, Friend of The Playhouse theatre, said: "This is something we do every year and we usually average about 300 visitors on the day.
"It is very interesting as people can learn about the theatre's history, look backstage and at all the props."
The Weston-super-Mare venue puts on around 300 professional and amateur shows a year from music, drama and children's shows to comedy, ballet and opera.
It has full disabled access and services including wheelchair access to the auditorium, an infra-red hearing system and audio described and signed performances for certain shows.
The original theatre dates back to 1946 when it first opened its doors but sadly it was destroyed on August 21, 1964, after a fire broke out destroying all but the front and side walls, both of which were unsafe and had to be subsequently demolished.
At the time it was described in the press as 'The worst fire in Weston since the Second World War'.
A £230,000 rebuild programme was started and The Playhouse Theatre was re-opened in 1969.
For the first time Weston had a theatre that could easily stage a wide variety of productions, from ballet and music to opera and drama.
Over the years The Playhouse has seen many major stars in its time - Frankie Howerd, Ken Dodd, Bob Monkhouse, Leslie Crowther, Brian Rix, Dickie Henderson, Terry Scott, Richard Todd, Peter Graves, Cecily Courtneidge and Jack Hulbert to name but a few.
To get a chance to see inside the theatre and learn more about its rich history attend the free opening day on September 23.
Doors open 10am with the last tour beginning at 3.30pm. Tours of six people or more may be booked in advance.
For more information contact the Box Office on 01934 645 544 or visit the website http://tinyurl.com/ckzqxvr
Date: Sunday, September 23, 2012
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