SPILSBY Theatre’s illustrious history tells a rich and colourful tale befitting the most dramatic of performances.
However if it were not for an heroic last minute intervention, the latest chapter could so easily have become a final tragedy.
A little over a year ago the theatre’s curtains closed mysteriously with no sign of an encore.
Thankfully, last autumn a drama company that had previously performed upon its stage offered support to the charity that owns it - the Dandelion Trust.
Jane Scott and Bruce Knight from the Theatre of Now began the laborious process of resurrecting the theatre to its former glory.
Quickly the pair were inundated with offers of assistance from the grateful locals who were keen to see new life breathed into the historic building.
With preparations nearing completion for its fully fledged reopening in April, Jane and Bruce invited the Standard to take a look around.
From its imposing outward appearance the theatre assumes an almost regal stance that until recent attention from green fingered locals remained cloaked in overgrown vegetation.
Other efforts from Jane, Bruce and local craftsman have also seen the stage repaired and decades of forgotten remnants from past performances cleared away.
Vestiges of even earlier eras have been incorporated with the theatre’s current use, with former jail cells now providing the performers ‘dressing rooms.
Countless villains met their comeuppance there after its construction as a house of correction in 1824.
And subsequent years as a magistrates court saw courtroom dramas played out to audiences of judges and juries within its stately architecture.
It was not until 1984 that it became the town’s one and only theatre, taken on by special effects wizard Phil Stock, whose many credits include Stanley Kubrick’s epic “2001: A Space Odyssey”.
Currently small events and workshops are held in the intimate surroundings of the theatre bar but from April 1 a full listing of shows have been scheduled for the main stage.
Starting with a fitting performance of the Fool on April Fool’s Day the theatre will play host to everything from big band renditions through improvised one man shows to Shakespearean plays.
Jane and Bruce are keen to involve the local communities as much as possible and would like to hear suggestions for forthcoming events and performances.
To find out more about listings or to raise an idea visit www.spilsbytheatre.org.uk or call the box office on 01790 752936.