The grand re-opening of the The Royal Court Theatre Bacup was a festivity of family fun and clearly brought the locals out to join in the celebrations to breathe new life into the historic building.

This building first opened on the 18th of September1893 as the Royal Court Theatrewith a Grand Opening Night production of 'Fast Mail'. The Theatre was known as the Empire in the 1900s then the New Court Theatre in 1909and although the auditorium originally had two balconies the upper circle was removed in 1948, reducing the seating capacity to 500.

The Theatre has gone through many changes over the years and like so many others has had a period in use as a Bingo Hall, and less usually even a church. Happily the Theatre, now called the Royal Court once more is back running as a theatre.

Today held a plethora of activities to entertain the locals with face painting and photographic opportunities using theatre props dominating the entrance and box office area. The bar area was also bursting at the seams as the local community had the opportunity to enjoy a hot brew and a slice of homemade cake.

Bacup Youth Theatre Society (BYTES) were eager to entertain the attenders and was beautifully opened by Guy Gibbs a young talented singer who boomed out “razzle dazzle em” followed by Charlotte singing a high school musical song. Sadly just as the singing was taking off the main fuse box of the theatre blew and the singing had to be abandoned. This didn’t disappoint too much as the atmosphere of the event was oozing with local community spirit in a building that screamed out a long history of entertainment. The many theatrical posters and photographs that decorated the walls which went back as far as November 1935 showing the cast of Quaker girl in all their finery, added to the ambience and where worth travelling up the M66 to see.

The organisers of the event where astounded by the turn out of people as every part of the building palpated with the buzz of people. The bouncy castle on the stage and the theatre tour seemed a little unorganised yet the day clearly was a success to re-open this magnificent theatre. The upholstery of the chairs was well worn in the gallery but gave a genuine feel of history as each fold up chair was decorated with a plaque of a name of a person who had appreciated and sponsored the theatre.

Overall the event seemed to be a huge success in the theatres grand reopening ready for the production of Beauty and the Beast that is running from the 15th January to the 24th January 2016. On behalf of NWE reviewers I’d like to wish them all the best for the future as their enthusiasm and passion for the reopening was heart-warming to see.

Reviewed: Victoria Wilmot

Reviewed: 9th January 2016