Blackfriars set to mark 50 years since opening

Blackfriars Theatre and Arts Centre.

Blackfriars Theatre and Arts Centre.

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Celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of Blackfriars Theatre and Arts Centre, in Boston, begin this week.

It was in October, 1966, when the curtain was finally lifted on the Spain Lane venue, known then as The Little Theatre.

It built on the site of a 13th century Dominican Friary following many years of planning, fundraising and restoration work.

The theatre is run predominantly by volunteers, with the exception of a dedicated stage manager and two part-time positions, a marketing manager and a book keeper.

Blackfriars has several events planned to celebrate its 50th anniversary, starting with a Grand Reunion on Friday from 7pm.

This will mark the opening of the Blackfriars 50th Anniversary Exhibition, a display showing the transformation of the theatre over the 50 years, which will run at the venue until the end of October.

Friday’s event will include a display of additional memorabilia on show, plus nibbles and drinks.

Then next Friday and Saturday, September 16 and 17, the Blackfriars 50th Anniversary Local Society Gala will be staged.

This will include performances from BOS Musical Theatre Group, Boston Playgoers Society, Cutwater Productions, Barbara Brown’s Dance Krazy and Blackfriars Theatre Academy’s Summer School.

The shows will take place at 7.30pm on both days, with a 2.30pm matinee on the Saturday. Tickets are priced at £10.

Then, on Saturday, October 15, to mark Blackfriars’ official anniversary, a 50th Anniversary Professional Gala Performance will take place.

Comedian Sam Avery will act as compere in what is billed as a night of comedy, fun, and music. Tickets for the show, which will begin at 7.30pm, are priced at £15.

A spokesman for the theatre said: “Blackfriars Openly invites everyone near and far to come along to the theatre over the coming months and join in the celebrations.”

For more information, visit www.blackfriarsartscentre.co.uk or call the box office on 01205 363108.