The Friends of the Grand had a great day at Doncaster Business Showcase last week (25th February). A big event, very well organised. We had a great response and some very valuable support and help with regard to a way forward for the Grand. We were so busy we had to restock membership forms by lunch time.
Dates for upcoming events in 2016 are now available on the Events page. With the Doncaster Business Showcase at Doncaster Racecourse being the first entry in our 2016 diary, so come along and talk to us on Thursday 25th February 2016 between 10am and 4pm.
For some of our upcoming events we would welcome any gifts for use in Tombola's, if you can help please contact Margaret Herbert on 01302 881299.
The Friends would like to apologise to members for the delays with membership letters and cards. This has been due to the sudden departure of our Membership Secretary to another part of the Country. However this position has now, very kindly, been taken over by a very competent lady who will shortly be making contact.
The Friends of the Grand and the Doncaster Grand Theatre Trust are still very much in pursuit of the theatre and receive endless requests to get the theatre open again, especially as the London theatre companies are now branching out with their companies to towns and cities away from London. The Grand will, we are told by our Consultant, seat 900/1000 - it previously seated 1,300. Also it is town centre, there are, 1,700 car parking spaces over the Frenchgate with 24 hr security and it adjoins the Interchange.
As many of us have to go to Leeds, Sheffield, and Bradford to see the big shows, we spend the day there, spend money there, when we should be doing this in our own town and increasing the footfall of the shopping centre itself. Hopefully the Owners will now begin to realise this.
This fine Victorian Theatre has been awarded Grade II listing by English Heritage, and quite right too.
The Grand Theatre was designed by John Priestley Briggs in 1899, who had previously worked for Frank Matcham, an architect, considered by many to be the master of British Theatre design. For those of you who may not have seen inside the Grand Theatre for some time, or indeed never before, our photographs clearly show its past splendour, but most importantly, its incredible potential. The Grand will seat approximately 800 and will host the larger middle scale productions including Musicals and Drama, Orchestras, Opera and Ballet, without the need of significant additional subsidy. Our research confirms that there are hundreds of theatre patrons, both in Doncaster and the wider region, who travel to cities such as Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford, Manchester, Nottingham and Hull to see big names and big productions. It is our ambition that the Grand Theatre will be able to offer them an unrivalled theatrical experience right here in the heart of Doncaster. The restoration of the Grand Theatre and Opera House will be our statement of intent for this town's commitment to live theatre in this new millennium. Please come and join us in our quest and help us restore this fine Victorian Theatre for the next generation. You can be one of those people who can stand up and say; I helped to make this project become Doncaster's 'JEWEL IN THE CROWN'. The newly renovated Grand Theatre will be adjacent to the multi million pound Frenchgate Centre, with direct access through the centre itself with 1400, 24 hour secure parking spaces. There is also undercover access from the new transport interchange where you can catch all local buses and trains. This means that within minutes of your arrival you can be within the theatre.