After the Railway Children, Sue has a new platform for success as she builds Letchworth’s arts and theatre standing
- Credit: Archant
An award-winning producer with a track record of West End success – including the current smash The Railway Children which has featured a string of young performers from North Herts – has been named as the lynchpin of Letchworth’s ambitious new arts strategy.
Sue Scott Davison has been appointed creative programmer for the new theatre and studio based around the redeveloped Broadway cinema and nearby arts centre.
She has already started work in the role funded by Letchworth Garden City Foundation, which has a strategy to make the town a major centre for the arts in the years ahead.
Sue, who lives in the town and is already familiar to many in the arts arena from her long-running project, as yet unrealised, to stage A Night Before Christmas as a community arts venture in the town centre, said: “To be opening any new theatre is exciting, but to do so in such a beautiful, community-minded building is a tremendous opportunity.
“The challenge with every new space is how to develop an audience, but the success of the live screenings at the Broadway Cinema have proven there is a desire for quality performance on which to build.
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“To be charged with providing the town and around with a diverse schedule of theatre, comedy and music is daunting, but as this will be the first fully-programmed, professional theatre space in the area, the advantages are considerable.”
The new Broadway Theatre will be taking shape next year and should be open for business in the autumn.
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Sue, who is now putting together plans for the first season, will also overseeing a new studio space in the cinema building, the Broadway Studio, which opens in February.
The theatre plans follow the success of live events and screenings of National Theatre and Royal Opera House productions, which regularly sell out in all four screens at the Eastcheap cinema.
Foundation chief executive John Lewis said: “Live screenings have proved such a success we know there is an appetite for more great arts events in the town.
“We’ll still show mainstream films but creating a theatre will allow us to bring in larger touring shows, live music and comedy as well.”
The Foundation is also refurbishing the town’s arts centre, with work on the studio and gallery to allow a broader range of exhibitions. A new visual arts creator has been appointed to work with local schools and the community, as well as professional artists from around the world.
You can follow the progress of the project online at Work on transforming the arts centre is now under way, and updates are being posted online at www.buildingbroadway.com.