Poster exhibition explores Stevenage theatre’s history
- Credit: Louise Hall
An exhibition of memorabilia from a theatre’s archive has opened in Stevenage.
The team tasked with investigating the Gordon Craig Theatre's unexplored archive will be showing off some of their most intriguing finds in a new free exhibition.
For example, did you know that pantomime tickets at the GCT were once priced just 70p?
The foyer exhibition at the Gordon Craig showcases posters, programmes and brochures from productions in the early decades of the theatre's 44-year history.
It will be a real trip down memory lane for some Stevenage theatregoers.
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The exhibition has been created by the National Lottery Heritage Fund-supported project Stories From The Gordon Craig.
It sets out to uncover the real stories of the theatre and to celebrate the role it has played in the lives of so many local people.
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"We hope the exhibition will bring back some very happy memories of the early days of the Gordon Craig," said Hilary Spiers, chair of Stevenage Arts Guild, instrumental in making the project happen.
"It highlights some of the big changes some of us have lived through.
"My favourite thing is the ticket price for the very first panto at the theatre in December 1975... 70p!"
Volunteers have been trained to work alongside staff at Stevenage Museum in cataloguing and digitising the theatre's extensive archive gathered since the arts centre's opening in November 1975.
They have counted over 3,000 posters in the collection so far.
A new website, also funded by the lottery cash, has gone live and will allow the public to explore the archive.
Visitors to the site - www.TheGordonCraigTheatreArchive.org.uk - can also post their memories of going to see or being involved with productions.
Project volunteer David Irvine said: "The variety and breadth of the entertainment seen at the Gordon Craig over the years has been truly impressive.
"I've been busy scanning historic print material for the website and it's been an almost impossible task choosing posters for the exhibition, but the highlight so far was pushing huge amounts of heavy posters in a shopping trolley from the theatre to the museum through Stevenage town centre."
The poster exhibition at the GCT is part of the Stevenage Festival's 25th anniversary programme of community arts events.
The Stories From The Gordon Craig poster exhibition is in the Gordon Craig Theatre foyer until June 29.
It is free to visit and open from 9am to 6pm, and for evening performances.
Do you have a great story from the Gordon Craig? Email Memories@StoriesFromTheGordonCraig.org.uk