On Sunday 4 February, our staff swapped tap shoes for football boots in an exhibition match with new LGBTQIA+ team Stargazy FC!

In a celebration of Cornish diversity and inclusion, we headed to Hayle Athletic Football Club for a friendly match, which saw Stargazy grab the spotlight with a commanding 9-3 victory over our theatre part-timers.

Spectators were treated to a pre-match display by The Supernova Cheerleading team from Embrace Dance Fitness led by Jade Stewart-Tribe and Sammy Jo Crocker.

“I bumped into Stargazy FC on Instagram. My team found their story irresistible, and we become immediate friends. At HfC we’re always looking to dismantle barriers and champion diversity through our own work, but here was a Cornish football team doing just that.”

– Julien Boast, CEO of Hall for Cornwall, cheering on from the sidelines

Stargazy FC is an LGBTQIA+ Cornish football team who champion inclusivity right across the Duchy, making it possible for diversity to truly flourish in team sport. Their very existence is proof that there is a space for everyone in Cornwall.

“Everyone at Stargazy FC is always excited to play any match, but playing against our friends from Hall for Cornwall was an extra special occasion. HfC supported the concept of Stargazy from the very beginning, they understand the need for inclusive spaces in Cornwall for LGBT+ people whether that be on the pitch or on the stage and everything in between. The game was a huge amount of fun.”

– Richard Pallott from the Cornwall FA

Julien Boast continues: “We’re open to all and committedly so! With Black Voices Cornwall, Cornwall Pride, Wildworks Theatre and TecWomen already resident in our building, we saw this as an opportunity to build a new partnership and shine a spotlight on an initiative that’s making it possible for an ever-more diverse collection of people to enjoy team sport. Cornwall is diverse, and participatory events like this are a perfect showcase.”

Hall for Cornwall sponsors, DHL, proudly supported the event. Stuart Scott from DHL Express, who partner with HfC’s Get Creative programme added:DHL and Hall for Cornwall promote an inclusive work environment that values the diversity, equality, inclusion and belonging of all their employees and environment in which everybody feels accepted and can be their best self. This fantastic initiative embraces all those key values and goes to the heart of everything we do at DHL.”

A special thank you to DHL as shirt sponsors and Truronian Coaches as official transport provider.

Photos by Hugh Hastings.

City Hall Community Heritage Stories History Music Theatre Truro

‘A Cobra and Basket’: Truro Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society and City Hall

‘A Cobra and Basket’: Truro Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society and City Hall

By Kate Neale

In 1961, the Secretary of the Truro Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society received a letter from London confirming an order of a cobra and basket to be delivered to City Hall. A curious order! But apparently, not an unusual one in the day-to-day running of an ambitious local theatre group.

First formed in 1912, the Society performed in different venues in Truro before settling at City Hall for many of their shows. Originally performing Gilbert and Sullivan operas such as The Pirates of Penzance and Ruddigore, after 1929 the group mainly opted to perform more modern musicals such as Oklahoma!, My Fair Lady and South Pacific.

In 1961 the Society performed Kismet as its fiftieth anniversary show. Kismet originally premiered in 1953 in Los Angeles, before being performed in San Francisco and then at the Stoll Theatre in London’s West End. The story is set in an imagined historic Baghdad, and follows the adventures of a wily poet, and the love affairs of his daughter. The Society’s production at City Hall included a cast of over 40 main performers, additional dancers, and a 24 piece orchestra.

Archive material held at the Cornwall Record Office shows what an undertaking putting on a show such as Kismet could be. The Society arranged for band parts from theatre company Samuel French, scenery and props to be delivered to Truro train station, and of course the cobra and basket from a stage production company in London!

The fiftieth jubilee was an opportunity to showcase the Society, and the Mayor and Mayoress of Truro were invited to attend the performance.  It was also an apt moment for the Society to reflect on its own history; a large souvenir programme, printed by Truro firm Netherton and Worth, included snippets and stories of performances from past years. Former and life members of the society were warmly welcomed back to celebrate the Society’s ongoing work.

City Hall and Hall for Cornwall has been an important venue for Truro Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society over the course of its history. We hope that in its new form, our theatre will continue to be a hub for local creativity for years to come!