It has been a very busy few weeks at Hall For Cornwall. Our building may be closed for our transformation project, but we are working hard to continue to provide Cornish audiences with the opportunity to enjoy world class entertainment.
Over the past month we have helped to bring the wonderful new play Hireth to the stage at St Just and presented Live Screenings of the West End productions of Red and The King and I at Truro ’s Plaza cinema. This included giving audiences the opportunity to hear some of the biggest name from stage and screen talk about how their award winning productions were put together. At the same time members of our youth theatre and youth dance groups took part in the moving Pages of the Sea event and Truro’s City of Light’s parade, and are now busy rehearsing for some forthcoming activities.
Just to add to the excitement we also staged a special event to celebrate our 21st birthday, and are supporting other local venues, including Truro Cathedral and St Mary’s Church in Penzance , to promote their works. Definitely a packed schedule!
This month has seen the completion of the soft strip demolition works in the interior of the upper level of the auditorium, with giant steel beams and other materials removed from the site using specialist equipment. Kier teams have also removed the internal fixtures and fittings in Back Quay, exposing the original stonework along the back wall behind the bar area. This beautiful stone work will form part of the new ope which will provide a pedestrian link between Boscawen Street and Lemon Quay when the building re opens in 2020. Work has also begun on taking down the three lighting galleries on the ceiling of the auditorium area and crews are now soft stripping the former Tourist Information Centre. Kier are also protecting the original granite columns, steps and floors in the Boscawen area from the impact of the building works with plywood.
A huge congratulations to everyone who was involved with staging Hireth at the St Just Miner’s Chapel. It was an incredible production which really brought this little known story of the Cornish miners who left Geevor to dig trenches in the First World War to life. It was fantastic to see such a high level of support for a new play written and produced in Cornwall and we were honoured to play a part in supporting it.
Our Talent Development team are continuing to support professional artists and work with schools and young people to bring arts to local communities across Cornwall. Both our Youth Dance and Youth Theatre companies performed at Perranporth Beach on 11 November as part of the series of special events devised by internationally renowned Director Danny Boyle to mark 100 years since the Armistice and the end of the First World War Boyle. The events saw communities from around the UK gather on beaches to say thank you and goodbye to millions of men and women who left their shores, many never to return. Our young dancers performed a series of new works they had choregraphed on the beach as installations, with members of the senior youth theatre showcasing a specially commissioned poem. This was a very moving experience and it was lovely to see members of our youth companies taking part.
We are always very keen to support local community events. Some of our youth dancers braved the rain, hail and wind to perform a specially choreographed new work as part of Truro’s City of Lights event. This is always a very special evening for Truro and we were so pleased to be able to take part.
We were delighted to welcome multi Tony award-winning director and Cornish resident Michael Grandage to Truro’s Plaza Cinema to talk about directing his production of RED as part of our exclusive season of Stage to Screen Live Theatre Events. Michael has directed many of the biggest names in stage and screen, including Dame Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, Derek Jacobi, Colin Firth and Sheridan Smith, and it was a rare honour to have the opportunity to hear one of the true theatrical greats talk about his work.
Last week the multi-award winning Lincoln Center Theater’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King And I, took centre stage as the Plaza cinema hosted its UK Screening Premiere. We are very grateful to General Manager and Executive Producer, Joanne Benjamin , who came to Cornwall to talk about the show, its history and the role she played in bringing the production to the stage– providing audiences with a once in a lifetime opportunity to talk face to face with one of the West End’s most acclaimed General Managers.
If you missed these events, you can still book tickets to hear award-winning actor, writer and director Simon Callow discuss his much-anticipated production of his one-man theatrical extravaganza and Christmas must see, A Christmas Carol on 10 December. Simon will be taking part in three sessions - a post matinee show talk at 12 midday, a pre-show talk at 1.30pm and 6.15pm ahead of the evening screening of the show.
It was amazing to welcome so many people to our 21st birthday celebration last week. As work takes place to safeguard the future heritage of our building and transform it into a dynamic and high-quality venue, it was fantastic to watch some of the talented performers we have supported and given opportunity to over the years, as well as enjoy performances from our youth theatre and youth dance groups.
With the festive season fast approaching, we are finalising arrangements for members of the public to come along and see the progress being made with our building project. The first hard hat site visits for the public will take place at the end of January and we will be putting information on the dates, together with information on how to book a place on our website in the New Year.