As the end of 2013 approaches, we have been looking back at the South Holland Centre’s year to share a few meaningful moments and exciting developments.
We recall a few celebrity visitors that were especially memorable, including when the call came offering a date with musician and all round entertainer Suggs… we just had to say ‘YES’ there and then. His performance of Baggy Trousers on the Spalding stage to a packed house was so iconic that, for people of a certain age, it’s sure to be one of the most unforgettable moments of the year.
Michael Portillo was true to form, travelling here by train that is, to talk to a full-house about his career, railways and broadcasting.
And then there was a sell-out date with cheeky Geordie comedian Chris Ramsey (‘Hebburn’ BBC 2). He just loved the venue and, having arrived early, made himself right at home in the café to the delight of customers and staff.
As well as the big names, the year was notable for the increasing popularity of the Centre’s broadcasts of live productions from the National Theatre in London. During the year we extended the range of satellite screenings to include opera from the Glyndebourne Festival; the David Tennant ‘Richard II’ production from the Royal Shakespeare Company; and even the David Bowie exhibition from the Victoria and Albert Museum.
For many, the highlight was a stunning version of ‘Macbeth’ from the Manchester International Festival. Played in a church full of mud, it saw Kenneth Branagh in his first Shakespearean role for several years.
It’s also been a good year for young people at the Centre, with a deepening involvement in the life of the venue. This year we’ve recruited our first young apprentice, Thomas, who is learning marketing and front of house customer service skills. A new youth theatre group ‘Neon’ devised and performed their first original production in June. This is in addition to the many young people and children who have taken to the stage in their amateur and community shows during the year. Meanwhile, we’ve seen the Youth Takeover initiative really taking off with the group arranging an outdoor music festival, monthly music gigs with local musicians and now plans are afoot to cut an EP in the New Year. We’re looking forward to welcoming even more young people to the Centre next year.
So, with more good times and opportunities to come, we wish all readers a happy and peaceful 2014.