Curtain up for 2015 reopening

Tameside Hippodrome, 29 March 2008: Last Night
“The Reports of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated…” – Mark Twain. Professional theatre is set to return to Tameside next year.

It gives me great pleasure to announce the return of professional theatre to the Tameside area. Dominating the front page of this week’s Tameside Reporter is news of the Tameside Hippodrome’s reopening. The theatre, closed since 2008, is set to reopen in 2015 – 111 years since its original opening – and 39 years since its reopening for live theatre.

Enthusiasts from The Hippodrome Ltd have reached an agreement with Tameside MBC with the non-profit company footing the bill for asbestos stripping. Also part of their plans is the purchase of the former Blue Sea Restaurant. This will be converted into a gallery and café offering a revenue stream outside of performance dates.

Keith Dalby-Oldham, head of The Hippodrome Ltd stated that Tameside Hippodrome could have “226 live performances pencilled in for the first six months”, if they managed to open in October 2015.

With the theatre needing refurbishment, Mr. Dalby-Oldham is appealing for volunteers and supporters. You can do the honourable thing by joining their Facebook page which is ‘FOH – Friends of the Hippodrome’ or by following them on Twitter (@thehippUK).

This move cannot come soon enough. Much as I like visiting other theatres in the Greater Manchester area, there’s nothing more gratifying than taking a short bus trip to see a first class show. Or leaving the Oldham Road venue in a cab with change from a £10 note and enough for a last pint near home.

S.V., 18 September 2014.

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