Two years after it abruptly locked its doors, live performances return to Peterborough’s Broadway Theatre later this year as leading producer Bill Kenwright announces a season of his touring shows will play at the venue for 12 weeks.
The 1200-seat venue has had a troubled history in recent years. A £9 million conversion saw the former cinema turn into a live performance venue in 2001; however, a devastating fire, attributed to arson, closed the venue in 2009. Three years later, the venue operation was leased to StageLive but, in October 2011, following the departure of several directors, the company was declared insolvent and the venue closed its doors, leaving ticket holders and promoters (including Kenwright) owed thousands of pounds.
In February 2013, the venue owner advertised the venue for sale at a reduced price but now preparations are underway to re-open the theatre for a Bill Kenwright Season, opening with his production of Evita, starring Wet Wet Wet frontman Marti Pellow.
Other shows included in the season include back-to-back weeks of Dreamboats and Petticoats and Save The Last Dance For Me, Will Young in Cabaret, and Tommy Steele in Scrooge, before the season closes with the multi-award winning Blood Brothers.
Speaking on his website, Kenwright explains that he’s pleased to return to the City. “This season is made all the more special by the fact that the people of Peterborough have been deprived of shows at the Broadway for some considerable time.”
The season is being promoted by Peterborough’s arts and leisure provider Vivacity, which also runs the City’s Key Theatre. Vivacity’s Chief Executive, Kevin Tighe, thinks this deal broadens the choice for local theatregoers “We always look to bring quality arts to Peterborough, so this is a great deal for the theatre goers here.”