About Rotherham Theatres
Rotherham Civic Theatre opened to the public on 7 March 1960. The building as it stands today had a vibrant history long before the curtain was raised on that first night. Many of you will know that the building is a converted church and was purchased by the Council prior to being converted into a theatre in 1960.
The first night’s production, Pride and Prejudice performed by Rotherham Rep (who are still going strong), must have been a very exciting and electrifying evening. Many things have changed since that opening night, such as computerised box office systems, online booking, radio microphones and intelligent lights. But what has remained over the last 50 years is the vitally important part amateur groups play in the theatre’s success. It is a testament to their popularity and strength in the town that many of the societies still perform regularly today at the Civic Theatre.
Numerous professional theatre companies have also graced the stage at the Civic. Some people may not know that the world-famous Alan Ayckbourn ended his acting career on our very own stage before becoming the successful playwright that he is today. Other famous faces who have appeared over the years include Honor Blackman, Suranne Jones, The Chuckle Brothers, Ken Dodd, Brian Blessed, Penelope Keith, Joe Pasquale, John Savident and more recently, Elkie Brooks, Midge Ure and Cannon and Ball to name but a few.
We estimate that during 50 years the theatre has had approximately 4 million visitors, hosted thousands of performances and served over 750,000 cups of tea and coffee. Staff, customers and performers have come and gone over the last 50 years but, for those of you who have visited and worked at the Civic, I’m sure the theatre has provided many lasting memories. The fabric of the building seems to somehow retain all the fun, laughter and tears of all those visitors who have spent memorable evenings in this unique place.