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Milton Rooms' sell-out premiere sets tone for year
THE success of a play premiered at the Milton Rooms has given the venue a renewed impetus.
With every seat at every performance of A Christmas Fair sold, artistic directors Garry Cooper and Nick Bagnall say they have been given the assurance they needed that there is an appetite there for the facility.
Tickets were snapped up by theatre-goers from around the country as national coverage was given to the premiere of the play by award-winner writer Jim Cartwright.
Jim was invited to visit the Milton Rooms by Garry and Nick and was so struck by the building he came up with the idea for the play which would fit into its ‘grand space’.
Jim said: “It was incredible working with the team at the Milton Rooms and bringing the show to Malton.
“The enthusiasm of everyone has been incredible and everyone has worked so well together to bring the show to life. It was a fantastic experience and who knows? Perhaps next year we can do it again.”
Garry said they had received fantastic feedback and interest from national newspapers and radio.
“We could have run the play for another week and have had fantastic feedback. Everyone really loved the show. It all went so well and exceeded all our expectations,” he said.
“Before we did A Christmas Fair we didn’t really know if there was an appetite locally for plays but seeing every seat taken and proved that there is and it is what people want.”
Garry said it had been amazing working with Jim and the cast – Ian Bartholomew, Virginia Denham, Helen George, Gareth Pierce and Julian Firth.
“I’ve received enquiries from around the country asking about the play with people travelling from outside the area to see it. This has really helped to put the Milton Rooms on the map in a much bigger way than before,” he said.
“People have been in contact whom I haven’t heard from in years asking about the venue and what our plans are.”
Garry said they were now putting together a programme for the coming year as well as continuing to work with the Prince’s Regeneration Trust (PRT).
Last year the PRT threw its weight behind the venue and it is now working to support and source funds for the ongoing project to revive the Milton Rooms.
“We will continue to work closely with the PRT for the development of the Milton Rooms as a centre for the arts in Ryedale,” Garry added.
“In addition, we are looking forward to the coming year and what promises to be an exciting programme for 2013.”
This Friday, Malton and Norton Musical Theatre’s annual panto gets underway with the return of the popular classic Cinderella.
Next month sees the critically-acclaimed production of My Arms from the Box of Tricks theatre on Friday, February 1 and the following night guitarist Richard Durrant, hailed as ‘one of the world’s most accomplished and experimental players’.
The popular Tea and a Tale returns on Sunday, February 3 at 5pm with this year’s readings including works by Chekhov, DH Lawrence, William Trevor and Patricia Highsmith.
Ryedale Special Families will also be hosting the tribute band Abba Gold on Saturday, February 23, the latest of a series of successful fundraising concerts for the charity.
For more information and tickets contact the Milton Rooms on 01653 600048 or visit www.themiltonrooms.com