Monday, 22 October 2012

A Worthwhile Tour

One Friday afternoon in June 2012 I decided to do a tour of The Grand Theatre in Leeds.  I had meant to participate in one but it was always hard to secure a place because of it's popularity. I was very lucky to have secured a place when I had booked the preceeding week.

It cost me 5 gbp (July 2012) and the tour approximately takes an hour. We were taken to the Dress Circle Foyer and that part of the auditorium. We had an opportunity to marvel at the interior including the Burmantofts tiles.

Afterwards we take taken backstage to prompt corner, the scenery bridge and fly bridge itself and got to appreciate what needs to be done for a production to run smoothly. The Grand is mainly a receiving theatre for shows although they have two in house theatre companies, Opera North and Northern Ballet.

We learnt of the resident ghost, 'Lady Lavender' who resides in one of the boxes (Box D). I don't believe in ghosts or consider myself superstitious but if you do there you are!

The Grand was constructed in 1877 and took 13 months to complete. The Upper Class wanted somewhere where they could flaunt their social hierarchy and the theatre was a perfect opportunity. The city's other theatres and music halls were beneath their "station". The social hierarchy attitude of the theatre allowed separate entrances for both the upper and working classes and people of both classes were not allowed to sit together. For example, the Dress Circle was totally off limits to the working class even if they could afford to upgrade. Eventually patrons of all classes became unified at the theatre through the ability for one to pay for any seat in the house.

The theatre had undergone a transformation during 2006 in which since then can hold bigger theatre productions such as Phantom in August 2012 (which is arriving at the theatre by 20 lorries!)

Sunday, 21 October 2012