Arts T­he­a­t­re gets a wel­co­me re­vamp

George Herald - - NEWS - Pau­li­ne Lou­rens

The Oak­hurst In­su­ran­ce Ge­or­ge

Arts T­he­a­t­re in York Street is cur­rent­ly un­der­going ex­ten­si­ve re­no­va­ti­ons. In the au­di­to­ri­um, se­ats are being reup­hol­ste­red, walls re­pain­ted and the fa­ce­lift is com­ple­ted with new car­pets.

The­se re­no­va­ti­ons are fi­nan­ced and o­ver­seen by Oak­hurst In­su­ran­ce, and are pro­gres­sing well.

The ex­ci­ted t­he­a­t­re ma­na­ger, He­at­her S­te­ad, said t­his week, "The re­no­va­ti­on in­clu­des the re­pain­ting of the dres­sing rooms, g­reen room and kit­che­net­te and the pain­ting and san­ding of the sta­ge floor, all of which will ma­ke a hu­ge dif­fe­ren­ce. We are in­cre­di­bly gra­te­ful to Oak­hurst In­su­ran­ce for their sup­port in re­no­va­ting Ge­or­ge's t­he­a­t­re."

In his book On Look­ing Back on Ge­or­ge, pre­vi­ous mu­seum cu­ra­tor C­har­les Say­ers said that the buil­ding which now hou­ses the t­he­a­t­re was built in 1905. It hou­sed a fi­nis­hing school for gi­rls, kno­wn as "Miss Chris­ti­na's First Class Pu­blic School for Gi­rls". The buil­ding was boug­ht by the Ge­or­ge So­cie­ty of Arts and be­ca­me a t­he­a­t­re in 1969.

S­te­ad said the­re is a per­sis­tent pro­blem with damp in the main au­di­to­ri­um and es­pe­ci­al­ly in the dres­sing rooms, which o­ri­gi­nal­ly ser­ved as the school's hou­se­craft room. "Ac­cor­ding to lo­cal t­he­a­t­re goer Pad­dy Hal­da­ne, the dres­sing room a­rea was last re­no­va­ted a­bout 35 y­e­ars ago."

The t­he­a­t­re's re­o­pe­ning will be ce­le­bra­ted with a mem­bers' e­ve­ning on 27 Oc­to­ber and a ga­la e­ve­ning sche­du­led for 4 No­vem­ber.

The sta­ge has been san­ded, pain­ted and gi­ven a beau­ti­ful se­al. It is a far cry from the s­ta­te of dis­re­pair that it was in be­fo­re the spon­sors step­ped in­to the bre­ach.

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