Grove Park Theatre
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Grove Park Theatre Wrexham

About us » The Little Theatre

Building The Little Theatre

At about this time a committee was formed to consider securing a more permanent theatre in which the society could present its productions, and in 1948 two major events took place. The supporter membership was founded with a performance of Our Town by Thornton Wilder, and the search for our own theatre began in earnest. However, it was not until 1954 that the present building was purchased.

At the annual general meeting of the society in May 1954 it was agreed to purchase the old Masonic Hall (latterly the YWCA), to be vested in the society’s Trustees and converted into the Little Theatre, the foyer and dressing rooms to be added later.

In April 1955 a grand farewell party was held at the Hut, which had done sterling service for nearly 20 years.

The task of designing and building the Little Theatre was accomplished by the members of the society. Such varied jobs as assembling and fixing seats, bricklaying, carpentry, construction of toilets, erecting girders, drainage, electrics, plumbing and painting were achieved by the resourcefulness, initiative and experience of volunteer members, and with few labour costs.

Brought The House Down With A Hammer newspaper cutting - The Leader September 17 1954

The ladies brewed thousands of cups of tea and prepared endless snack meals, and many of them were involved in building jobs as well.

Emlyn Williams, who was by now patron of the society, knocked out the first stone, and on 21 November 1954 there was a Grand Gala opening of the theatre with three one-act plays: The Twelve Pound Look by JM Barrie, Riders to the Sea by JM Synge, and Day In, Day Out by Eric Salmon.

By the late 1950s a full season of six plays was being produced, and in 1960 the first children’s play was presented - The Heartless Princess - although it was not until 1981 that the first real pantomime (Cinderella) was staged.

Through the sixties and seventies the theatre settled into full-length productions of major works such as Ring Round the Moon, Under Milk Wood, The Glass Menagerie (which was taken to Cardiff to celebrate the investiture of the Prince of Wales), All My Sons, Major Barbara, Much Ado About Nothing, Uncle Vanya, Lady Windermere’s Fan, Private Lives, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Hedda Gabler and more, each running for nine performances.

Supporter membership increased, and improvements were made to the theatre facilities in 1966 when the present lounge, kitchen and bar were added.

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