Theatre shows to raise funds for a much-needed canopy

A HYDE theatre is putting on fundraising shows after being left with a four-figure bill to repair damage to its canopy.

And actress Linzi Matthews, who has appeared in Coronation Street, is doing her bit to help Hyde Festival Theatre by giving three solo performances.

Members of the theatre were left stunned when part of the canopy outside the Corporation Street building was ripped off when it was apparently hit by a lorry making a delivery.

That damaged the metal framework, which in turn affected concrete pillars inside the structure.

That means a hefty repair bill for what is a charity, with four figures a conservative estimate.

And if people do not come through the doors for the performances of A Woman Left Lonely, the story of singer Janis Joplin, the consequences could be huge.

Committee member Steve Oliver said: “The community needs to support these shows.

“We’re going through a rebrand in order to attract a younger crowd.

“The theatre works with lots of other societies and as part of that, we’re trying to get the hashtag #supportlocaltheatre going.

“We also work with Hyde Little Theatre, who has started a youth section with about 50 kids.

“They use Hyde Festival Theatre, so if that is not there, there’s nowhere else fir them to go.

“But the building has been damaged a couple of times over the past year. As well as the canopy being struck, the lead was stolen off the roof.”

The theatre is also home to groups from several other organisations, including Romiley Little Theatre, Hyde Musical Society, The Healey School of Theatre Dance and The Rebekah Brown Dance Academy.

Vice-chairman of Hyde Festival Theatre, Daniel Oliver-Grant, added: “A few of us were in the theatre but when we left, half the canopy was hanging off.

“The carbon fibre has been ripped off but also the metal framework has been damaged and some of the concrete holding that on.

“The quotes we’ve had run into four figures and it may even be more. We decided the cheapest way to go would be to replace the whole thing.

“The shows are a necessity to help cover the cost and keep the building going, we need to raise as many funds as we can.”

A Woman Left Lonely sees Linzi perform the play written by Rob Johnston, from an original concept by Peter Wright.

It takes people to the last few months of 1960s icon Janis’ life.

Featuring 14 songs from her back catalogue, this one-woman play takes on the emotional roller coaster that was her life.

Performances are from May 23-25 at 7.30pm and tickets cost £10. Every penny from sales plus all proceeds over the bar will go to the fund to repair the canopy.

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