- Date: 3 October 2013
- Area: North
Opening of Cast. Credit: narobinsonphotography.co.uk
Cast, Doncaster's new theatre, opened its doors on Friday 6 September welcoming over 6,000 people during the weekend - double the expected number. Cast is the flagship element of Doncaster's new £300 million Civic and Cultural Quarter and is jointly funded by Arts Council England and Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council. Cast is one of the Arts Council's National portfolio organisations and it has also received support through our National Lottery funded capital programme.
The weekend began with A Cast of Thousands, a spectacular outdoor performance created by Yorkshire-based theatre company Slung Low, also an Arts Council National portfolio organisation. A Cast of Thousands revealed three parables based on the power of the arts and how they have and will continue to transform Doncaster. The opening celebrations also featured legendary jazz musician Dennis Rollins, the first live performance of the anthem It's Our Time written especially for the opening event by critically acclaimed Doncaster-based folk duo Rita Payne, and huge fire-breathing monsters and musicians on the roof. The festivities continued with the opening of the theatre's inaugural production The Glee Club. Set in Doncaster and written by the town's leading playwright Richard Cameron, it follows the lives of six miners from Edlington in the summer of 1962.
Kully Thiarai, Director of Cast commented, 'We are delighted that so many people turned out for the opening. It is hoped that Cast further enhances Doncaster's cultural offer and this weekend we got a glimpse of how real and powerful the arts can be in bringing together a community and creating a sense of occasion. We are grateful that Arts Council England continues to support us.'
Pete Massey, Acting Director North, Arts Council England said, 'The opening of Cast is a magnificent achievement which Doncaster Council, the board and staff of Cast and the people of Doncaster should be immensely proud of. Arts Council England's mission is Great art for everyone and this project is its perfect embodiment.'
Cast's first season continues with celebrations of the best performers and performance companies from across the Yorkshire region including Clare Teal, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Hope and Social, and Music In The Round as well as a homegrown pantomime, Cinderella, which will be directed by Kully Thiarai with material from Fine Time Fontayne. Full details can be found on the Cast website.