A theatre of its own is a class act at Mayfield School, St Annes
A Fylde school is cerebrating the opening of a theatre of its very own – and its headteacher intends it to help pupils learn more about the coast’s rich performance heritage as well as being a platform for shows of their own.
Glyn Denton, who took over as head of Mayfield Primary in St Annes in September 2019, is heavily involved at Blackpool’s North Pier Joe Longthorne Theatre is his spare time and saw the potential in converting a disused former dining room at the school into a performance space.
He enlisted the help of North Pier Theatre manager Denis Askham to mastermind the conversion and the facility was officially opened by members of the cast of The Wizard of Oz, which is being staged at the North Pier next month.
Glyn said: “We are so grateful to Denis for all his expertise. The theatre looks great and the pupils will really benefit from it. It marks an important opportunity as we work to change the landscape and opportunities for our children.
“As well as broadening their horizons and allowing them to perform in a purpose-built stage, it will allow us to directly provide them with a knowledge of the rich cultural heritage on their doorsteps.
“The opening by the Wizard of Oz cast was watched by one older year group and shown via video link to the other pupils and the Year 6 children will shortly be performing their own show, On With The Show, a tribute to the great Blackpool songwriter Lawrence Wright.”
The new facility is called the Mayfield ABC Theatre - a link to the alphabet, which is such a core part of early learning at school as will as a nod to the coast’s theatrical past.
Denis, who is also branch secretary of the Blackpool branch of Equity, the actors’ union, said: “It fills me with great pride to see the lasting impact it will have upon the Mayfield pupils and our community.”
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