Illston-on-the-Hill WI – Oct ’23

Mike Bull from the Little Theatre gave a presentation at our last meeting, ‘The Little Theatre Past and Present’.

What a very interesting talk it was too. The building is a former Reckabite Chapel which has been greatly altered and extended over the years. The building suffered a devastating fire in the mid 1950s (caused by vandals) and much of the building was destroyed. 

On average each production involves some 75 people including actors, directors, back stage staff, front of house staff, wardrobe, scenery and many more. This is something I certainly did not appreciate when sitting watching from the auditorium.

The theatre boasts several patrons, the most famous being the late Lord Richard Attenborough and Sir Anthony Hopkins. During Covid, like so many other organisations, their income became almost nil. Funds are always required and are raised partly from a large costume hire department (ready for your next fancy dress party), a Youth Group, acting workshops, and of course by giving talks! It is also the home of local amateur operatic companies, hosts the One Act Festive, and the Leicester Comedy Festival each February. Seating 350 people and welcoming over 30,000 visitors each year, it is predominantly run by volunteers.

There are lots of areas – other than acting – where people can help and they will always be made welcome. The annual pantomime is held around Christmas each year.

Oh yes it is!!!!!

Jane Shute