TOWIE stars and the cast of Rita, Sue & Bob Too! performed the official opening of the new box office at St Helens Theatre Royal.
Amy Childs and Harry Derbidge joined Darren Day and Crissy Rock as well as the theatre staff, to cut the ribbon and celebrate the grand opening of the smart new box office which is ultra-modern, stylish and spacious featuring the theatre’s new branding.
Theatre manager Chantelle Nolan is thrilled with the new-look box office. She said: “The old box office had stayed the same for as long as I have been involved with the theatre and was in desperate need of a make-over!
“We invested the restoration levy funding from ticket sales into designing a new box office which took seven weeks to complete. The building took place over the summer holidays which is our quietest period, in order to cause the minimum disruption to our patrons.
“I am delighted with the result. The new box office is much more stylish and light and airy with lots of glass. We have created more space so we can recruit a new member of box office staff. Booking and collecting tickets will now be much quicker and efficient.”
Opening the new box office was a proud moment for Chantelle and her family who took over in 1998.
Company director, Jane Joseph explained: “I got involved after I staged a pantomime Peter Pan there. It was then owned by a charitable trust and run by a religious movement.
“Then in 1999, the trust contacted me to let me know the lease was up and asked me if I was interested in taking it over. Straight away I thought ‘ooh yes!’ but little did we know what a struggle it would be...
“My husband owns a successful construction business which gave us the financial support to take over the venue and we have slowly rebuilt it bit by bit. We have put our heart and soul into making the Theatre Royal a success and every penny we make we plough back into the business.”
A true family business, Jane’s daughter Chantelle took over the running of the theatre in 2010 and has devoted all her time and energy into putting it on the map – staging top quality shows from comedies and ballets to dramas and musicals, such as Blood Brothers and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
As well as acting as a springboard for local talent and showcasing local amateur groups, the Theatre Royal now attracts big stars such as the recent cast of Rita, Sue & Bob Too! which includes West End star Darren Day and Benidorm comedian Crissy Rock. Other big names to tread the St Helens’ boards include John Bishop, Dave Spikey and Ray Quinn but to name a few.
And the theatre has its own production company Regal Entertainments Ltd which regularly stages top class shows.
As well as a new box office is planning to refurbish the Slipper Bar and the merchandise booth in the foyer.
Chantelle added: “We’ve come such a long way since we took the theatre over so it’s a very proud moment for us to open the new box office. It wouldn’t have been possible without our audiences’ help – so from myself and everyone at the theatre a huge thank you!
“So far we’ve had great feedback from our audiences who have commented that the new box office looks so much better. We look forward to welcoming theatregoers who haven’t seen it yet so come over and say hello and while you’re here, take a look at the fabulous line-up of entertainment we have in store!”