Curtain set to go up on Maidenhead school's new theatre

The curtain is set to finally go up at a Maidenhead school’s new theatre with a VIP performance this month to mark its official opening.

Building work on the state-of-the-art space at Furze Platt Senior School was completed in May 2020 during the first lockdown.

The school was originally planning to open the theatre in autumn 2020, but instead used the space as a COVID-19 school testing centre in March last year.

Since then, the theatre has been used for assemblies and exams, but the school now wants to thank the people who have donated via a previous crowdfunding campaign which helped fit out the space.

The Royal Borough council built the space as part of its school expansion programme, along with the English and science blocks, at a cost of about £9million.

Governors of the school provided most of the funding towards fitting out of the theatre, with a crowdfunding campaign raising the final £34,000 needed to create the performance space.

The curtain is now set to rise on the theatre with a VIP performance of musical Matilda Jr in February.

Companies and individuals who donated significant sums are joining head teacher Dr Andrew Morrison, staff and governors at a reception at the school before watching students in the show on Wednesday, February 16 (curtains up 7.30pm).

Dr Morrison said: “Students and staff are excited to see our new theatre host our school show. I would like to thank all those who have supported the school with this superb space.

“For a secondary school to have such a large, professional theatre is amazing and I look forward to seeing students feed off the energy of the audience as they entertain us.”

Year nine student Freya Stevenson, 14, who plays the lead in the musical, said: “I couldn’t believe it when I found out that I got the lead, I was ecstatic and still am.

“The rehearsals are always great fun and I have made many great friends with people from all year groups who have given me great tips and inspired my progression into developing my character.”

Head of performing arts, Anna Bradley, added: “We’re excited to be among the first group of schools to be performing Matilda Jr since the performing rights were released last summer.

“We cast 40 talented students in September who have been working hard, rehearsing every Tuesday and Wednesday after school.”

Furze Platt hopes to also use the theatre for careers fairs, open evenings and talks, while outside school hours, it could be hired for bands, dance, music and drama groups.

Tickets for Matilda Jr can be booked at www.ticketsource.co.uk/furzeplatttheatre and to hire the theatre, contact lettings@furzeplatt.net

The show runs from Tuesday, February 15 to Thursday, February 17, with tickets priced at £10 for adults and £5 for children and seniors.

Buy tickets via www.ticketsource.co.uk/furzeplatttheatre 

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