Orchard celebrates 30 years
The Orchard celebrates its 30th birthday
this year – and what a 30 years it’s been.
The theatre was officially
opened by His Royal Highness, The Duke of Kent, on April 14, 1983
and since then has seen some of the most famous entertainers of
each era perform on stage.
A spokeswoman from The Orchard
said: "We’re really excited about the anniversary this year and
we’ve got various events planned to mark this very special
occasion, including more than 30 workshops, a community show and a
great opportunity to see our archive."
The first act to appear after
the official opening was Showaddywaddy, on April 17, but many had
trod the boards before that.
The theatre actually opened to
the public at the end of 1982. It got off to a raunchy start with
one of its first performances, an adaptation of Lady Chatterley’s
It continued to have a
successful first year with some of the industry’s biggest names,
including Ken Dodd, stepping out.
In 1984 the theatre brought
leading artists from the London Festival Ballet and comic murder
mystery The Real Inspector Hound to the stage.
As part of the birthday
celebrations, The Orchard is running several workshops for people
to get involved with, including street dance and
The first will be with the
BalletBoyz on February 28, where youngsters and adults can learn
from the award-winning dance company which specialises in
The session will be delivered by
the BalletBoyz dancers who will be performing at The Orchard later
in the evening.
The group’s artistic director,
Billy Trevitt, said: "We’re looking for people of all different
levels, experience and training so that we can mix all these skills
"I hope those involved get a
sense of how creative you need to be to work in a company like ours
and enjoy that on the day - not being told where to go or how to
stand but feeling like they’re really a part of it all."
This workshop costs £10.50 and
runs from noon to 2pm.
If you book the workshop, you’ll
get £5 off tickets to see BalletBoyz in the evening, which range
from £10.50 to £24.50.
For more information or to book
call 01322 220000.
The Dartford Messenger
will bring readers’ reminders each week of some of The Orchard’s
stand out performances over the past three
If you have some
memories you want to share, write to: Memories, Dartford Messenger,
7 High Street, Gravesend, Kent, DA11 0BQ or email
or leave a comment below.