Shows to return to Wolverhampton Grand stage for first time in 10 months

Performances will return to Wolverhampton Grand Theatre in December, the venue has announced.

Kevin Clifton, right, will be performing with his sister in the first show back at the Grand
Kevin Clifton, right, will be performing with his sister in the first show back at the Grand

The theatre has today revealed plans to bring socially distanced shows to the stage in six weeks time after being given more than £1 million in Government funding.

The Grand, which celebrated its 125th anniversary last year, has been closed since March 17, with bosses forced to either cancel or postpone dozens of performances.

But the historic city centre venue has now announced that the curtains will be raised for the first time in nine months at 7pm on December 6.

The first performance will be An Evening with Kevin and Jo Clifton, the ex-Strictly Come Dancing brother and sister duo, and will be followed by several film screenings in the weeks after.

However there will still be no pantomime this year, with the planned production of Cinderella postponed until 2021.

Nathan Brine, associate director of creative and production at the Grand, said: “I am beyond thrilled that we are able to reopen the theatre this December.

"We are of course extremely sad to not be able to host our traditional festive pantomime this year, I do however truly believe there is something for everyone in this very special socially distanced line-up.

"The work our team have put into ensuring The Grand will be fully Covid compliant is incredible and we cannot wait to safely welcome our audiences back into the building and bring life back into our beautiful auditorium.”

It was announced on Saturday that the theatre had been given £1.19 million to help it stay afloat during the coronavirus crisis as part of the Government's £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

Other Midlands venues, including Birmingham Town Hall and Symphony Hall and the Black Country Living Museum, have also received substantial grants.

Tickets for the Grand's December shows will go on sale to Friends of the Grand from 10am on Wednesday and to the general public from 10am on Friday. Tickets can only be booked online at www.grandtheatre.co.uk.

The first show, An Evening with Kevin and Jo, will be on a Sunday night and feature the siblings singing songs from their CD, telling stories of their dancing lives and performing some favourite ballroom and Latin dances with their professional partners.

The Grand will then host its first ever Bollywood Cinema screening of Devdas at 3pm on Sunday, December 13. The 2002 film follows the story of Devdas, after his wealthy family prohibits him from marrying the woman he is in love with. Devdas Mukherjee's life spirals further out of control as he takes up alcohol and a life of vice to numb the pain.

Children's television show Dear Santa Live will run between December 20 and Christmas Eve at various times. From the author of the well-loved children's book Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell, Santa is determined to deliver the Christmas present to Sarah. But he doesn't get it right straight away – and with the help of his Elf, he finally settles on something 'perfect' just in time for Christmas Eve.

The final production is a new film adaptation of A Christmas Carol which will be screened on December 22 and 23 at 7pm. The adaptation is told through contemporary ballet, with a striking set and dazzling costumes. The story is voiced by a host of Hollywood stars including Carey Mulligan, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis and Daniel Kaluuya.

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