A Coventry theatre will
celebrate its fortieth anniversary today with a performance
featuring two of the cast from the original show in 1961.
audience of former actors, directors and life members will see
the gala performance of Forty Years On by Alan Bennett at the
Criterion Theatre in Earlsdon.
Geoff Eames and Maureen
Copping will be taking part in the play, 40 years after they
were members of the original cast of The Italian Straw Hat.
People are travelling
from all over the country for the reunion at the theatre in
Berkley Road South.
Alan Bennett was invited
to come and see the production, directed by Ann Woodward, but
sent a message of support instead.
The theatre’s patron
Coventry-born actor Sir Nigel Hawthorne, has also sent a message
wishing everyone well. He was unable to come to the play because
he is currently filming.
Dave Holmes, set
designer for the current production, said the gala show was a
celebration of the longevity of the amateur theatre.
”It was the first
amateur theatre in Coventry to have its own theatre. That is
one of the reason why it has been so successful over the
Each year the theatre
runs seven productions, making a total of 280 since it opened in
the former Methodist chapel, with thousands of actors taking
production runs until 17 February, except Sunday. Tickets can be reserved at
the box office on 024 7667 5175 or on the 24-hour answerphone
024 7656 7412.