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Theatre raises a glass to it's new 'Bigg'er bar

Hyde Festival toasts £20,000 Postcode Lottery cash

Hyde Festival Theatre has toasted the official opening of it’s all new, Bigg(er), better bar.

Twice the size of the original bar the new development has transformed the Madge Bayes Hall, with the original bar now becoming a collection zone for interval drinks.

Marjorie Bayes was the Mayor of Hyde and the first floor community hall was named after her love, passion and support that she gave to the theatre.

In a fitting move the new bar, made possible thanks to recent Postcode Lottery funding, has been named in honour of life-long volunteers Carol and Roger Bigg. The couple are the longest serving members of the theatre’s committee, having been involved with the theatre for more than 50 years.

The couple enjoyed the very first drink at the new bar as the wraps came off, neither having any idea that the bar would be named after them.

Daniel Oliver-Grant, chairman of Hyde Festival Theatre, said: “They had no idea and we kept our conversations around the committee explaining that this would be a wonderful thing to do, but without their knowledge, so it was a surprise. It was a fantastic opportunity to acknowledge their service that they have given to the theatre.”

CHEERS: Carol and Roger Bigg enjoy the very first drink at the new bar, named in their honour.

The bar is double the size if not even bigger than the original bar, and is set to revolutionise patron’s experience in the theatre, before and after shows in the Madge Bayes as well of course during intervals.

As recently reported the theatre received £20,000 in Postcode Lottery funding which is now helping to transform the theatre’s offer for audiences, volunteers and all those who use the venue.

Around half of the £20,000  has gone towards remodelling the bar area, with remaining funds also being invested in the venue’s offer, including new chairs and even newly branded recyclable cups and bins.

Security has been upgraded, while a  brand new electric 6m cinema screen for the theatre’s highly popular film screenings has also been installed. The venue’s heavily subsidised movie shows always popular during school holidays.

“We’ve also invested in another  28 seat cushions to assist those in the auditorium. We’re also supporting those with additional needs, providing ear defenders for relaxed performances,” added Dan.

Additional funding from British Sign Language (BSL) will enable the theatre to provide sign language for select performances too, including this year’s pantomimes.

More improvements will follow, as the theatre team raise a glass not only to a new bar, but a bright future.

Dan and Hyde Festival Theatre's Clare Pascoe shared more about those improvements when they spoke with Nigel Skinner.

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