Go behind the scenes at theatre

On Saturday, 7 September, Nottingham Playhouse will be opening its doors to anyone who has ever wondered what really goes on inside a theatre.

This is a fun, free day out for the whole family, and it will be opened -at 11am - by Nottingham panto legend, Kenneth Alan Taylor- a very rare chance for his fans to meet him in costume.

For one day only, the Playhouse will be ‘access all areas’, as visitors will be able to find out what goes on in the paintshop, props and wardrobe departments. They will also be able to learn about the technical aspects of putting on a play and will be able to tread the boards themselves on the main stage.

These backstage tours have proved to be a real hit in the past, so it’s recommended to book in advance by calling the box office on 0115 941 9419.

There’s something for everyone at the Nottingham Playhouse open day; younger children can take part in arts, crafts and face painting activities, a brilliant magician will be roaming all day, and there will be storytelling session run by Nottingham writer, storyteller and performance poet, Panya Banjoko.

Adults and young people will get the opportunity to take part creative writing workshops run by Nottingham Playhouse’s creative writing team- Pendrop.

For those who have always wanted a chance to try out their own acting skills, there will be a chance to take part in two very informal drama workshops, run by Nottingham Playhouse’s Youth Theatre director, Sarah Stephenson, and artistic director Giles Croft will offer an informal lunchtime insight into one of the autumn plays at the venue.

Fans of Nottingham Playhouse’s pantomime will also get the chance to get up close and personal with the panto’s legendary dame Kenneth Alan Taylor, whose appearance in this year’s panto, Jack & the Beanstalk, will be his last at the theatre.

Kenneth will be present at the Playhouse between 11am-12pm.

Stephanie Sirr, chief executive of Nottingham Playhouse said: “If you’ve ever wondered what really goes on behind the scenes in a theatre do visit us during our free open day.

“It really is a unique opportunity to discover the inner- workings of a producing theatre, to have fun, meet the brilliant people who make it all possible and see how the magic is made.”

The open day will also allow visitors the opportunity to find out about the Nottingham Playhouse’s 50:50 appeal. As part of its 50th anniversary this year, the Playhouse is marking the celebrations by giving away 50 free tickets to 50 performances throughout 2013, (2,500 tickets in total), to charities and community groups whose circumstances mean that a trip to the theatre may never be possible.

At 3.30pm, a Nottingham Playhouse-shaped cake will be cut by Giles and Stephanie.

E:ON, the sponsors of this year’s panto will be attending the open day, along with Brookfield Garden Centre who will be giving youngsters the chance to plant their own beans, in preparation for the panto, and The Big Wheel, a local company that champions greener transport, will be bringing their ‘smoothie-making bike’ for visitors to try out and make their own smoothies.