A celebration of 40 years – The Wilde Theatre

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14-06-2024 19:45 - 21:30
South Hill Park
Address: Ringmead, Bracknell RG12 7PA

A celebration of 40 years - The Wilde Theatre


2024 marks 40 years since the opening of The Wilde Theatre at South Hill Park in Bracknell. To celebrate, South Hill Park is hosting an evening of reflection, nostalgia and achievements over the years, with
founding director Peter Stark, former director Gavin Henderson CBE and guests.

Hosted by Julian Hirst, former Director and Dame in several South Hill Park pantomimes, this free to the public event will feature the history of how it all began 40 years ago, with input and archive material from the architectural team who built the theatre, guest interviews and discussions.

The Wilde Theatre at South Hill Park was the first theatre in Great Britain to bear the name of the playwright, with the first on-stage performances suitably including the beloved character of Lady Bracknell.

Discover how it all began from the theatres’ conception and funding (including a mass sponsored parachute jump in conjunction with the Red Devils at Aldershot), the planning process and design by Axel Burrough and Ian Mackintosh and the two year construction.

Delve into the archives as South Hill Park reminisces over the opening of The Wilde Theatre in 1984 by Princess Anne, which was held secret until Buckingham Palace gave the Arts Centre official notification.

Find out how Bracknell’s sparkling new Wilde Theatre came alive with its first performance - ‘a zappy production’ of Oscar Wilde’s farcical comedy The Importance of Being Earnest featuring Dilys Layen, a stalwart of the Carry on film series.

Craig Titley, current Chief Executive says:
‘The creation of The Wilde Theatre in 1984 was a turning point for the Arts Centre, providing a space for community and professionals alike to perform in the new town of Bracknell. We are proud that 40 years later, the Wilde Theatre continues to be at the heart of the Arts community, offering a variety of productions for every taste, including big-name comedians, nationally renowned ballet companies, quality in-house drama and South Hill Park’s annual pantomime.’

Tickets to the event are free but must be booked, and patrons are asked to please consider making a
donation to the charity when booking. Book tickets via the website or box office number above.

About South Hill Park

South Hill Park is one of the largest and most enterprising arts centres in the country.

Housing two theatres, a dance studio, creative spaces and a cinema within the grounds of an 18th century mansion house in Bracknell – South Hill Park hosts over 300 shows, events and films each year, alongside over 250 courses and workshops.

As a registered Charity (number 2656565), South Hill Park’s mission is to inspire, connect and enrich lives through the creative arts, relying on community support to deliver a diverse range of events.