Janey Godley and punk legend John Lydon gigs mark re-opening of Falkirk Town Hall

Star names and a local youth theatre are getting ready to help bring theatre back to Falkirk Town Hall, as prepares to re-open following a 17-month closure.

Janey Godley. (Pic: John Devlin)
Janey Godley. (Pic: John Devlin)

Over the coming months the famous hall will play host to big name stars including voiceover queen Janey Godley and punk legend John Lydon - former frontman of The Sex Pistols – with many of the shows rescheduled from 2020.

And families welcomed the news this week that the pantomime will also return for Christmas, with tickets for ‘Beauty and the Beast’ tickets going on sale in September.

First to take the spotlight, however, are the members of Project Theatre Youth Theatre – who auditioned via Zoom to be part of The Addams Family, which opens on October 1.

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Falkirk Town Hall (Pic: Michael Gillen)

And despite a year of disruption, director Jamie O’Rourke is confident they are ready to entertain.

He said: “I’m feeling relief and excitement about being back in the theatre but people are also nervous and apprehensive.”

The tables will be set out cabaret style, so families can stay together, and he hopes that will make people feel comfortable to return.

But he’s full of praise for how the young cast adapted to the challenge of recent months.

He said: “The auditions and first rehearsals were all done via Zoom.

“It was difficult at first but then they started to really enjoy it. They embraced it rather than seeing it as an obstacle!

“We just had to be really creative and hopefully that’s helped us prepare for performing.

“We’ve been working on it for a year now so they are ready and they are keen to enjoy it.”

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However, while online rehearsals went well, Jamie says they were delighted to be back together again finally as restrictions eased.

He said: “The kids spark off each other and that kind of energy you just can’t replicate.”

Jamie, who is also secretary of Falkirk Arts Network says that many local groups are already looking forward to getting back on stage.

Some companies – including Big Bad Wolf and Young Portonians – are raring to go.

But there are others who have missed out on vital fundraising and that could make things difficult.

“There is a lot of work ahead for some groups,” said Jamie.

“If they have their communities’ support, they’ll manage – but they can only survive this if people support them with tickets sales and just getting involved.

“For some people who are involved in these groups, it’s really important for their mental health and it’s a great social thing.

“It’s great that we are finally able to come back and to actually have an audience again will be amazing.”

And after 17 months of isolation, what better tonic than a night at the theatre?

“It’s a fun show – it’ll hopefully bring a bit of light after a very dark time,” said Jamie.

Project Theatre Youth Theatre present The Addams Family at FTH Theatre on October 1 &2.

For tickets, call (01324) 506850 or visit https://www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org/venues/fth-theatre/

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