Sporting a brand new Arts Wing, the Grand Theatre is a large venue that hosts an eclectic mix of comedy, theatre, music and family-friendly events. It specialises in disseminating work from up-and-coming artists, as well as offering many exhibitions, special events and fringe shows from established stand-up comedians.
The Grand Theatre has a strong affiliation with the world of ballet. From 1999, it has been the home of Ballet Russe, who in the past have produced stunning performances of Giselle, The Nutcracker and more. It also houses the Sir Harry Secombe Trust Youth Theatre, connecting with young people through a series of workshops for the performing arts.
The Arts Wing generally holds smaller productions and exhibitions, as well as regular events such as Lunchtime Theatre, burlesque nights and comedy clubs. The main auditorium in the theatre is much larger, seating over 1,000 spectators and hosting up to 400 events a year. There are also a series of functions rooms and extra spaces in the venue.
The latest developments to the Grand Theatre flaunt an art deco style, yet modern, state-of-the-art facilities. It originally opened just before the 20th century by local opera star, Adelina Patti. It hosted many events over the years, and saw the likes of Ivor Novello, Sir Henry Irving and Forbes Robertson take the stage. Despite its success, the theatre faced closure during the late 60s, even transforming into a cinema for over a decade to cater to changing cultural demands. Thankfully, the theatre received investments and with the addition of the new wing, opened by the Welsh Hollywood actress, Catherine Zeta Jones, it began to thrive again.