Theatre prepares for grand re-opening with Christmas pantomime performance

The Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside with Jarrow Musical Theatre Company at the refurbished theatre.
The Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside with Jarrow Musical Theatre Company at the refurbished theatre.

A newly-refurbished theatre took centre stage when it hosted the opening night of a new festive pantomime.

Jarrow Focus, formerly Jarrow Hub, welcomed theatre goers to its base at old Jarrow Community Centre in Cambrian Street, for the first time since the centre underwent a £3million renovation.

The centre has been transformed into a multi-purpose leisure facility, featuring a new library.

Ahead of the centre’s official opening on Monday, January 7, Jarrow Musical Theatre Company staged its Christmas pantomime, Rapunzel in the renovated auditorium.

The revamped facility has new lighting and sound systems, a refurbished backstage area and changing rooms and retractable tiered seating for 176 spectators.

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Ken Stephenson and the Mayoress, Cathy Stephenson, took a look around the building on 
the pantomimes opening night.

The Mayor said: “I was delighted to join the company for their first panto performance and help to launch the refurbished theatre part of the striking new Jarrow Focus.

“The show, and the building, is fantastic.

“This was almost like a dress rehearsal for our grand re-opening of the centre, which will serve as a real focal point for local people while helping to enhance the health and wellbeing of our residents.

“It is very exciting to see it already starting to benefit the local community.”

The Christmas pantomime, Rapunzel, is running at Jarrow Focus until Sunday, December 2.

The revamp of the centre is part of the Council’s long-term vision for community facilities in South Tyneside and is the latest in a series of investments in the norough’s leisure and library facilities.

It follows the creation of Hebburn Central, The Word, National Centre for the Written Word and Haven Point leisure complex.

Renovation work on the old community building has included redesigning the gym, sports hall and dance studios.