St Helens Theatre Royal changes hands

Jane Joseph and her daughter Chantelle Nolan, and the theatre frontage. Pics: Theatre Royal St Helens

Writer:

Paul Genty

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Managers buy the theatre from trust owners

St Helens Theatre Royal has been bought by Regal Entertainments Ltd,  the company that has managed it for over two decades.

Regal has taken over ownership from the Theatre Royal Charitable Trust for an undisclosed fee, the deal for the 1901 Frank Matcham theatre having been completed for today’s celebration of World Theatre Day. The trust will remain active and continue to  raise money for the building.

Regal is led by mother and daughter Jane Joseph (creative director) and Chantelle Nolan, the theatre’s director and general manager, who became tenants of the building in 1999.

For 22 years the pair have built the theatre’s reputation, attracting household names and national touring shows and producing several home-grown shows,  including three seasonal pantos and a stage play each year.

St Helens Theatre Royal was designed by celebrated theatre architect Frank Matcham and opened its doors in 1901. The theatre was gutted and extensively remodelled and modernised several years ago.

Creative director Jane Joseph commented: “We’ve successfully steered the theatre for the past 22 years and we’re extremely excited for this new chapter. We’d like to thank the Theatre Royal Charitable Trust and Friends of the Theatre for their continuing support.”

Nick Wilding, chair of the Theatre Royal Charitable Trust, said: “Jane and Chantelle understand what audiences want and provide an excellent programme of entertainment, so we’re delighted with the news. The Trust is confident that the wonderful Victorian St Helens Theatre Royal is very much in safe hands.”

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