THIS year marks the 10th annual summer season of shows presented by Tony Peers at Scarborough’s Spa Theatre.
Since 2002 the Summer Spectacular shows have built a loyal following of fans who return year after year to see the latest offerings, which are geared up for all age groups.
Producer Tony Peers said: “When we took over it was fair to say that the Spa had a reputation for attracting the older market.
“So we decided to modernise the content and try to get a broader age group, but not alienate our core audience.
“By including contemporary songs modern musicals and bringing the production values up to standard with the latest lighting effects, we are well on the way to changing the image of the shows.
“We also made children free one with every paying adult, which sent out the message that the shows were suitable for the family.”
The Summer Spectacular, which starts this week, has become a regular fixture for school visits.
Mr Peers said: “We now have around 10 schools who return every year and consider it a holiday highlight.
“The coach parties have always been an important part of the equation and remain so, but the what is encouraging is the increase in the 30-50 age group who now make up a significant proportion of the overall attendances.”
He continued: “We pride ourselves that we work with young talent from Scarborough and have worked with two dance schools over the years - Rowlies Academy and Julie Hatton School of Performing Arts.
“Many of the pupils have gone on to dance on cruise shops and shows in London.”
Over the 10 seasons the summer shows have featured over 100 artistes, but Linda Newport stands out as a stalwart.
Since 2002, Linda has missed only one season and now directs the productions as well as appearing as a leading lady.
Mr Peers said there have been many highlights, such as the appearance of Jimmy Tarbuck to open the 9th season and being asked to perform at the Welcome to Yorkshire Awards in Harrogate.
But he says the proudest moment of all was being at the opening of the Open Air Theatre in the presence of HM the Queen and Prince Philip presenting excerpts from the 2008 show.
He added: “The biggest highlight is always the audiences - to see the faces of people of all ages laughing and joining in the fun make it all worthwhile.
“We have had people from Australia, New Zealand, the USA and of course from all over the UK.
“We are pleased to be able to keep Scarborough’s name in the minds of people everywhere.”
l Summer Spectacular 2011 is on every Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday at the Spa Theatre. Thoroughly Modern Musicals in on every Monday, Thursday and Friday.