Promoter wants to bring more stars to ‘magnificent’ theatre

Scarborough's Open Air Theatre.
Scarborough's Open Air Theatre.

The promoter behind tonight’s John Barrowman concert at Scarborough’s Open Air Theatre has praised the venue - and says he hopes to return with more top acts.

Peter Taylor says the theatre is “unique” and is an “attractive proposition” to promoters wishing to bring big names to the town.

He works with acts such as Elton John, The Wanted, McFly and Status Quo - along with Olly Murs and Russell Watson who will play the theatre this summer.

He told The Scarborough News: “It’s a very unusual venue. I can’t think of another outdoor venue like it that has its own stage and seating.

“With other places we’ve been to we’ve had to take everything with us, but with the Open Air Theatre there is not a lot of infrastructure needed.

“This makes it a very attractive proposition. We can just turn up and plug in.”

Mr Taylor said as the facilities were purpose-built, it made them easy to manage compared to a lot of other outdoor venues in the UK.

He explained: “It’s a magnificent venue really. It has really good sight lines, so everyone can get a good view of the stage.

“The backstage facilities are also very good. It’s an outdoor site, but it’s as easy to manage as an indoor venue.” Mr Taylor is also promoting John Barrowman’s concert tomorrow night at Glasgow Green and said the venue - in contrast to Scarborough - is basically a piece of grass, which will need everything setting up from scratch.

He praised everyone he had been working with in bringing the star to the Open Air Theatre.

Mr Taylor said: “All the people at the council and at Welcome to Yorkshire have been a pleasure to deal with.

“They have been really supportive and obviously really want the venue to work.”

He said that as well as selling concert tickets, a number of packages had been sold to fans from away who wanted to stay over in Scarborough.

Mr Taylor said he heard about the Open Air Theatre after Elton John played there last year - and was aware of some of the venue’s problems with lack of bookings for this summer.

He said: “I was aware of the Open Air Theatre. I’d heard about the venue operators and how they hadn’t programmed anything for the summer.

“We’ve worked with Elton John and that was what led us to approach the venue.

“We saw the photos and thought it was a good test of the venue – which was obviously a great success.

“We hope to emulate it with the John Barrowman concert, albeit on a smaller scale.”

Mr Taylor added that he is really looking forward to 
tonight’s concert - as is 
the star himself. He said: “It’s the first night of the tour so preparations may be a bit fraught, but we can’t wait.

“It’s John’s first time in Scarborough and he’s looking forward to it too.

“He was at a wedding in the US over the weekend, but then he was straight back and into rehearsals.”

He added that they were “praying for good weather”, but believes that people will enjoy themselves come rain or shine. Mr Taylor said: “The English audiences tend to be very hardy. They turn out in all weathers!”