Theatre programme still awaiting decision

The Open Air Theatre in Scarborough
The Open Air Theatre in Scarborough

n THE Open Air Theatre’s fortunes have been mixed since the start. Elton John’s concert sold out an increased capacity of 8,500 seats.

UNCERTAINTY still surrounds plans for this year’s summer season at Scarborough’s Open Air Theatre.

The venue’s operator Apollo Leisure was due to make an announcement yesterday giving details of forthcoming events.

But the announcement was cancelled, leading to growing public concern about the £3.5 million venue.

Cllr David Jeffels, portfolio holder for tourism and culture, said: “It is extremely disappointing that we’re now into February with still no programme announced.

“The council and tourist industry in general is obviously very anxious that Apollo come forward with an attractive programme of entertainment for the Open Air Theatre, both for its long-term reputation and that of Scarborough as a premier resort.

“The ball is very much in Apollo’s court.”

Scarborough’s MP Robert Goodwill has also voiced his concerns on the issue.

He said: “It’s hard not to conclude that they don’t have any headline acts to put on. Why else wouldn’t they announce it?

“It doesn’t sound very encouraging and I’m very disappointed indeed.”

Mr Goodwill added: “Apollo and the council need to stop blaming each other and work together.

“Let’s hope we get some groups signing on the dotted line.”

Evening News readers have also been making their voices heard by leaving comments about the story on our website.

Throxenbylad said: “So who is bullying who here? Seems there’s a dispute about to happen, and if so there are no winners then. Both sides lose.”

Crossgates View posted the comment: “Could be just a timing issue, but it would be the decent thing for Apollo to give us a full true statement on what is happening.”

MrRealist said: “Inevitable, but a true shame nontheless. You snooze, you loose.”

Quakeroat commented: “The swimming pool was first in line for a replacement. Priorities have been given in the wrong area. Its a case of ‘karma’ I’m afraid.”

Petra said: “We booked in December to see Plan B in June and got the tickets through 3 weeks ago. The silence of those who from the start said it was a mistake to go ahead with this speaks volumes.”

Hopes were high for the theatre after it was officially opened by the Queen in May 2010.

Stars that have appeared to sell-out audiences since then have included Elton John, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Jose Carreras.