In Theatre

Having staged plays for thousands of people in the beautiful outdoor setting of Manchester’s Heaton Park over the years,  Feelgood Theatre Productions founder Caroline Clegg is now plotting a long term vision for a permanent covered venue.

Feelgood has a long and successful history of outdoor performances in the park dating back to 1994, including summer 2017’s staging of Shakespeare’s classic comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The company has also staged performances in Heaton Hall, including the 2016 shows Ghost Story of Heaton and Whispers of Heaton.

However, artistic Director Caroline Clegg used the launch of Feelgood’s 2018 season to unveil her ambition for a permanent covered performance space in the park by 2025, with a “pop-up” space in place by 2020.

A feasibility study has already begun on the project and Feelgood is now seeking potential collaborators to help bring the project to fruition, including potential construction partners and arts organisations. The venue would also be shared with other arts organisations.

Speaking at a dinner hosted by Feelgood sponsor PZ Cussons, Clegg said she was passionate about building a lasting legacy in Heaton Park, creating an annual programme of work and building a company of artists based in the North West.

Striking a chord with Manchester’s ambitions to be a top 20 global city by 2025, with culture an important part of the city’s offering to the world, Clegg said: “I am delighted to announce our future Vision for our work in Heaton Park with Manchester City Council’s team.  In 2016, we became a stakeholder and official theatre partner for the park and we have developed a very positive working relationship in the last 16 months, creating four world premieres and six shows.  Our audiences have grown by 50 per cent in just 12 months and we are now looking to introduce a full programme of events for 2018.   

"Our long-term aspiration is to build a theatre within the park, but this is subject to our producing a feasibility study and business plan for consideration by the council and satisfying them that the project is sustainable.  We know it will mean hard work, commitment and dedication but like Manchester, Feelgood gets things done.  Our timeline is 2025, with exciting programmes leading up to this date in exciting ‘pop up’ structures, made in in an eco-friendly manner and in sympathy with the environment.”

The dinner was attended by Feelgood supporters including High Sheriff of Manchester Gerry Yeung OBE, pictured below with Caroline Clegg.

Manchester City Council Executive Member for Schools, Culture and Leisure, Councillor Luthfur Rahman, said: "Feelgood Theatre have interpreted the beautiful setting of Heaton Park and Hall to create a series of performances which have enthralled people of all ages, so we're pleased that they have now set out their new programme of events for 2018.  We will work closely with them to examine whether their long-term vision of creating a theatre within the park can be achieved."

 The schedule for 2018 will be: –

  • Easter: A Family Musical Concert in Heaton Hall

  • Summer: Romeo and Juliet an open air promenade

  • Autumn: A Ghost Story of Heaton

  • Christmas: A Christmas Concert and Story Telling




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