Guide Bridge Theatre given dramatic new look
Monday 16th October 2017 @ 15:16 by Tom Greggan
Denton & Audenshaw News Tameside

Guide Bridge Theatre has been given a spectacular facelift in the form of a giant vinyl wrap and brand new sign on the front of the building.

The giant, 30m x 5m decoration is believed to be the largest wrap around a theatre in the North West. The eye-catching design came from the mind of Jo Perry at Delph-based Periscope Studios. It was installed by Arthur Bogan of Art Sign and Design and his apprentice Mike Robinson, and is the first phase of the theatre’s ambitious regeneration project.

“It’s quite a technical job,” Arthur said. “It’s just about getting it right to fit on the building. We’re using huge lengths of vinyl so it’s quite a difficult challenge to do on a corrugated profile. But I’m happy with how it’s turned out, it looks great as you drive past.”

The theatre’s directors were unanimous in their praise of the new look. The façade of the theatre had been left untouched for over thirty years and the theatre’s directors hope the new eye-catching new wrap will increase it’s profile.

Designed by Jo Perry of Periscope Studios and installed by Arthur Bogan of Art Sign and Design, the new look Guide Bridge Theatre has been catching the eye of passers-by.

Chairwoman Liz Openshaw said: “People thought the theatre was closed. We were recently giving leaflets out at Ryecroft Hall; people were asking us, “Where?” and “Isn’t that closed?”

“The goal is to put the theatre back on the map and to update our image. It shows that we are a theatre and we’re looking forward and we hope it attracts new audiences.”

The impressive makeover is just the first phase of an extensive programme of improvements planned over the coming months and years, in an effort to modernise the theatre and attract new and different audiences.

Artistic Director Martin Roach explained: “It was all part of the re-branding of the theatre, to give it a visible presence. We all liked it because it was individual, it was unique, it made a statement about what the theatre was about, it was striking and it was memorable.

“That’s our approach now when we plan our programme of events and productions that go on. We try to find a blend of pieces that will satisfy the existing patrons, but as with every theatre like this, we’ve got to replenish our footfall.”

Martin continued: “It’s also about engaging other communities so that it’s accessible to all. An example of that is that for the coming season, we have a play called Beautiful Thing that touches on issues about young people and sexuality. We’re also looking at least one of the performances being signed, which makes the theatre accessible to a different group of people that might not otherwise have come.”

The current offering Guide Bridge Theatre is ‘Foxfinder’ by Dawn King, directed by Paul Foster. The play runs until October 21st with performances at 7.30pm every night. For tickets, you can call 0161 330 8078.

For more information on upcoming events at Guide Bridge Theatre, head to www.gbtheatre.co.uk.