Plans to expand offering at Peterborough’s Key Theatre and re-open Queensgate shop

Plans are being put together to expand the offering at Peterborough’s Key Theatre.

By Joel Lamy
Wednesday, 28th October 2020, 4:28 am
The Key Theatre
The Key Theatre

The theatre has re-opened following lockdown but is now under new ownership, with City Culture Peterborough taking on its operations after the demise of Vivacity during the coronavirus pandemic.

City Culture Peterborough is a branch of City College Peterborough, whose principal is Pat Carrington.

Ms Carrington said: “The Key Theatre is such a great space and it feels like it’s the city’s theatre. It’s not owned by a large, corporate organisation.

“If you talk to local people they see it as being theirs, like they see the Lido as being theirs.

“Jag the manager there is doing a great job in terms of looking at how to grow and develop it. We want to explore how to widen participation and access to the theatre and how it can be representative of local communities. How we can bring in people who have not been to the theatre before.

“Jag’s working on a plan at the moment on how we can do that. We want to do community engagement. And some of the ideas around - we’ve got a diverse population, why don’t we show diverse films at the theatre? That might bring in some people who have not been in before and give them the opportunity to watch a film in their own language and give them a different experience while exposing them to the Key Theatre.

“So we’re looking at different ways of doing what it’s always done and people love, but actually maximise it for wider community usage as well.”

Plans to re-open the theatre with the new James Bond film were scuppered by the premiere being pushed back, but a programme of events is being planned from mid-November.

Meanwhile, Ms Carrington said there are plans to re-open Vivacity’s shop in Queensgate, opposite McDonald’s.

It is hoped that the shop will welcome visitors again shortly with people able to book tickets to the theatre, learn about Peterborough’s cultural offering and hear about courses on offer at City College Peterborough and Peterborough Regional College.

Mr Carrington said a new booking system for the theatre will be brought in.

Meanwhile, discussions will take place about whether festivals - such as the popular Heritage Festival - can be held in Peterborough next year.

This is one of a five part interview with Pat Carrington on the future of cultural services in Peterborough. All articles will appear on the Peterborough Telegraph’s website at: https://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/.