AND now the end is near, and so they face the final curtain.
Doncaster’s Civic Theatre is set to exit stage left tomorrow night as the very last performance is staged at the ageing venue, bringing the show to a close on almost 100 years of entertainment.
Youngsters from the Step Up School of Theatre Dance will have the privilege of being the very last performers to step into the spotlight before the Civic closes its doors to make way for the town’s brand new performance venue Cast which is due to be unveiled a stone’s throw away later this year.
School principal Donna Anderson said: “It really is going to be the end of an era and it means a lot to be able to be the last people to perform there.
“It is going to be sad because the building holds lots of good memories for the school and of course for lots of others too.”
The school has performed more than 40 shows at the Civic over the years with hundreds of youngsters stepping on to the Waterdale stage through the decades.
This Is How We Do It will be staged at the Civic tonight with the very last curtain call coming tomorrow night.
The Civic will stay open until the end of April while the venue is cleared, with staff preparing to make the move into the new £20 million pound Cast venue which forms the centrepiece of Doncaster’s new Civic and Cultural Quarter.
Donna, 28, who has been dancing since the age of four, has been teaching since she was 18 and the school currently has 100 youngsters on its books. She added: “We’re happy but sad at the same time to be doing the very last show. We’re having a reunion for the older girls afterwards to get together for a farewell drink and talk about the good times.”
The building originally opened its doors in 1921 and was known as The New Arcadia before becoming the Arcadia Picture House in the 1930s. Doncaster Council purchased the building in the 1940s, changing its name to the Doncaster Arts Centre and its final incarnation as the Civic Theatre came about in the 1970s following a refurbishment.
The theatre, which has 495 seats and has hosted stars such as Paul Daniels and Lenny Henry and countless pantomime productions down the years, has barely changed since it was rebranded more than 40 years ago.
* Tickets for the show are available from the box office on (01302) 342349.