Star acts lined up for theatre

Open Air Theatre commences with its first Concert with Jose Carreras and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa...birds eye view  102967n news
Open Air Theatre commences with its first Concert with Jose Carreras and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa...birds eye view 102967n news

WORLD-CLASS artists have been lined up to perform at the Open Air Theatre over the summer.

Rumours have been circulating that Apollo Leisure, the company which runs the Open Air Theatre on behalf of Scarborough Borough Council, would no longer be managing the venue.

But Scarborough Borough Council leader Councillor Tom Fox said yesterday that there is absolutely no truth in the speculation.

He said he expects an impressive summer programme to be announced within weeks.

Mike Nuttall, director of Apollo Leisure, also dismissed the rumours.

“Apollo are well advanced with their forward programme,” Coun Fox said.

“They are engaged with some brilliant acts and people will be very impressed if they come off.

“I would love to say who they are but I can’t disclose which artists they are talking to for contractual reasons. Some of them are out of this world. “I am expecting something official to be announced later this month.”

A progress meeting between council representatives and Apollo Leisure is scheduled to take place on Wednesday next week.

David Archer, the council’s strategic director, said: “We are looking forward to our next meeting with Apollo when we will be discussing plans for the forthcoming summer season at the Open Air Theatre.”

Last summer, several highprofile stars graced the stage of the 6,500 seater venue.

Thousands packed the theatre, which was officially opened by the Queen in May, for screenings of England’s World Cup games and the 80s Rewind Festival. The inaugural performance at the refurbished venue from two of the world’s most famous opera stars – Dame Kiri te Kanawa and Jose Carreras – also sold out.

However other events, such as the Big Comedy Campervan and Doves summer music festival, were unsuccessful with thousands of tickets going unsold.

The three-day Extreme Sports Festival, which skapop legends Madness were due to headline with a concert at the theatre, was cancelled at short notice after its organisers went bust.

There was also controversy when arrests were made during the World Cup football matches after a minority of fans became disorderly.

The screens were turned off in the final stages of England’s vital game against Slovenia, after 14 fans jumped in the water in front of the stage. Although there is no major

international football tournament this summer, it has been suggested that the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, which is scheduled to take place on April 29, could be shown at the theatre on a huge screen.

The Wimbledon finals and Glastonbury Festival could also be broadcast at the Open Air Theatre.

Acts who are already scheduled to tour in the UK this summer include former Pink Floyd songwriter Roger Waters, Duran Duran, Coldplay and Dolly Parton. The Open Air Theatre was originally opened in the early 1930s. The North Bay venue closed its doors in 1986 before its £3.5 million transformation was completed last yea