The BFM took his daughter and niece to the Grand Opera House as part of the European Heritage Open Day visits.
2 Great Victoria Street
028 9024 1919
We wandered around for a few minutes before the tour officially started. There was entertainment on,juggler,a band, face painting, jumping clay, balloons and bouncing castle. There were also choirs on stage performing some numbers.
We got a tour of the stalls,the stage, the green room, the dressing rooms,the Baby Grand and Act II.
The GOH has seen its fair share of history since it opened on 23rd December 1895 with the panto Blackbeard.It has seen two world wars, the troubles and recessions. In fact General Eisenhower has been in to see a performance by US troops.
The honour of having dressing room 1 goes to our very own May McFetteridge who has done over 2000 shows and not missed one, he is of course John Linehan MBE.
It is a presenting theatre in that people bring all their own production equipment. It can contain 1060 people and has 6 Boxes which had to be bought in advance hence term “box office”
At the start of the troubles it was sold in 1972, where it lay boarded up and derelict.1974 saw it become listed and in 1976 arts council bought it for£168000. It then Reopened on 26th September 1980.
The Act II which I referred to earlier allowed for west end and bigger shows and the land alone cost £6 million.It opened on the 21st November 2006. Since then the GOH has been growing from strength to strength.
I wonder if John will get a statue of remembrance like Frank Matcham.
The BFM has to try the restaurant next.
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