PICTURES: Theatre opens its doors after church transformation

Official launch of the Opus Theatre, Hastings.

Polo Piatti SUS-170807-121302001
Official launch of the Opus Theatre, Hastings. Polo Piatti SUS-170807-121302001

The doors were opened to a new era of entertainment last week as the Opus Theatre held its official launch.

The unique new venue, housed in His Place Community Church, catered for more than 400 guests from across the country as it was unveiled to the public for the first time on Friday (July 7).

Official launch of the Opus Theatre, Hastings.

Mayor Judy Rogers and Polo Piatti SUS-170807-121206001

Official launch of the Opus Theatre, Hastings. Mayor Judy Rogers and Polo Piatti SUS-170807-121206001

The event was hailed a tremendous success.

Guests were entertained with renditions from outstanding performers including Gwyneth Herbert and Ned Cartwright, and Harmony One Choir.

Bands included The Moors, Loose Ends, and Notes From Underground, while poet Pete Donohue, pianist Mike Hatchard, organist Stephen Page and cellist Jonathan Bruce also wowed the crowd.

Hastings’ Town Crier Jon Bartholomew sent the sound of bagpipes echoing around the room as he took to the stage, followed by singers Gary Bland and Thomasine Trezise, dancer Yumino Seki, the Derek Carden Trio and many others.

Official launch of the Opus Theatre, Hastings.

Mike Hatchard, pianist. SUS-170807-121152001

Official launch of the Opus Theatre, Hastings. Mike Hatchard, pianist. SUS-170807-121152001

The success has been so great – and so sudden – that those behind the theatre have decided to launch a ‘Friends Of Opus’ scheme to cater with demands. You can have a look at all the benefits it offers by visiting the theatre’s website.

Founder and director of Opus Theatre, Polo Piatti, said: “We are looking very much forward to staging our first ever theatre play a the Opus. It will be a wonderful adaptation of Robert Tressell’s famous book ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’ on Saturday, August 26, performed by the great Costal Productions company from Liverpool.

“We are presenting two shows, one at 1.30pm and the other at 7pm, and tickets are selling really fast!

“Another very special event will take place around Christmas with the wonderful Tenors Unlimited.”

Official launch of the Opus Theatre, Hastings.

West End singer/actor Gary Bland. SUS-170807-121218001

Official launch of the Opus Theatre, Hastings. West End singer/actor Gary Bland. SUS-170807-121218001

The theatre hopes to offer high quality music in the form of concerts and recitals as well as opera soirees, theatre plays, dance performances, art films, acoustic acts, literary and poetry events, lectures and exhibitions.

For more information please visit the Opus website at www.opustheatre.co.uk.

The downstairs space of the building, including a community area and café, will remain the same and the church will continue as usual.

The theatre is accessible via Cambridge Road, while the downstairs of the building has an entrance and exit on to Robertson Street.

Official launch of the Opus Theatre, Hastings. SUS-170807-121233001

Official launch of the Opus Theatre, Hastings. SUS-170807-121233001

See www.hisplacehastings.co.uk/ for details.

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Official launch of the Opus Theatre, Hastings. SUS-170807-121425001

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Official launch of the Opus Theatre, Hastings.

L-R Nicola Roper (administrator), Polo Piatti and Rev Chris Searls MBE. SUS-170807-121125001

Official launch of the Opus Theatre, Hastings. L-R Nicola Roper (administrator), Polo Piatti and Rev Chris Searls MBE. SUS-170807-121125001

Official launch of the Opus Theatre, Hastings. SUS-170807-121344001

Official launch of the Opus Theatre, Hastings. SUS-170807-121344001