Woodville Theatre to give away fantastic prizes to celebrate 50th anniversary
PUBLISHED: 10:42 23 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:42 23 January 2018
Gravesham's iconic theatre is turning 50 this year, and everyone is invited to join in with the celebrations.
The Woodville, at Wrotham Road in Gravesend, was officially opened on Friday, November 15 1968, by Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Kent.
Designed by architects H.T Cadbury-Brown and Partners, who were followers of the modernist school of architecture and heavily influenced by the work of Walter Gropius and Le Corebusier, the building was state of the art at the time.
It offered a range of events, from pantomime to weddings, ballroom dancing to boxing and, of course, theatre.
Over the years, the Blake Gallery, the Paul Greengrass cinema and Studio Theatre have all been added to the range of creative opportunities that exist within the building, on Community Square.
Many famous faces have stepped through the theatre’s doors, including Genesis, Supertramp, Status Quo, ELO, Thin Lizzy, 10CC, Leo Sayer, Roy Wood’s Wizzard and, more recently, director Paul Greengrass, actor and writer Alex Jennings, Jimmy Carr, Alan Carr, Jane Mcdonald, Joe McElderry, G4, Romesh Ranganathan, Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee, Jim Davidson, Damon Beesley and the cast of The Inbetweeners - to name just a few!
Mandy Hare, theatre manager, said: “I am proud to be the manager of such a wonderful venue and am looking forward to celebrating all things Woodville this year.
“There will be a year of events and parties alongside our usual varied programme, so that all our patrons and partners can join us marking our half century.”
Ms Hare described ‘Woodville Babies’ was just one exciting project being introduced.
The project will offer an amazing opportunity for 50 babies, born locally in 2018, to have free, unlimited access to the cinema and any show at the Woodville up until they are 18 years old.
Each family will also receive a Woodville Baby Box.
“We will be launching the project at the end of January, so if you have just had a baby, or are due this year and would like the opportunity for your new born to be in with a chance of becoming a Woodville Baby, please keep an eye on our website or Facebook page.”
Another competitioin to look out for presents an opportunity for one lucky couple to have their vows renewed at the Woodville.
The prize for the competition includes a fully-decorated venue, a wedding cake, photographer, flowers for up to 50 guests and more - all for free.
Details on how to be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize will be revealed by the Woodville on Valentine’s Day.
For the creative writers amongst the theatre’s fans, there’s also a year-long review competition - with a twist.
“You have to review a show you have seen at the Woodville in 50 words or less, and post it on Twitter with the hashtag ‘woodville50’.
“In true Willy Wonka style, there will be golden tickets on selected shows.
“These tickets will be hidden underneath specific seats, and the lucky winners can expect some really special prizes: from drinks at the bar to free tickets to other shows and events.
“There may even be opportunities to win a meet and greet with a favourite star when they visit Gravesend.”
In addition to the prizes and giveaways, the theatre have asked the supremely funnny and talented acapella singing group, Sons of Pitches, to record their version of the song that was number one on the day that the Woodville was opened - check out the Woodville website to hear how it turned out!
The Woodville is also calling on everyone to share their memories of the theatre - this could be a wedding that may have taken place there, or a recollection of visiting a show in the early years.
Ms Hare added: “We’d also love to hear from Gravesham residents who are celebrating their 50th birthdays or anniversaries - we might have some special surprises for you, too.”