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We launched the Stories From The Gordon Craig project by inviting some people with very special connections to The Gordon Craig Theatre into the archive room on Friday 25th January 2019.

Stevenage Arts Guild’s Hilary Spiers BEM was joined by Christine Vincent, Colin Lee and Dick Hall who appeared in the Gordon Craig Theatre’s inaugural production in November 1975; Paul Laidlaw who has been treading the boards in the Gordon Craig’s pantos since 1986; Bob Bustance who managed the venue for 24 years; patron of the theatre, actress Vicki Michelle MBE and staff from Stevenage Museum and The Gordon Craig Theatre.

Special guests in the archive room

Gordon Craig Theatre pantomime stalwart, Paul Laidlaw, examined press cuttings reviewing his first Stevenage appearance in the 1986/7 production of Aladdin with Bob Bustance and Christine Vincent.

Colin Lee, Christine Vincent and Dick Hall found a poster in the archive for The Lytton Players’ productions at The Gordon Craig Theatre in 1976, in which they all appeared. 1976 was the theatre’s first full year of operation. Look for the prices of the tickets!

Paul Laidlaw found a poster for the pantomime Dick Whittington in 1987/8, in which he starred as Sarah The Cook alongside Dad’s Army’s Ian Lavender. It was his second pantomime at The Gordon Craig. Dick Hall found a programme for the very first event at the Theatre in November 1975 (prior to the Theatre’s official opening in 1976) in which he performed with The Lytton Players.

A programme of The Lytton Players' first eventFriends in the archive room 8

(left to right) Christine Vincent, Lytton Players; Bob Bustance, Gordon Craig Theatre Arts Manager 1984 – 2009; Vicki Michelle MBE, actress and patron of Gordon Craig Theatre; Colin Lee, Lytton Players; Paul Laidlaw, actor and director appearing in Stevenage pantomimes since 1986; Paul Ruff, General Manager, Gordon Craig Theatre; Catherine Lomax, Artistic Director, Gordon Craig Theatre; Hilary Spiers BEM, Chair of Stevenage Arts Guild; Samantha Daisley, Stevenage Museum; Dick Hall, Lytton Players; Jo Ward, Curator, Stevenage Museum.