State of the Arts

Playwright John Godber opening Pontefract New College's Performance Academy Building.
Playwright John Godber opening Pontefract New College's Performance Academy Building.

PLAYWRIGHT John Godber officially opened a new £2.2m performing arts centre at Pontefract NEW college.

Pupils and staff explored the state-of-the-art building, which houses dance studios, computer suites, a recording studio and a three-floor theatre, during an opening ceremony on Friday.

Guests were also treated to a student production of Edward Scissor Hands in the theatre, which is named after the Upton-born playwright.

Principal Pauline Hagen said: “I was extremely pleased to have an esteemed guest available to help celebrate the new building opening and that John agreed so enthusiastically to open our new theatre and its facilities.

“The new building will be an amazing addition to the college’s performing arts department, not only will students benefit from having facilities to learn a range of different courses to a high standard, but it will attract other companies and the community for productions and theatre work”.

The extension – which was part funded by the Education Funding Agency – offers extra space for students as well as studios, music classrooms, IT and fitness suites.

The Park Lane college is still raising cash for the building by asking corporate sponsors to offer services and equipment, including name sponsorship on seating, rooms and bricks in the wall.

The first event in the theatre will be an ensemble concert by Sepia Duo on October 17, raising cash for Five Towns’ cancer charity Dr Jackson’s.

Tickets for the concert cost £8 for adults and £5 for students and over 65s, and are available from the charity office on 01977 708686 or the college.