Harborough theatre company forced to close after 30 years in the town, leaving members 'heartbroken'

The crew in a recent production of GreaseThe crew in a recent production of Grease
The crew in a recent production of Grease
It was formed in 1993 to bring accessible theatre to all, and since then more than 1,000 members have performed on its stage.

A local theatre company has been forced to close after 30 years, leaving its members ‘heartbroken’.

Spotlight Theatre Company was recently rebranded from Market Harborough Youth Theatre and met at Welland Park Academy.

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It was formed in 1993 to bring accessible theatre to the town, and since then more than 1,000 members have performed on its stage.

But it says it has been forced to close and cancel its upcoming performance of Peter Pan due to post-pandemic issues and difficulty finding a new venue. Memberships will be refunded.

A spokesman said: “It is with extremely heavy hearts we are announcing we will not be continuing with our production of Peter Pan and that Spotlight Theatre Company will be closing down. Next year would have been the 30th anniversary of our inception and it has been our passion and privilege to showcase the young talent of our town and entertain Market Harborough.

“Post-pandemic, new access restrictions at our performance venue have made it even more challenging to stage productions of our scale and quality. We have tried to adapt and overcome these but it is not sustainable.

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“Prior to starting Peter Pan we believed we’d found a new venue but this has recently become unviable.

“We are heartbroken to have to make this decision but with no suitable local community space which can home us we are left with no choice.

“Thank you for the last 30 years. We have loved performing for you and bringing accessible theatre to our lovely town.”

In recent years the theatre has put on shows including Grease, Jack and the Beanstalk and The Addams Family.

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Families have taken to social media to say they are saddened by the closure, which comes after the group worked tirelessly to fundraise and install retractable, tiered seating.

One woman said how the group had helped her daughter. Her comment read: “We have had lots of tears. This has been so much more than just a club. This has helped her move on in life with anxiety and make very special friends after losing so many when she became home schooled due to her mental health. It has gained her valued confidence and seen her talent soar high in what she calls one of her happy places.”

Another wrote: “Very sorry to hear this. We came from Wellingborough to watch the shows. We have had so much fun as a family being part of your audience. It became a tradition to come and watch the panto with all the children.”

And a former member said: “So sad. Spotlight was such a huge part of my life, and many others that I know. I made lifelong friends, and gained a second family. It truly was an amazing company that gave me my love for performing. Thank you Spotlight, as I have made memories now that’ll last a lifetime.”