The Beck Theatre, located in the UK, is a community theatre founded in 1977. The 600-seat venue in the London Borough of Hillingdon is a stage where one can see a wide variety of programmes, including musicals, drama, concerts, dance, films, opera, comedy, kid’s shows, panto, as well as a children’s summer projects.
The Hillingdon Borough Council built the theatre in 1977 for £2.5 million. It was intended to be a theatre focusing on the community, and Councillor Alfred Beck funded its construction. This purpose-built venue’s layout is closely similar to parkland. It adjoins the award-winning botanical park, the Norman Leddy Memorial Gardens.
The Beck Theatre itself is an award winner. In 1978, it featured in a list of 40 buildings chosen for the Royal Institute of British Architects London legion award. In 2004, the venue’s resources for the elderly and disabled won it an Access Award from Hillingdon Council.
A shortage in funding jeopardised the building’s future in 1984, but a local petition secured it. Two years later, impresario Charles Vance took over the theatre. In the following years, the management contract passed down to different companies; first to Hetherington Seelig, and in 1992, Apollo Leisure, before Clear Channel Entertainment purchased it. A partnership with Qdos Entertainment (HQ Theatres) returned the theatre to Hetherington Seelig in 2006. Presently, the company operates the venue on behalf of the local council.
The Beck was the location for a bombing attempt by the IRA in 1991, which took place right before the Blues and Royals band was due to perform.
Famous names who have performed at the Beck Theatre include the likes of Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings (25th May 2000), Bobby Vee (24th November 2005), Mickey Rooney (26th September), Gilbert O’Sullivan (13th June 1998), The Osmonds (22nd September 2014), Ralph McTell (24th October 2000), Jacqui McShee’s Pentangle (1st November 2000), Les McKeown’s Bay City Rollers (14th March 2010), Dennis Locorriere of Dr Hook (12th March 1999), Danny La Rue (31st May 1999), Hinge and Bracket (5th April 1999), Georgie Fame (20th November 2003), Donovan (10th June 2005), Brotherhood of Man (7th September 2012), Colin Blunstone & Rod Argent (15th June 2000), Marcus Brigstocke, Errol Brown of Hot Chocolate, Frank Carson, Jimmy Carr, Jack Dee, Foster & Allen and many more!
The main entrance leads to the theatre’s foyer, where there is level access to the patio, coffee shop and bar. The auditorium has ramp corridor access on the sides of the Bar and Box Office. A major portion of the seating follows the conventional raked amphitheatre style. An Induction Loop System highlights the auditorium’s hearing technology, which matches the sound using a magnetic field. This is a great help for those with hearing aids. In the case of visual assistance, the theatre can arrange a pre-performance tour of the set and stage for patrons, either in small groups or individuals.
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