A group of drama enthusiasts, mostly based on the Isle College, Wisbech, were looking for a place to rehearse in. The group initially came together as 'Isle College Entertainments', staging shows in the college’s hall at the Teachers’ Centre and on one occasion with a Mike James musical entitled Double Act at the King’s Lynn Festival.
They formed themselves into the 'Angles Theatre Company', with plans to tour Shakespeare. In 1977 they took a production of Othello to the following venues: the Maltings in Ely; the South Holland Centre in Spalding; the Huntingdon Drama Centre. It was a great success.
They were then hit with a serious problem. The commitments of the Isle College precluded use of their hall for regular rehearsals. So the group began looking for a rehearsal space elsewhere in the town.
When they came across the room that the Christian Spiritualist Church were offering. None of the group had any idea that the space being leased, tucked away behind the former town library, had once been a Georgian theatre!
As soon as the Angles Theatre Company secured the lease the members discovered the wonderful and related history. They set to work preparing the space not only for use as a rehearsal room, but also for performances. Scaffolding poles were used to build stepped seating. They created a stage area and a backstage area and stage door with a newly created entrance to the 'theatre' down the side of the building.
In November of 1978 the re-vamped Wisbech Theatre re-opened its doors with She Stoops to Conquer. 130 years after it was closed in 1848. This was a particularly appropriate choice of show since rumour had it that Goldsmith fashioned his plot, of a private home mistaken for an inn, from an incident that had occurred many years before at Leverington Hall, near Wisbech.
The group then secured the James Hill Building, at the front of the theatre, to further extend the offering of a revamped theatre and rehearsal space.
From the beginnings in 1978 scores of productions, both amateur and professional, have followed. Among the earliest were two fund raisers for the Angles, The Hollow Crown, which launched Jill Freud’s successful company, and the West End show, Songbook, with its star cast led by Anton Rodgers who moonlighted from London to Wisbech for a memorable Sunday night performance. Right from the start the Angles has not only been about shows. Its remit was, and still is, to provide a focal point for the theatrical arts for the local community, with a special accent on the young.
A group of drama enthusiasts based at the Isle College, Wisbech, were looking for an appropriate place to rehearse in. They formed themselves into the 'Angles Theatre Company', with plans to tour Shakespeare and needed a rehearsal space in Wisbech.
When they came across the room the Christian Spiritualist Church were offering not knowing that the space being leased, tucked away behind the former town library, had once been a Georgian theatre!
As soon as the Angles Theatre Company secured the lease the members immediately set to work preparing the space not only for use as a rehearsal room, but also for performances.
In November of 1978 the re-vamped Wisbech Theatre opened its doors, 132 years later, with She Stoops to Conquer. The group then went about securing the James Hill Building, at the front, to further extend the offering of a revamped theatre and rehearsal space.