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Saturday, August 03, 2013

Scarborough's open air theatre - and me

One of the highlights, for me as a kid, on our family holidays to Scarborough in the 1970s was a visit to the open air theatre, opposite Peasholm Park.  I remember variety shows, sing-a-longs and a tug-o-war across the lake that seperated the audience from the performances on stage. I remember It's a Knockout.  I remember having Happy Birthday sung to me from the hundreds of peple in the audience one night when everyone whose birthday it was had to stand up while we were sung at. I was one of a handful of kids whose birthday it was so I stood up, got sung at and sat back down again.  I remember the open air theatre fondly and with a smile.

And then over the years, it stopped the shows, the sing-a-longs, the tug-o-war and It's a Knockout. It stopped the birthday songs, and the theatre went into a state of some disrepair for many, many years.

In 2011 it was renovated and reopened by the Queen. Elton John played the first gig there and there have been many more big names on stage since.  The theatre is now doing a roaring trade, and rightly so. It's Europe's largest open air theatre with 6,500 seats, located in an enviable position.

And while I'm not a huge Status Quo fan, they played the open air theatre last weekend and I was there, as much to see the theatre as to see Status Quo.  The theatre is great and brought back a lot of happy memories.  The Quo rocked hard and friendly and the gig was a lot of fun, but still, no stand-up, sit-down birthday songs, no tug-o-war and no It's a Knockout. And maybe that's a good thing.

Some great old pics here.
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