Believed to be the only playhouse built in Great Britain during the Second World War and home to The Progressive Players since 1939, The Little Theatre remains Gateshead’s only theatre to this day.
Closed during the pandemic, funding was completed on an extension to the theatre creating a new rehearsal room above the auditorium.
New steel windows from the Clement W20 range were chosen for this new space. The new metal frames are polyester powder painted in Jet Black (matt) and great care was taken choosing the glass for the two striking modular bays at the front of the building: SunGuard SuperNeutral 62/34 was chosen for the outer pane, offering very high light transmission while ensuring energy savings through solar protection and thermal insulation, krypton gas was used for the centre of the pane and 4mm of toughened Planibel Grey was used for the inner pane.
The Progressive Players were founded in 1920. The theatre opened with a performance of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and today the Players produce ten plays a year.
The new rehearsal room has the same dimensions as the main auditorium stage allowing a smooth transfer from rehearsals to final production. It is acoustically isolated allowing rehearsals to proceed even during a performance and was designed to be in keeping with the look and feel of the original theatre. Fitted with modern lighting and sound systems, the rehearsal room has the latest connectivity and networking capabilities.
It is hoped that the refurbished Little Theatre will not only be used for the Players’ rehearsals, visiting hires and community groups, but also to accommodate a youth theatre group.