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From Hertford's Number 1 mummy blogger (in google search results- last updated 24/9/21) and Tots100 chart featured parenting blogger and one of the leading mummy bloggers in Hertfordshire (Rank 3 in Google searches 24/9/21) and rank 4 in google searches for "Hertfordshire bloggers" (11/21). #kayleigh&theboys

 

 

Behind the scenes on the Hertford Theatre growth and legacy project.

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Last thursday myself, Dan from I Love Hertford and a representative from Axis magazine joined the team from East Herts Council and Hertford Theatre for a look behind the scenes at the rebuild.

Entering the site I actually felt rather emotional, even seeing the tempory sign on the site entrance "Welcome to Hertford Theatre" gave me butterflies. I cannot stress how much we love Hertford Theatre, the team once joked that I was their biggest fan and they aren't wrong! I am a huge advocate for the arts and we have so many memories there and we have really felt its loss since its closure for redevelopment. We know many of you have also felt the loss personally and for some of you who loved the theatre as it was I know you might have wondered why it had to change at all. However the project is absolutely going to be worth every second of the wait and as a mother and a blogger who blogs about all things Hertford I am ridiculously excited, this is going to be huge for our little town and really help us put Hertford on the map (where it rightfully belongs)!

After donning the appropriate protective equipment (I must say I think i am rocking this hard hat) our first port of call was the second smaller (but no less impressive) theatre with a rather fancy seating system (that goes under the stage!) making the room adapable for a range or purposes. From young childrens theatre, smaller more intimate productions to local theatre school performances and so much more. I did hear the team drop the word DJ when pointing to a balcony and this certainly made me excited for the future. This Mum loves a boogie! Its a fantastic space and I cant wait to see it in action for a range of purposes.

Next up was the cinema screens!! I joked with the team that I wanted to thank them personally for building new cinema screens as my eldest is reaching an age where he won't want to go to the cinema with his mum anymore and would rather the company of friends, thank goodness soon i won't have to ferry him to harlow or stevenage and he can just walk to town! Lifesaver! There will be three cinema screens showing new releases with a total capacity of 200 , I wonder what the first film we will see in there may be? 

Entering the new albeit scaffold filled auditorium was a surreal moment for me, those well loved brick walls hold so many memories for us, first panto, first live theatre and first cinema for both boys have been in there. There is an air of familarity but also the promise of new things with a bigger capacity and the addition of a balcony which will add an extra 142 seats taking the capacity up to 550.They have also made improvements to energy efficency and air con (I might just move in when it opens!). We got to head up to balcony level to take a look which was pretty awesome too! Though maybe I should have mentioned i'm not good with heights before we started up this staircase!

There have also been improvements to accessibility for the stage and dressing rooms which the team were really passionate about . 

I've said it before but Hertford Theatre really is at the heart of the community and holds such importance to so many across generations and we know just how much local clubs and classes love hosting their lessons at Hertford Theatre. In fact its all anyone asks me when I go for meetings with local classes "when is the theatre reopening?". We were delighted to see the new dance studio, I couldnt help but smile thinking about all young dancers who will grace the studio in 2024. There is also a community room with views of the river, the project is going to benefit so many.

The team also walked us through what will be the new river side bar/ kitchen which is going to adapt to a range of uses and serve a wider offering of food and drink.

I commented on how well loved the old cafe was for its accesibility for buggies (because cafes with buggy space is shockingly limited in Hertford) and was assured they had taken this into consideration with their design and that accesibility would be maintained. 

The new entrance to Hertford Theatre is opposite the mill bridge rooms and as I stood looking out through the small gaps in the boarding and scaffolding , the sound of building all around I couldn't help but close my eyes and imagine in 2024 when those doors open and excitable guests arrive and the show goes on once more. 

I left absolutely grinning from ear to ear, hugely proud of the team behind this project who I know have worked so hard on all aspects to make this happen and beyond excited for our town. The project is ambitious and rightfully so, the people of Hertford deserve this multifaceted community hub. I promise you the growth and legacy project will take your breath away when it opens . I hope you are ready Hertford because something epic is coming! 2024.. lets go!

Thank you for having me

Kayleigh

XxxX

You can read more on the growth and legacy project here.

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