KIM Hartman, best known for her role as Private Helga Geerhart in the TV comedy series ‘Allo ‘Allo! is to become a patron of The Bear Pit Theatre.
The invitation was extended following the theatre’s highly successful production and adaptation of ‘Allo ‘Allo! which saw her attend a performace at the United Reformed Church in Stratford earlier in the summer.
As its new patron, Hartman is hoping to compere Open House, a unique production involving The Bear Pit in collaboration with the RSC at the Courtyard Theatre, which will showcase the work of local amateur drama groups on Sunday 19th January.
This showcase kicks off The Bear Pit’s 2014 programme and also involves the RSC running a series of voice and movement workshops for amateur artists and groups.
Bear Pit artistic director David Mears said this would be the third time the group had performed on the RSC stage, following performances in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in 2010, at The Swan Theatre in 2012 and now The Courtyard Theatre in 2014.
He added: “We are honoured and delighted to be welcoming Kim Hartman as our patron to The Bear Pit Theatre, which underlines the growing reputation of the group.
“Her forthcoming presence at the Open House event in January as the show’s compere is equally exciting, and we are thrilled that she wishes to find time in her busy diary to be with us for this special and memorable occasion”, he said.
The Bear Pit Theatre is continuing to build its local audiences following this year’s most successful series of productions which have witnessed record sales at the box office.
Advanced tickets for Stepping Out, the comedy by Richard Harris being staged from 14th–19th October are available from £8, as well as A Christmas Carol, The Bear Pit’s festive season production from 2nd–7th December.
After Open House, The Bear Pit’s next production will be Hi-de-Hi by David Croft and Jimmy Perry, which opens on Friday 21st February.
Next up is The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, adapted by Steven Canny and John Nicholson, which begins its run on Friday 4th April.
In May are the Made from Scratch Theatre Nights, part of Bear Pit’s new writing development initiative.
A Chorus of Disapproval by Alan Ayckbourn follows in June, while the latter part of the year sees Blackadder Goes Forth by Richard Curtis & Ben Elton open on 26th September and then The Vicar of Dibley: The Second Coming by Richard Curtis & Paul Mayhew-Archer starts its run on Friday 28th November.
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