A ‘new era’ for Red Lion Theatre

The show will go on for these performers from a previous production at the Lion Theatre ENGEMN00120140128112008
The show will go on for these performers from a previous production at the Lion Theatre ENGEMN00120140128112008

Delighted officials at Horncastle’s Red Lion Theatre have described the announcement that its future looks secure as as ‘the start of a new era.’

The theatre had been under threat - ever since the former owners of the Red Lion public house put the site up for sale in January.

The pub has now been bought by Yorkshire -based brewery Samuel Smiths.

And the News revealed last week that the pub’s new managers - Jacky and Andy Melling - want the theatre to stay.

Now, the theatre company has outlined exciting plans for the rest of the year and confirmed it hopes to secure a longer-term agreement.

Shirley Moffat, from the Theatre Company, said: “After all the uncertainty, the last few days have been absolutely wonderful.

“The fact the theatre is carrying on is marvellous news.

“It’s the start of a new era and everyone is delighted we can look to the future again.”

The company had put productions on hold as doubts remained about whether it would be able to continue.

However, Ms Moffat said it was planned to return with performances of ‘Allo Allo’ in October.

She confirmed the theatre’s youth section would also produce a show before the end of the year.

And, the traditional Pantomime - which is always a sell out - is set to take place in January of 2016.

Ms Moffat added: “There is a lot of work to be done but everyone at the theatre is delighted - and relieved..

“We have spoken to the manager of the pub and they are very supportive,.

“Hopefully, we can establish a strong relationship which will be of benefit to both parties,.”

Ms Moffat admitted there had been ‘many sleepless nights’ since news of the theatre’s worrying predicament broke earlier this year.

Although the theature building has protected Community Asset status, there were genuine fears it would have to move to new premises

. Ms Moffat added: “Everything was in doubt and it was really looking like we would have to move.

“Now, it is looking a lot better. We never wanted to leave. The Red Lion has been our home for more than 30 years and we hope to stay for at least another 30.”

Ms Moffat said the company wanted to allow the pub’s new managers ‘time to settle in’ before starting talks about a long-term agreement.

She added: “That’s only fair.There’s a lot to be getting on with. There’s rehearsals and the building really needs some TLC . For example, there’s been no heating since the previous owners switched it off last year.”