'Happy tears' as Harrogate Theatre's epic new Our Gate production is launched

Tonight will see the launch of one of Harrogate Theatre's most exciting and most ambitious projects in its 121-year history.

Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 11:31 am
Updated Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 11:32 am
Harrogate Theatre's Our Gate production in rehearsal at Wesley Centre, Harrogate (Picture Gerard Binks)

Created by local writer Rachael Halliwell and director Amie Burns Walker, the epic Our Gate is a truly immersive community play with Harrogate and it’s citizens at its core.

Funded with an Arts Council grant, performances will run for just six days from tonight, Tuesday, August 24 at a carefully-organised series of different locations in the heart of Harrogate town centre.

Harrogate writer Rachael Halliwell liaises via Zoom during rehearsals for epic new production Our Gate.

Rachael Halliwell said current rehearsals at Wesley Centre, one of the play’s venues, had gone well.

She said: “It’s fantastic to see the play taking shape with Amie Burns Walker leading the company and all the actors getting into their roles.

“The Wesley Centre has become our second home and their support has been invaluable.

“This has been three years of my life.

“There have been happy tears as the world of Our Gate has started to come to life.

“We cannot wait to share this unique live experience with the town.

“Harrogate is packed with so much talent.”

The new show will run for six days and is a sign of Harrogate Theatre’s ongoing commitment to live performances in the town after lockodown even while its own auditorium is out of bounds as part of the current £1 million roof repair project.

Our Gate promises not only break the theatre’s traditional ‘third wall’ but to put spectators at the heart of the action to make decisions about Harrogate’s future.

It’s also sees the team working directly with a combined intergenerational community and professional cast.

Rachael said: “Our Gate is a bit different to a usual theatre show but in the most exciting way - we will take you on an adventure where you as the audience member will be at the centre of the experience.

“There will be missions, interactions and a bit of a song and dance. This will be a chance to experience parts of Harrogate the audience has never seen before.”

Halliwell and Walker were also reponsible for the hugely successful Great Gatsby inter-active production at Harrogate Theatre in 2019.

For Our Gate, the team are welcoming back Evening Standard Future Theatre Award winner Caitlin Mawhinney who is designing the show.

To book tickets for Our Gate, visit www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk/our-gate/

Our Gate runs from Tuesday, August 24 to Sunday, August 29 inclusive.