A professional company, Bridge Theatre, made its debut at the Little Theatre, in 1987. It was set up by local playwright Freda Kelsall, and it drew on locally-based talent, and on her many contacts within the industry.
The first production was Jane and The Magic Pumpkin, an original pantomime, with music by Chris Irvine, which opened in the old Garage theatre in December 1987. The company proceeded to put on regular seasons, as well as Young Stagers productions (with children), and specially written pantomimes each Christmas.
Bridge Theatre continued to stage productions at the Little Theatre, until the building was demolished, in Spring 1990. At the same time the company had begun to work in other theatres, which enabled it to prosper during the closure of the Little Theatre, by securing a summer residency in Norfolk.
Despite moving away, Bridge Theatre retained strong local links, and returned to perform two further seasons of plays and pantos, at the new theatre, in 1993 and 1994.
The images show various sets/productions from Bridge Theatre’s time in Hebden Bridge, in the old garage, and in the new theatre.