We use cookies on this website to improve how it works and how it’s used. For more information on our cookie policy please read our Privacy Policy

Accept & Continue
The Theatre Turns 85!

The Theatre Turns 85!

posted 18 Nov 2020

Today is our 85th birthday and to celebrate, one of our long-term volunteers and ex-performer/director, Eileen Lavender has written a special poem. 

“Happy birthday, JRT

My mum talked to me a lot about the Jo Ro

To watch dinner- time movies there, the workers would go.

The war was over, and people now wanted some fun.

Dancing, singing, drama, it all had begun

Groups In the city wanted to appear on its stage

To sing, act, dance, whatever their age.

In November, the year 1953,

A teenage girl, was rehearsing, in panto, and all in a whirl,

She would walk on the stage as principal boy,

Her dream had come true, oh, what joy!

How lucky we are, to have such a great place to be,

The lucky girl, slapping her thigh on stage, was me!

Lots of people in our city can act, dance and sing,

When on stage, what joy they bring!

If you’re performing, or viewing, whatever you do,

Please keep coming, as we love to see you!”

We all have happy memories of our theatre, from years ago and more recently. If you have a favourite memory, please share it with us. Email: publicity@jrtheatre.co.uk; or join the conversation on social media, Facebook or Twitter.


  1. As well as our birthday, today is ‘Love Theatre Day’ – what better day to celebrate the joy of theatre @lovetheatreday

  2. Most befitting our theatre’s chocolate heritage, having been built by Rowntree for the chocolate factory workers, we share a birthday year with Kit-Kat. Rowntree created the much-loved chocolate biscuit in 1935 and it is still one of Nestle’s most popular biscuit snacks!

  3. We also share a birthday with the world’s most famous rodent, Mickey Mouse, who made his debut on 18 November 1928, in the short animation film, Steamboat Willie.


Every penny helps the Joseph Rowntree Theatre throughout these uncertain times. While we are not as free to go out and spend money on things like coffee and cakes, glass of wine or beer, and generally eating out and socialising, why not donate the money you’ve saved to support our community theatre. Even if we only put a couple of pounds a week away it would all add up and make a massive difference. The theatre has been here for 85 years. Let's see it have 85 more.



    You'll be surprised how much is going on in our virtual theatre - plays, opera, festivals, musicals - don't miss out!