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ATG to re-open Stockton Globe

Published: 27 February 2019

The Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) is to re-open The Globe in Stockton as a music and comedy venue.

ATG, now the world’s number one live-theatre company with close to 50 venues in Britain, North America and Germany, has a portfolio of historic West End theatres including the Apollo Victoria, Duke of York’s, Fortune, Harold Pinter, Lyceum, Phoenix, Piccadilly, Playhouse and Savoy. Across the UK, it has regional theatres in major cities such as Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Milton Keynes and Sunderland (Sunderland Empire).

Now the company is moving into music and comedy as it re-opens the historic Stockton Globe in 2010.

The multi-million pound refurbishment, funded by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, will see ATG utilise its network of talent, producers and promoters to bring the biggest names in music and comedy back to the venue in the first time in over 40 years.

The current building is the third on the site, having been built in 1935 as a variety theatre seating 2,372 people, the largest in the North East. Its predecessors were cinemas. In 1938, it became an ABC cinema but live performances continued including an annual panto, ballet and West End shows.

Between the '50s and the '70s, stars performing there included Buddy Holly, the Platters, Guy Mitchell, the Rolling Stones, the Animals, Cilla Black, Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry and The Beatles—twice. Cliff Richard, the Shadows and Lonnie Donegan made their acting debuts there in panto.

The historic art deco building, due to reopen its doors in just over a year, is being transformed into a 3,000+ capacity venue with flexible auditorium for standing and seated events. The refurbishment will also see a smaller 250-capacity venue open in the adjoining building.

Adam Kenwright, Group Board Director of ATG, said, “we've been working with the council to tailor the Globe so that it is one of the best in the industry for hosting live music and comedy events.

“With over a year to go before doors open, ATG are already in discussions with household music and comedy acts so that we can bring these stars to the Tees Valley community and back onto the Globe's stage after having no live entertainment inside the venue for over 40 years.”

The restoration of the Globe will complement the ongoing regeneration of Stockton High Street and recent opening of a new Hampton by Hilton hotel nearby. The opening of the Globe alone is expected to bring in £18 million to the local economy each year and will give Stockton the biggest live entertainment venue between Newcastle and Leeds.

(Sunderland Empire is the largest theatre, both in terms of capacity (1,869) and stage, between Leeds and Edinburgh, whilst The Sage, Gateshead, is the largest music venue with a capacity of 2,510.)

Peter Lathan