Salford Arts Theatre in Pendleton is famous for being the starting point for actors such as Christopher Eccleston, Sir Ben Kingsley, Robert Powell and Albert Finney amongst others.
Following a visit by Peter Hook to the theatre to see the initial plans to transform the building and facilities, the Joy Division, New Order and The Light bassist promised to help raise money to pay for new seating at the 138 capacity theatre.
Having performed an intimate and successful Q & A event with old pal BBC Radio Manchester DJ Mike Sweeney last autumn, they have decided to renew the partnership to host a special evening of live music and conversation on Friday 26th February to raise funds for the theatre.
Joined by live guests, Hooky and Sweeney will discuss their shared musical and Salford backgrounds growing up near the Ordsall Estate.
Special Salfordian guests may also make an appearance on the night.
The theatre was originally built for The Salford Players, a local group who gave aspiring local actors the opportunity to tread the boards. When the group dissolved, the theatre was given back to Salford City Council who opened it as a professional theatre, before eventually closing the venue.
In 2007, Roni and Scott Ellis took over and reopened the theatre for the community. The venue is now used for regular shows, as well as workshops to help local children take their first steps to an acting career.
The theatre has already undergone improvements as part of the Pendleton Together regeneration of the area, but now needs to raise around £40,000 for new seating.
Peter Hook said: “When I visited the theatre to see its plans, I offered to help with a fund-raising event. This event will showcase the area’s brand new groups and reflects the ethos of theatre in encouraging local talent.
“It’s a chance for people to hear some of my stories about growing up around here and no doubt there will be a few stories about my music career. This is a great event to support and I’m confident it will sell out pretty fast.
“I spent most of my young life around here and I know the area has had some tough times. That’s why the theatre needs to be supported – it provides a real lifeline for local people.”
Theatre manager Roni Ellis said: “The theatre is only a small venue, but it has a big reputation. Theatre in Salford has produced some of the big country’s biggest star. The reason for this success has been grassroots theatre offering local people the chance to tread the boards.
“We are so grateful for Peter and the local bands giving up their time for free to support us. He is an inspiration, showing you can go from the streets of Salford to the world stage. We’ve a real legend taking to our stage.”
Doors open at 7.30pm for an 8pm start.
For tickets click here or call 0161 925 0111