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The final curtain: Last programmed show at KMT, Ilford, will take place this Saturday

PUBLISHED: 07:28 24 July 2019

The performance will take place this Saturday. Picture: Paul Bennett.

The performance will take place this Saturday. Picture: Paul Bennett.

Archant

The last show scheduled in 2019 at the Kenneth More Theatre (KMT) will take place on Saturday, July 27.

The show features  features a 10-piece band and four  dancers. Picture: Andy LocksleyThe show features features a 10-piece band and four dancers. Picture: Andy Locksley

After more than 40 years of running performances at the council-owned building, Redbridge Theatre Company (RTC) will leave the venue in Oakfield Road, Ilford over "funding issues and rising running costs" according to staff.

The final show to be performed in the building under RTC management will be the Tina Turner Experience.

Andy Locksley, production manager for the show, said the venue has been "supporting the local community since 1974".

"Sadly there'll be no more cheers of hurrah, shouts for more, smiling faces or rapturous rounds of applause as the theatre will close its door for the last time after this amazing show," he said.

The theatre has been open since the 70s.  Picture: Andy LocksleyThe theatre has been open since the 70s. Picture: Andy Locksley

"The KMT first opened on the very last day of 1974 with a preview of The Beggar's Opera.

"The theatre seated 365 and was fully equipped with a fly-tower and all the latest state-of-the-art equipment.

"It also contained a 50-seat Studio Theatre for experimental work. The building cost £500,000."

Andy said in the years since, the venue has "balanced its commitment to amateur theatre by providing 26 weeks each year for local amateur companies".

The Tina Turner experience will be the last show under the current management of the KMT, Picture: Andy LocksleyThe Tina Turner experience will be the last show under the current management of the KMT, Picture: Andy Locksley

"The remaining half of the programme has consisted of a mixture of visiting professional shows and professional in-house productions," he said. Even though it is a sad day for the theatre, the Tina Turner troupe hope to go out with a bang.

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"This fully live energetic show charts the life and career of one of the world's iconic performers," added Andy.

"Full of hits like Private Dancer, Nutbush City Limits, Proud Mary, River Deep Mountain High and Let's Stay Together to name but a few, this show is the ultimate night out.

"This completely live tribute to the multi award-winning legend features a 10-piece band and four amazing dancers, starring Julie Nevada as Tina.

"Powerful vocals, backing singers and fabulous professional dancers with electrifying dance routines make The Tina Turner Experience 'simply the best' night out this year.

"For a chance to be a part of history contact the theatre's box office on 020 8553 4466 or book online via kmtheatre.co.uk."

Council leader, Councillor Jas Athwal, previously told the Recorder he would keep a theatre in the borough.

He has plans to replace the current building and erect a 900-capacity venue which would be part of the rejuvenation of Ilford.

"If we don't build something new with multiple purposes, in the near future libraries and leisure facilities will close," he said

"We need to consolidate council resources and create a centre for all the community, otherwise they will be lost."

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