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'Back in business!': Redbridge Council confirms Ilford amateur dramatic group can keep using the Kenneth More Theatre

PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 November 2019

The cast of IODS' production of Fame back in 2016. Picture: IODS Productions

The cast of IODS' production of Fame back in 2016. Picture: IODS Productions

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A long-running Ilford amateur dramatic group has said it is "delighted" at the news it will continue putting on shows at The Kenneth More Theatre after the council's takeover of the venue.

IODS Productions (formerly the Ilford Operatic & Dramatic Society) is thrilled to let supporters of the Kenneth More Theatre know that, after a quiet Autumn, they and other local performing companies will be coming back to the community theatre in the spring of next year.

And the group's first show will be none other than the Madness musical House of Fun, with rehearsals already well under way in Goodmayes.

The news comes following successful discussions with Vision Rebridge Culture and Leisure (RCL) - Redbridge Council's leisure arm.

The Redbridge Theatre Company, which used to manage the venue in Oakfield Road, Ilford, moved out this summer citing concerns about funding.

There had been some concerns the theatre would be used less, or even closed, once the council took over on September 1.

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Diana Fairbairn Smith, who ran IODS Youth for more than 20 years, said: "We celebrated our centenary in July this year with a wonderful concert entitled Can't Stop The Beat, with the worry of knowing that the venue we have enjoyed performing in since 1975, with the support of Redbridge Council, was in danger of closing.

"Now with the theatre staying open, we really hope local people will show support for local theatre by being in the audience, but also perhaps considering being in the shows.

"If you would like to be part of our next show, we invite you to contact us by emailing info@IODSProductions.co.uk and come along to a free taster session.

"Welcome to the House Of Fun! Rehearsals are Mondays and Thursdays in Goodmayes.

"Casting auditions are on November 28."

Gareth Morley, head of culture and libraries at Vision RCL said: "The Kenneth More Theatre is back in business, with a full range of shows and Christmas events in the offing.

"We're delighted that we can welcome IODS Productions back to the theatre as part of our ongoing commitment to the local community.

"We'll soon be putting out an exciting new programme of shows for 2020, offering something fresh for all of our communities across the borough."

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