The New Garrett Theatre was formed in January 1994 by Wit Hadley, Karl Gerrard and Yvonne Gerrard. A small Management Team was established to run the Company and as Garrett Hall School in Tyldesley was its first home, it was named ‘The New Garrett Theatre’. It was formed ‘to bring quality entertainment to the area’ and the intention was to be ‘an amateur theatre company with professional standards.’ The first meeting was held on 31 January 1994.
Advertisements were placed in the local newspapers for new members to come along and get involved on and off stage, front of house and behind the scenes. The response to the advertisements was overwhelming and the company’s first production, ‘Half of Everything’, was staged from the 10th to 13th August 1994. The show was a resounding success which attracted even more members to join us.
The following year The New Garrett Theatre (TNGT) went on to perform a further two shows – ‘Cinderella’, our first pantomime and ‘The Good Old Days’, a musical revue showcasing musicals of a bygone era. Both of these shows were well received by our growing audiences and it was clear the company was going from strength to strength. From nothing, TNGT had staged three shows in 14 months! All productions were self-funded with all profits ploughed back into the company. As part of our self-sustaining strategy, we began to invest in state-of-the-art sound equipment, a project that is still ongoing today.
It soon became clear that TNGT were beginning to outgrow the facilities at Garrett Hall School and in late 1995 an alternative venue was sought for our next production ‘A World of Music’. The theatre company moved to Formby Hall in Atherton where we remained for the next 20 years and enjoyed considerable growth.
In 1999 a democratic committee was formed which remains to this day – albeit a few members have changed!
Due to the closure of Formby Hall in 2015, the company was forced to re-locate and moved to its present venue, Atherton High School (AHS) which has proved to be a fantastic venue. TNGT performed their first production, ‘Snow White and the Magnificent Seven Dwarfs’ at AHS in January 2016.
The New Garrett Theatre currently has over 50 members and has performed over 55 productions to date including pantomimes, musicals and revues.