Dartford’s Temporary Theatre, Orchard West, Draws in Record-breaking Crowds Despite Unexpected Setbacks

An impressive temporary theatre built within weeks, the Orchard West in Hythe Street, Dartford. It is currently bustling with more than 25,000 people enjoying a high-praised pantomime, 'Beauty and the Beast'. The Caucasian male lead, Harry Reid, and Black female lead, Shona McGarty, are performing on stage. Close by, the original Orchard Theatre, currently closed due to concrete issues, can be seen undergoing renovation. There's a sense of anticipation among the audience, as they look forward to the upcoming performances of Swan Lake, and shows featuring music, comedy, and children's entertainment. Despite a chilly night, the warmth of the theatre is palpable.
Dartford’s Orchard West is proving to be a major success with its recent production of Beauty and the Beast, drawing in over 25,000 visitors. But the theatre’s triumph almost didn’t happen, as it had to be hastily constructed in just six weeks due to unexpected concrete issues in the town’s original theatre, The Orchard.

Despite the challenges, the purpose-built temporary venue, located on Hythe Street, has received high praise from its attendees. “It was much better than we expected,” raved one audience member. “The temporary theatre is quite large and warm, which is perfect for a cold winter night,” added another satisfied customer.

Dartford Council’s leader, Cllr Jeremy Kite, expressed his delight in the success of the new theatre. “We were thrilled to see so many people come out to support the pantomime. It was the right decision to construct Orchard West, and we encourage everyone to come and experience the unique venue before it’s gone.”

The theatre has an exciting lineup of shows in the coming months, including Swan Lake ballet, Spirit of the Dance, and The Best of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The Orchard Theatre is directing audiences to Orchard West while The Orchard undergoes renovations, with plans to reopen by the end of the year.

Orchard West’s director, Tal Rosen, shared his pride in the theatre’s accomplishments. “We are proud of everything we’ve achieved to get Orchard West up and running. It’s been a team effort, and we can’t wait to welcome audiences in 2024.”

The temporary theatre was constructed in November as a replacement for The Orchard, which had to close in September due to the discovery of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in its roof. Orchard West will remain in place until The Orchard is fully renovated and ready to reopen.

Don’t miss your chance to experience live entertainment at Orchard West before it’s gone. With its cozy atmosphere and top-notch productions, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a night out in Dartford.

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