Subdued 20th birthday celebrations for Lowry Theatre

The Lowry Theatre celebrated the 20th anniversary of its official opening by the Queen this week, although due to coronavirus, it remained closed for the event.

Originally, the anniversary was set to be marked by Week 53, a biennial festival of contemporary art and theatre.

Due to national restrictions on theatres opening, the Lowry was limited to hanging banners in the foyer which reflected on highlights of the last two decades.

Marketing and Communications Director, Rachel Miller, said: “It was not the 20th year celebrations we were anticipating to have, for obvious reasons.

“We’d have liked to have marked it with Week 53, maybe we’ll just have to move it to our 21st, we’ll see”.

A post on The Lowry’s Instagram page on the 12th October, said: “#OnThisDay HM The Queen officially opened The Lowry 20 years ago today! Happy (official) Birthday to us!”

Over the years, The Lowry has played host to a variety of famous acts and passed several significant milestones.

Here are some of the highlights of the last 20 years:

28th April 2000: The Lowry’s first ever performance, To You, is a production that brought together more than 200 people from the local community with 30 professional theatre makers to celebrate the concept of possibilities.

27th January 2001: Peter Hall’s marathon, 12hour 45min production of Tantalus – hailed by The Chicago Tribune as ‘a landmark theatrical event’ – sees audience members picnic their way through the epic performance in the Lyric Theatre.

31st December 2005: Visitor numbers hit 850,000 a year and The Lowry is named the most popular visitor attraction in Greater Manchester, a title it will retain for 10 of the next 12 years.

3rd May 2008: The Lowry’s Walkabout programme launches in Little Hulton.

Developed in partnership with the local community and Salford City Council, Walkabout used a wide variety of artists and art forms to address community and council priorities and celebrate the unique qualities of the area.

1st May 2010: Hundreds of local people appear naked on The Plaza outside The Lowry to be photographed by the internationally renowned artist, Spencer Tunick, for The Lowry’s tenth anniversary exhibition, Everyday People.

5th December 2011: The Lowry hosts The Royal Variety Performance in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence. Hosted by Peter Kay, performers included: STOMP, Cee Lo Green, Nicole Scherzinger, Il Divo, Pixie Lott and Tony Bennett.

20th November 2013: The National Theatre’s acclaimed production of War Horse opens for the start of a nine week, recordbreaking run in the Lyric Theatre.

By the time of the final performance, experts calculate the value of the show to the local economy at £8.9 million.

28th April 2016: Launch of the biennial, crossarts festival, Week 53, which brought together some 200 artists in 63 performances for an audience of over 10,000 33% of which were first time visitors to The Lowry.

5th December 2017: Following its world premiere in The Lowry’s Quays

Theatre in 2016, The Lowry and LUNG Theatre co-production of Who Cares is performed before MPs and peers at The House of Lords in Westminster.

The performance exemplifies the powerful role the arts can play in bringing about positive social change.

The Lowry galleries are set to reopen on weekends from 1st November and performances are scheduled to re‐start from 27th November.

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