12 October 2022 / Events
Theatres in Manchester 1968 to 1995 – Old and New
If you can’t join us in person, tune in online via the Zoom Webinar link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/88984900807?pwd=Y0lpcXVyYjJBVGp1UHdPdHZpY0dYZz09
Bob Scott arrived in Manchester in 1968 as the Administrator of 69 Theatre Company at the University Theatre. 6 years later 69 built a temporary theatre in the Royal Exchange and 2 years later the Royal Exchange Theatre proper opened as a permanent new home for the Company. Despite an IRA bomb the theatre still thrives. In 1977 Bob crossed Manchester to take over the Palace Theatre which after massive refurbishment re-opened in 1981 and became the highest earning theatre outside London. In 1984 the same Trust rescued the Opera House from a Bingo Hall existence and Bob ran them together. Finally, the Chairman, Raymond Slater, the main investor, needed his money back and the two great theatres were sold to Apollo Leisure. The golden days were over. The Royal Opera never returned. In 1995 Bob, by now Sir Bob, moved to London.
In his theatre life in Manchester Bob encountered and worked with many great names – Pavarotti, Nureyev, Olivier, Rex Harrison, Topol, Michael Crawford, Albert Finney, Mia Farrow, Vanessa Redgrave, Tom Courtenay, Brian Cox, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Cameron Mackintosh – and his talk will include hilarious anecdotes of backstage life and financial crises. And for 8 of his Manchester years he combined running the two great theatres with bidding for the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games.
He describes his action packed life in his new memoir, Win a Few, Lose a Few.
Speaker: Sir Bob Scott