Actress Barbara Flynn helped Stables Theatre members celebrate 60 years of fun and entertainment at a celebration lunch on Sunday.
The meal at Powder Mills Hotel, Battle, marked the anniversary of the opening of the Stables by Sir Ralph Richardson on June 16th 1959.
Barbara, a patron of the Stables grew up in Hastings and has family connections with the theatre. She remembered playing as a child among the foundations of the project to turn the former stable block into a working theatre at The Bourne.
Barbara, who played Aunt Hermione in ITV’s The Durrells in Corfu, told 60 diners: “I love the Stables. There is a very high standard on and off the stage, and a massive capacity for fun.”
Proposing a toast, she paid tribute to “60 years of extraordinary vision, of community energy and sheer hard work.”
She was presented with a bouquet by Neil Sellman, the theatre’s Chairman, who outlined the rest of this year’s highlights. These include a visit by the Chicago Heights Drama Group from the USA who arrived yesterday and will be here until June 30th it’s part of an ongoing exchange programme with the Stables that dates back to 1999.
The 125-seat theatre and art gallery, which has about 1,700 members and has staged 622 productions since it opened. It was originally stables dating from 1746 and was in danger of being demolished in the 1950s until the Old Hastings Preservation Society stepped in.
With support from the Georgian Society, the building was listed for its historic and architectural value.
With help from Dick Perkins, a member of the Hastings and District Theatre Guild, the Stables Trust Limited was founded to convert the building into a theatre.
- For more about the history of The Stables click the link below