Tuesday, 9 May 2017

The Frank Collymore Hall

As part of the Central Bank's Complex, the Frank Collymore Hall was also  included in the Central Bank of Barbados's 45th Anniversary Open Day celebrations.


The Frank Collymore Hall is the Central Bank’s contribution towards the development of the performing arts in Barbados and their way of honouring Frank Collymore.


This 491 seat theatre/concert hall was constructed between 1982 and 1986 and was opened on September 18, 1986.

"The Hall" as it is affectionately known was included in the tour so that patrons could get a "behind the scenes" look at the operations of the Frank Collymore Hall.
Frank Collymore Hall is a state of the art theatre developed for professional performances and offers a full range of multi-media capabilities.
With its technically advanced lighting, excellent acoustics, professional recording facilities, it holds  the distinction of being one of the largest venues for theatre in Barbados... it is in a class of its own.
It also boasts facilities for live radio and TV broadcasts.
The hall is the proud owner of a nine foot Steinway Orchestral Concert Grand Piano.
A theatre for Barbadians and visitors alike to enjoy the arts in the capital of Bridgetown in an elegant setting....what more could you ask for.
The Hall is "THE" venue for plays, concerts and lectures among them the annual Sir Winston Scott Memorial lecture (the first native governor-general of Barbados), and NIFCA performances (National Independence Festival of Creative Arts).


If you have been reading my blog long enough, you would know that the Frank Collymore Hall is my second home and I attend most jazz and musical shows there....so it was nice to see how the shows all come together behind the scenes.
The entrance of Frank Collymore Hall is graced with a bronze bust of Frank Collymore (1893-1980.
The bust was sculpted by Karl Broodhagan, a local sculptor, now deceased.

Frank  Collymore, affectionately known as "Colly" was a poet/writer, teacher, artist and actor until his death in 1980 at the age of 87 years old. 
His work on the stage spanned 47 years with the Bridgetown Players and he was a co-founder of the Green Room Theatre Club.  He appeared in over 41 plays during the years.



The lobby adorned with various pieces of artwork.
The Bar and Catering Corner....just outside is the large balcony for post-performance receptions.
"Love Form"
The Waiting Area and Guard Station
Our tour guide at the Hall was the ever gracious Fran Wickham, the Manager of the Frank Collymore Hall.
We were escorted through the "stage left" back entrance across the stage and then sat in the performance hall itself while she told us about the inner workings of the hall.
The stage was being prepared for a dance performance and the lighting crew was hard at work.
The wood art pieces on the wall are called baffles and they are used to fine-tune the acoustics of the Hall.  If these were not used the Hall would be very LOUD and would distract from the performances.
The triangle in the center is the climate controlled air duct.

The Performance Hall
We then toured several dressing rooms well equipped for getting ready for grand stage entrances.
We were introduced to the Grand Steinway Piano stored in its own climate controlled room.  It never leaves that room except when it makes appearances on stage and even then the passageway and the stage has to be at the correct temperature before it could make its journey....no heat for the Steinway!!!

"Fran" also gave us an update on the Hall's upcoming renovations which will be carried out in September after over 30 years of operation.
I certainly couldn't tell that the hall was that old, it has been so well looked after.
New seats and carpeting will be installed.  The new seats will mean a new configuration for the seating which in turn will lead to the loss of 40 seats!!!  
My breath slowed and my heart beat was rapid...how would the Hall do without those 40 seats? Oh my oh my...

I enjoyed my tour and once again I learned a lot about my favourite performance venue.
I can't wait to attend my first performance after the upgrades....looking forward to it.
Gotta run now.

Exit Stage Right!!!


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