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Page last updated at 08:47 GMT, Tuesday, 12 October 2010 09:47 UK
Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury opens
A vision of Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
The new theatre in Aylesbury is expected to attract 300,000 visitors a year

A new theatre in Buckinghamshire is being officially opened with a star studded ceremony.

Celebrities such as Cilla Black, Ruby Wax and Richard O'Brien will walk the red carpet to Aylesbury Waterside Theatre on Tuesday.

A production of Swan Lake will also be performed by the Northern Ballet.

The new theatre, found on the southern side of Exchange Street is part of the redevelopment of the town's canal area by Aylesbury Vale District Council.

'Heart of Aylesbury'

The venue, which can seat 1,200 people, can be extended for bigger crowds.

The auditorium can be converted into a 1,800-capacity hall for standing events, and a 225-seat suite for smaller events including dance, drama, meetings and conferences.

The theatre will be run by the second largest theatre operator in the UK, The Ambassador Theatre Group. They manage 23 venues, including the nearby Milton Keynes Theatre.

The concept for the theatre was developed by theatre designers, RHWL Arts Team.

Speaking to BBC Three Counties Radio, theatre chief executive, Elizabeth Adlington said: "The theatre is at the heart of the regeneration of Aylesbury. It will attract new businesses and bring new life to the town."

Broader plan

Building work started in 2007 on the theatre, found next to the town's canal.

The canal basin is being redeveloped to include restaurants, a hotel and homes, as well as a new public green space.

A bronze statue of Ronnie Barker, who began his theatrical career in Aylesbury has also been erected.

The bronze statue of Ronnie Barker with David Jason
Ronnie Barker statue and David Jason

In April 2009, Aylesbury born actress, Lynda Bellingham, was a guest at the topping out service of the theatre.

More famous faces are expected to attend the official opening ceremony held on the evening of Tuesday 12 October 2010, from 1800 BST.

Around 300,000 people from across Aylesbury Vale and beyond are expected to visit the new theatre each year.

Theatre goers can expect; West End musicals, including The Phantom of the Opera, Joseph and Evita, comedy, with the likes of Jimmy Carr and Lenny Henry, dance, international opera and ballet, as well as concerts, gigs and panto.

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