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With the Chair of Friends of Doncaster Grand Theatre, Ian Sunderland (left) are booklet contributors (from left): Ken Waight (Friends of Doncaster Grand Theatre), Bill McHugh (Culture and Transformation Lead, City of Doncaster Council) and Helen Wallder (City of Doncaster Archives).

History of Doncaster Grand Theatre set out in new booklet

Submitted by trustadmin on 1 July 2024

Rarely seen bill posters and programmes, performers of yester-year photographed on stage and interviews with those who recall the landmark venue in its heyday are all brought together in a fascinating new publication: ‘The Grand Theatre: A Past, A Present and A Future.’

Available for just £2.50 at Danum Gallery Library and Museum in Waterdale, Doncaster, the 16-page A4-size booklet, with many illustrations, has been authored by Bill McHugh, Culture and Transformation Lead at City of Doncaster Council.

As well as containing people’s recollections of Doncaster Grand Theatre, the booklet tells the history of the Victorian building, current developments and future hopes for its use, Bill explains.

He says: “This work is an important step in considering and deciding its future as an iconic Doncaster landmark. It also reflects the enormous passion and enthusiasm local people have in their desire to revitalise this hidden gem.”

Among a wide range of contributors, several committee members of Friends of Doncaster Grand Theatre took part in oral history sessions which are reproduced in the booklet. Among them Ken Waight, who also welcomed the new publication.

“This is an excellent publication that neatly summarises the history of Doncaster’s Grand Theatre, whilst also including some pointers to the theatre’s future,” Ken said. 

“The booklet includes extracts from the oral memories recorded on video, from some of those involved with the Grand since the early 1950s and they provide valuable insight to and a record of what has gone on before,” he added.

To purchase a copy please visit either Danum Gallery Library and Museum at Waterdale, or Doncaster Archives at Chequer Road. To buy a copy by post (£2.50 plus postage) email:

For more information about the booklet, the oral history project and the collaborative work of City of Doncaster Council, Theatres Trust and the Friends of Doncaster Theatre please read the council’s press release: A Grand Publication.