The Little Theatre at Skipwith Hall

Member Article

The Little Theatre is the perfect stage for a wedding

One of North Yorkshire’s smallest – and most individual – theatres has been granted a Civil Ceremony Licence to become a wedding venue.

The Little Theatre, a jewel in the crown of the historic 18th century Skipwith Hall, near Selby, was created by the Hon Irene Forbes Adam in 1930, when she converted a disused hayloft into a theatre.

The Little Theatre became very popular when Irene’s son Nigel and his wife Theresa moved to Skipwith Hall as Theresa, whose stage name was Theresa Moore, was a West End actress.

Charlie Forbes Adam, the son of Nigel & Theresa, who now lives at Skipwith Hall and runs the Escrick Park Estate of which the Little Theatre is an integral part, recalled: “In my mother’s day, the Little Theatre was incredibly popular and lots of plays were staged there.

“My mother was very enthusiastic about acting and the stage and she encouraged all kinds of amateur dramatic societies to come to the Little Theatre. On one famous occasion she suggested to the Escrick Young Farmers Club that they should enter the YFC National Drama Competition and she got them into the finals.”

The Little Theatre was lovingly refurbished in 2008 with new lighting, projections, a sound system and a green room. Since the refurbishment the building has been used for business training sessions, mini conferences, presentations, plays, pantomimes, photography studio hire and regular pilates classes. It has a capacity of 60.

Charlie Forbes Adam commented: “We are delighted to have received our civil licence, which enables us to hold weddings and receptions there. Our super Little Theatre provides a quirky alternative to a traditional wedding. Whether you or your family members are budding thespians or not, this little beauty is sure to make it a very unique place to say ‘we do’.”

Skipwith Hall, meanwhile, already provides the perfect private surroundings for a marquee wedding or celebration. The beautiful and exclusively private gardens of this Queen Anne Manor House have proved popular with wedding couples throughout the country.

Charlie Forbes Adam explained: “Guests are welcomed in the sheltered Kitchen Gardens, packed with colourful boarders and manicured lawns, cockleshell paths and a pretty pond with fountain in the centre. After your reception drinks, guests can be led to their marquee through the historic wrought iron gates.”

Meanwhile Escrick Park is also becoming a renowned wedding venue, with a perfect grassland space for a bespoke event, all set in picturesque parkland.

“Escrick Park offers glorious uninterrupted views across the former deer park and open landscape stretching for miles. The grounds are mostly facing south, providing a very special location for a wedding,” said Helen Pentith, who has been promoting the space for three years.

“Couples love the wide open space and blank canvas of parkland to plan their special day. With the addition of our new woodland wedding area for humanist ceremonies and within the park area, this is set in an ancient oak clearing and provides room for up to 100 people. The beautiful archway is crafted from dried oak branches to create a special and magical space for wedding vows,” she explained.

’The woodland is just a short walk from the tent site so once the marriage ceremony is over guests can stroll back for the wedding reception. We have already had one wedding, with another booked for the early summer and with lots more interest now building“ she added.

Escrick Park are more than happy to show interested couples around any of their sites. Please contact Helen Pentith for further details.

Escrick Estate is a traditional private estate, which has been lovingly owned and nurtured by the Forbes Adam family for over 300 years to create a natural sanctuary and parkland.

For further information, please contact Robert Beaumont of Robert Beaumont Associates on 01423 323139 or Helen Pentith of Escrick Park on 01904 727902. Alternatively, please visit www.escrick.com

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Robert Beaumont .

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