Networks Theatre in Orihuela has been creating stories for 18 years. In almost 100 productions they have brightened the Costa Blanca and Orihuela cultural life with dramas, comedy musicals, pantomimes, Christmas celebrations and plays. This April they’re presenting the welcome return of Titanic: Ship of Dreams, a wonderful musical that inaugurated their new theatre back in 2012. The origins of Networks Theatre go back a further 13 years to 1998. Read on to know more about the origins of our new venue.
First things first: you need to cast your mind back to the late 1990s. That’s where Networks Theatre started when Lee Alexander booked a theatre company to come and play at Networks English Studies. Fate played a hand when one of the actors was Nick Moore. Nick saw the small theatre that had been lovingly built in a downstairs room in their Reyes Católicos Language School and he suggested running a theatre course for the students. Having always wanted to incorporate more theatre in the students’ studying, Lee jumped at the chance!
In March 1999 Nick flew from the UK and three groups of students rehearsed then performed what are now referred to as First Shows. During that first course Lee who was thrilled with the results, and the atmosphere the course created around the school, invited Nick to come back that December to create more theatre. Once again the aptly named “Millennium Shows” were a great success loved by students and parents alike. By the end of that year, Networks Theatre had been born. And well, the rest is history as you may well know.
Since those first two shows in 1999 and until 2012, all the 60 shows produced under the Networks Theatre brand were performed at what we nostalgically call “the old theatre.” But we really had outgrown the small venue and as demand for Networks Theatre shows grew and casts were getting bigger and bigger, Lee and Cristina Alexander decided that a special place and facilities were needed in order to better the quality of the shows. A new premise was purchased and that was the origin of their new theatre in Calle San Augustin Theatre: A Black Box studio theatre with endless possibilities.
Nick knew the theatre needed a special show that could rise to the occasion for the new theatre’s first show. That’s when he came up with his version of the Titanic story. 2012 was the centenary of the famous disaster and to mark this and with a cast of 30, Titanic: Ship of Dreams became the new theatre’s first big success! The show first performed in May 2012 was later revived in October of that year.
Who would’ve thought back in the day that Networks Theatre would go on to produce an average of nine shows a year in English in Orihuela? It’s thanks to the hard work from the team at Networks Theatre; Artistic Director Nick Moore who writes and directs most shows, Dennis Carpenter with his amazing costumes and scenic design, James Gregory with his dedication to each show and technical prowess and to all of the other staff that make everything possible. Jo P. and Ines Ruiz who create choreographies and work their magic with music all ably supported by the administration staff.
Networks Theatre is a unique place to be. If you’ve never walked through their doors check out their latest offerings on their website. www.networkstheatre.com