A Brief History of The Market Theatre in Words & Pictures

In November 1996 Kirk Foster gathered a group of unsuspecting actors together to tell them about a vision he had had. That vision was to turn a run down industrial unit into a small scale, self-run professional theatre, known as The Market Theatre!


From This..
...To This!
This would become the Hatchway Bar
Kirk Foster & Glen Davies set to work
The Stage & Backstage area.
Kirk Foster at work on.
The Hatchway Bar & Toilets.


The following are some pictures of rehersals for The Market Theatre's first shows "For Sale" & "Hansel & Gretel" both by Kirk Foster. Due to the theatre not quite being ready at this stage, rehearsals took place at Hertfordshire Theatre School.

Director Kirk discusses how the show will work.
Ronnie Toms & Glen Davies
Catherine McCulloch & Glen Davies.
Sue Vincent & Rebecca Pendall
Keith Swainston, Kirk Foster & Ronnie Toms.
Ronnie Toms & Sian - Peta Ibsen rehearse Hansel & Gretel.
Kirk Foster Directs
Catherine McCulloch

For Sale opened at The Market Theatre on 21st November 1996 starring Glen Davies, Ronnie Toms, Sue Vincent, Keith Swainston, Catherine McCulloch and Rebecca Pendall. The show ran for 15 performances.

Two days after For Sale opened, the first Kids show Hansel & Gretel, also started its run.

Below are some pictures of when the Market Theatre went out to the Market Square in Hitchin's town centre to advertise the theatre with the help of Hansel (Ronnie Toms) and Gretel (Sian Peta-Ibsen).

Artistic Director Kirk Foster hands out balloons
Hansel & Gretel perform in the Market Square.
Glen Davies poses for the camera!
Hansel & Gretel
Sian-Peta Ibsen signs a Market Theatre Brochure for her adoring fans!

The Market Theatre was now up and running taking a total of 4 weeks to build and with the last lick of paint going onto the last bit of set as the doors opened to the public!

Since 1996 the Market Theatre continues to grow in popularity mainly gaining audiences through word of mouth.

The first Market Theatre Brochure
The Inside of the first Market Theatre Brochure