Port Sunlight / Gladstone Theatre
In 1891 William Gladstone MP was invited to Port Sunlight by the
first Lord Leverhulme to officially open the Gladstone Hall - a
dining and recreation room for male workers in the Lever Brothers
Soap Factory. Since then, it has seen a variety of uses. Port Sunlight
Players started performing plays and musicals in the hall in the 1920's,
the raked floor of the auditorium was installed in the 1950's.
The Gladstone Theatre Trust was formed in 1984 following discussions
between the two resident societies - Port Sunlight Players and
Fortune Theatre Group - and the building's owner (UML Limited).
At that time, the hall was renamed the Gladstone Theatre.
The Trust is responsible not only for running the Theatre as
a viable commercial concern but also as a Community Theatre
for the benefit of local schools,youth theatre groups,dancing
schools,drama festivals and amateur performers in drama and music.
The Trust also looks after all the internal improvements and maintenance.