Landmark celebration for Regal as Kennedy set to perform - The Evesham Observer

Landmark celebration for Regal as Kennedy set to perform

Evesham Editorial 20th Feb, 2023   0

AN EVESHAM landmark will celebrate its 90th birthday in style with the return of Worcestershire violinist Nigel Kennedy to its stage next month.

The Regal Cinema first opened its doors in Port Street in 1932 and was brought back to life in 2012 following a seven-figure restoration bid by the Wiper family and the local community.

Since re-opening, The Regal has formed part of Evesham’s arts scene and has played host to the likes of Omid Djalili and jazz sensation Ruby Turner.

The venue made both local and national headlines in 2015 when controversial comic Jim Davidson cancelled his gig claiming the Regal’s stage was ‘too high’.

Laurence Wiper, who oversaw the restoration of the Grade II listed art deco building, said: “We are delighted to welcome Nigel Kennedy back to the Regal in March.




“Nigel Kennedy is a legend and we are honoured and delighted after a long time away from playing in the UK, he has agreed to come back again and has chosen to come back here

“As a high profile building within Evesham we feel very lucky as current custodians to be celebrating our 90th birthday,” he added.


The violinist I said to love the Port Street venue and believes artist support is integral to keeping independent venues alive.

His last scheduled UK performance was at the Royal Albert Hall but he pulled out with days to go when he accused Classic FM of ‘musical segregation’ preventing him from performing a Jimi Hendrix tribute. The station declined to respond to his accusation.

“He would not normally play venues with small capacities such as ours. He tours the world but is willing to come back and looks forward to returning to his local area,” Mr Wiper said.

“We’re thrilled has agreed to return in support of the above to mark the Regal’s community restoration and continued survival during difficult times

“From my perspective, The Regal’s anniversary, 90 years serving the local community is something to celebrate. In addition, it’s important to remember companies and individual contributions to the restoration that were integral to bringing the building back to life.

“Buildings such as The Regal sit in the heart of local communities and only succeed with the support of locals, press and artists.

“We still have Nigel’s signed keyboard in pride of place in our rock archive.

“We want to thank him for celebrating with us the Regal’s 90th birthday and for supporting our local independent venue with his characteristic passion and enthusiasm for inclusivity in the arts,” Mr Wiper added.

Visit www.theregal.ac for more.

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