Boston is very lucky to have a beautiful and historic theatre and arts centre. It is due to the foresight and hard work of a group of people in the late fifties and early sixties who realised that there was the need for a theatre in the town. They worked tirelessly raising money and eventually they had enough to convert the ruins of the old Dominican friary into a superb theatre and arts centre which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year.
For some years it had paid staff and was helped out by different Arts Council grants but these days it is run by a loyal band of volunteers who are passionate about the place and who give a lot of time and energy to keep it going.
Blackfriars Friary was formed sometime during the 13th Century. In 1300 the Friary housed a total of 29 friars. The refectory building was the only part to survive and this is the part that was converted into the theatre. It is said to be haunted by a friar who hides sharp objects left by theatregoers under the stage.
Productions vary from local amateur productions to ballets and serious plays. There is a pantomime every Christmas and speakers such as Michael Portillo and Anne Widdecombe are a regular occurrence. There is a theatre academy for children from 4 to 19 and many local organisations rent out the rooms. Often there are art exhibitions put on in the foyer by local artists.
If you would like to find out more about this fascinating theatre and its history there is a book – Blackfriars Theatre and Arts Centre through the decades 1966-2016 by local author Jane Keightley either available from Blackfriars itself or from the author on 01205 364755.