Sponsor A Seat

Here’s your chance to become part of the furniture at the Gatehouse for the next 10 years, with our new ‘Sponsor a Seat’ programme.

Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift for a loved one, mark a special moment, say thank you to a friend, or honour a fellow theatre lover, sponsoring a seat in the main auditorium is the perfect memento of happy hours spent at the Gatehouse down the years.

It might just be a memorable quote, or a tribute to your favourite act – the choice is yours.


Your support will make a big difference and help towards projects including our Gatehouse Youth Theatre groups, which give local youngsters their first taste of theatre, our Dementia Friendly Classic Film Afternoons, or our ongoing support for local community groups.

Simply choose what you’d like to say on your specially-engraved metal plaque and we’ll proudly display it on a seat of your choice for the next 10 years. The plaques are 76mm x 50mm Gilt Self Anodised aluminium plate, which can be engraved with up to four lines of text or a maximum of 75 characters.

Donations are £150 per seat (although you can add an extra amount if you wish).

You will also receive a downloadable Certificate of Thanks and a picture of the plaque in place (we will also happily arrange a visit to the theatre for you to grab your own photo).

So sponsor a seat today – and there’ll always be a part of you at the Gatehouse.

For further information, please contact the Box Office on 01785 619080.


Henry Normal – The Escape Plan

TV legend Henry was honoured with a special BAFTA for services to Television. He co-wrote and script edited the multi-award winning Mrs Merton show and the spin off series Mrs Merton and Malcolm. He also co-created and co-wrote the first series of The Royle Family.

With Steve Coogan he co-wrote the BAFTA winning Paul and Pauline Calf Video Diaries, Coogan’s Run, Tony Ferrino, Doctor Terrible and all three of Steve’s live tours and the film The Parole Officer.
Setting up Baby Cow Productions Ltd in 1999 Henry Executive Produced all, and script edited many of the shows of its seventeen and a half year output during his tenure as MD.

Highlights of the Baby Cow output during this time include Philomena, I believe in Miracles, Gavin and Stacey, Moone Boy, Uncle , Marion and Geoff, Nighty Night, The Mighty Boosh, Red Dwarf, Hunderby, Camping and Alan Partridge.

Since retiring in April 2016 Henry has written and performed five BBC Radio 4 shows “a normal family’, ‘a normal life’, ‘a normal love’, ‘a normal creativity’ and ‘a normal nature’ combining comedy, poetry and stories about bringing up his autistic son.

In 2018 Henry recorded an episode of ‘Poetry Please’ which he curated and co-presented with Roger McGough. Henry as also appeared as a guest on ‘Quote Unquote’, ‘The Verb’ and many other Radio shows.

Born in St Annes, Nottingham in 1956. Now lives in Brighton with his wife, the screenwriter Angela Pell, and their son, Johnny.
April 2018 Two Roads publishers released his latest book ‘A Normal Family’ written with his wife Angela Pell drawing on his family experience. It immediately became a best seller on Amazon and as already been re-printed. The paperback is was released 21st March 2019.

Although only 20 years of age and an outsider artist Johnny was given his own month long art exhibition in April 2018 at Phoenix entitled Art By Johnny. The exhibition was an acclaimed success and broke attendance records.

Henry performs poetry at Literature Festivals around the UK and has seven recent poetry books out ‘Staring Directly at the Eclipse’ ,’Travelling Second Class Through Hope’, ‘Raining Upwards, ‘This Phantom Breath’, The Department of Lost Wishes’ , ‘ Swallowing the Entire Ocean’ and ‘Strikingly Invisible’.

Dr John Cooper Clarke – I Wanna Be Yours with Special Guest Luke Wright


“One of Britain’s outstanding poets”
– Sir Paul McCartney
“An immensely entertaining memoir that fizzes with wit…It’s impossible not to hear him read every word aloud in your head with that unforgettable Manc drawl” – NME
“Riveting” – The Observer
John Cooper Clarke shot to prominence in the 1970s as the original ‘people’s poet’.
His unique poetry and delivery style was recorded and put to music by legendary producer Martin Hannett and a band of Mancunian stars, including Buzzcocks Peter Shelley and The
Durutti Column’s Vini Reilly, masquerading as The Invisible Girls.
Seminal tracks such as Beasley St and Evidently Chickentown featured on the hit album Snap Crackle and Bop, one of four big selling original album releases in the late 70s and early 80s. They
established John as one of the most prolific artists of the Punk years. The albums were big
sellers worldwide and firmly placed John as a major talent. In 2015 Sony honoured JCC with a Book set, Anthologia, a CD and DVD collection of his entire live and recorded history, with
tributes from amongst others Sir Paul McCartney and Kate Moss.
JCC’s early live shows were renowned occasions. He headlined gigs with support from many soon to be superstars, including Joy Division, New Order and Duran Duran. He himself featured
as special guest on many shows by the Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks and The Clash, as well as carving his own unique niche as a stand up poet.
His first poetry collection 10 Years in An Open Necked Shirt came out in the early 80s on Random House, featuring the lyrics to classic tracks from his albums and more original material.
It is one of the biggest-selling poetry books ever in the UK, Canada and Australasia.
Since then his career has spanned cultures, audiences, art forms and continents.
These days he performs purely as a stand up solo poet. His unique poetry show has been
running in theatres and festivals worldwide for over 15 years.
John’s 2018 poetry collection The Luckiest Guy Alive (Picador/Macmillan). Features 30 new
poems, including live favourites such as; I’ve Fallen In Love With My Wife and Beasley Boulevard.
Dr John Cooper Clarke’s long-awaited 2020 autobiography, named after his most famous poem
I Wanna Be Yours, published in Hardback by Macmillan, is a groundbreaking piece of
literature. JCC goes into fascinating detail about his early life in Manchester leading up to punk superstardom, drug addiction and then the massive comeback as major poet he enjoys today.
It will soon be reprinted for the 4th time and has just been re-published in paperback.
JCC is as relevant and vibrant as ever and his influence is just as visible in today’s pop culture.
Aside from his trademark ‘look’ continuing to resonate with fashionistas young and old, and his
poetry included on national curriculum syllabus, his effect on modern music has been huge.
His influence can be heard within the keen social observations of the Arctic Monkeys, amongst many others. The Monkeys put the lyrics to Johns I Wanna Be Yours to their own music, on
their worldwide smash, the genius A:M. JCC’s collaboration with Plan B, Ill Manors spawned a best selling soundtrack album and a hard hitting movie. The list of people who cite him as a
major influence is endless.
John’s track, Evidently Chickentown, was used as the soundtrack over the credits of the
penultimate episode of the hit TV show, and best selling ever DVD box set worldwide The Sopranos. He continues to feature on many British TV shows, with frequent appearances on 8
out of 10 Cats, Would I Lie To You, Pointless Celebs and Have I Got News For You, being particularly well received. Alongside his frequent BBC 6 Music shows they have opened up a
whole new audience for him.
John’s own film company produced the hilarious documentary EVIDENTLY JOHN COOPER CLARKE which records and celebrates his life as a poet, revealing his significant influence on contemporary culture over four decades. With a bevy of household names including Bill Bailey, Plan B, Steve Coogan, Kate Nash, Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner and cultural commentators Miranda Sawyer and Paul Morley, the film “Exposes the life behind one of Britain’s sharpest and most witty poets”. It was shown on BBC many times and is still available on John’s online shop as a DVD. His other film and TV shows include appearing as himself in the Joy Division Biopic Control, presenting a documentary on Thomas De Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium-Eater in the
BBC’s second series of The Secret Life of Books.
In July 2019 John was the well received guest on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs. A fan of the show for 60 years, he described it as having “all the finality of a suicide note, without the
actual obligation of topping yourself”. His book choice was Against Nature by Joris-Karl Huysmans, his luxury item was a boulder of opium twice the size of his head and his favourite track was “How Great Thou Art” by Elvis Presley.
John was recently a participant in BBC’s Celebrity Antiques Road Trip and has featured a Number of times on Would I lie to You and 8 Out of 10 Cats.
In July 2013, John was awarded an honorary doctorate of arts by Salford Uni, in “acknowledgement of a career which has spanned five decades, bringing poetry to non-traditional audiences and influencing musicians and comedians” Upon receipt, Dr JCC
commented: “Now I’m a doctor, finally my dream of opening a cosmetic surgery business can become a reality”.
His latest live show, touring across the UK, Europe, USA, and Canada, is a mix of classic verse, extraordinary new material, hilarious ponderings on modern life, good honest gags, riffs and
chat – a chance to witness a living legend at the top of this game . . in Stafford.