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A star-studded night at the New Adelphi

Dec 05, 2017

L-R: Professor Jackie Kay, Peter Kay, Sian Gibson
L-R: Professor Jackie Kay, Peter Kay, Sian Gibson

It was an evening to remember last Friday night when Peter Kay and Sian Gibson returned to Salford to officially open our £55m New Adelphi building. Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard Stephenson started the proceedings by warmly welcoming guests to the event before introducing the Car Share co-stars.

Peter, who graduated from the University’s Media and Performance course in 1996, told the audience: “I don’t think I would have gone into stand-up if I hadn’t gone to Salford. They did a stand-up course in my second year. That gave me 10 minutes of material that I then entered the North West Comedian of the Year with and won - and then it led to me being asked if I wanted to play clubs.”

He also added: “As ex-Salford media performance students both Sian and myself are incredibly proud to be invited to open this magnificent arts facility and we're excited to think of all of the creative work that will emerge from within it in the years to come.”

Chancellor Professor Jackie Kay then took to the podium to greet guests and read a special poem. This was followed by a special set of monologues written by renowned playwright Jim Cartwright in the New Adelphi’s 350-seat theatre. The work was performed by an array of local stars and talented Salford alumni, including ex-Hollyoaks and Luther actor Warren Brown. Ex-Coronation Street actress Julie Hesmondhalgh and Sue Johnston, who played Barbara Royle in popular BBC comedy The Royle Family, also appeared on stage. 

Frances Piper, Director of Performance at the University of Salford, said: “Peter Kay is one of the most successful British comedians of modern times and is a truly inspirational figure to many, so it's a real honour for him to return to the University, where he studied hard, and where his comic brilliance was clear from day one.

“This really was a night to celebrate powerful northern voices and it was incredibly exciting to see new work performed by Jim Cartwright – one of the most important British stage writers of the last three decades – on the same night.”

You can find a photo gallery from the evening here:

New Adelphi Opening