MUM and daughter team Jane Joseph and Chantelle Nolan are marking 20 years in charge of St Helens Theatre Royal.

Regal Entertainments Ltd launched by Jane and husband Barrie Joseph, took over the tenancy of the town’s popular playhouse in 1999.

Since then it has presented a programme of top quality drama, comedy and panto productions to audiences and has helped turn the Corporation Street venue in to a theatrical success story.

Jane, who is company director, and theatre general manager Chantelle produce all the venue’s in-house productions which each year include three seasonal pantos – directed by Chantelle, and a stage play.

Theatre Manager Chantelle Nolan added: "It's amazing to me that 20 years ago my mum and dad took over the running of the Theatre Royal and 10 years ago trusted me to manage it.

"So much has happened along the way, we don't get funding or grants to put on productions, that's all down to hard work and the amazing support of the St Helens community.

"We are honestly ecstatic at reaching this milestone of a family owned theatre company, and hope to see many more."

Regal Entertainments is also celebrating a second landmark this season with 2019 marking 25 years since Jane produced her first pantomime – Aladdin at the Neptune Theatre in Liverpool.

It was her work in theatres across Liverpool with her then company Crown Productions which led to her being offered the tenancy of the Theatre Royal.

The first show at the St Helens venue was Peter Pan starring Eunice Huthart, champion of 90s ITV show Gladiators, over Easter 1999.

Company director Jane Joseph said: “Regal Entertainments took over the theatre in 1999, and it’s been quite a 20 years. We’ve faced some challenges over the years but have also had many wonderful moments – the first time Blood Brothers came to us is a particular highlight, along with David Gest visiting with his Motown legends, and the wonderful Jane McDonald.

“I remember Peter Kay booking us as a venue for Tony Christie, and soon after the date was announced Is This the Way to Amarillo was released and the next thing we knew, there were ‘access all areas’ backstage passes being issued and catering vans turning up

“On another occasion Bond Girl Honor Blackman was coming to us but her tour bus got lost in St Helens’ one-way system and we had to send out a lighting assistant on a bicycle to find her and lead her safely to the stage door."

St Helens Theatre Royal was designed by architect Frank Matcham and opened its doors in 1901, replacing the Theatre Royal and Opera House which had stood on the same site until it was destroyed by fire in 1899.

The Theatre Royal is owned by the Theatre Royal (St Helens) Trust which retains responsibility for its external maintenance.

For more information, please visit