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20 years of The Point

On 3 May 1998, The Point opened its doors for the first time to the public.

In true darts’ style, it wasn’t a quiet opening – The Point kicked off its tenure with a performance of Ghosts at No. 16, a spectacular musical performance exploring the different lives within this building throughout the years.

The Point’s opening wasn’t the start of darts – as a company, we had been providing arts workshops and experiences within the borough for 7 years before this date, from Bentley West End Youth Centre and then to go even further back, from a little room in Bentley Library.

The opening of The Point signified something new, however – a permanent home, a spacious and flexible space in which to deliver more arts and culture to the people of Doncaster.

To celebrate our 20th anniversary, we’re sharing fond memories and recollections from The Point’s history.  Some of our team have been here since the start, and many have been a part of darts for years, watching it evolve. Read on to hear what a couple of them have to say about their favourite memories of their time here…

Janet Wood, Core Artist (musician):

In the very early days, before we officially opened, we had small performances called The Point Club, organised by Ian McMillan. One was a Blues Night – during the performance, a visual artist painted the whole room blue, including the performers while they were playing!

I remember being really nervous about the big performance of Ghosts at Number Sixteen, the biggest project I’d done and one I’m still proud of… a young cellist rung me in the morning in tears to say she’d broken the neck of her cello, but somehow we managed to borrow one for her before the last rehearsal. The building was jam-packed full of people looking round beforehand – there was such a buzz and lots of curiosity about what this new place would be.

Quirky Choir is the biggest legacy for me – it’s never stopped since 1998.

Lucy Robertshaw, Assistant Director:

‘There are too many memories to name, they all mix together, right from sitting with my freelance portfolio of work, listening to the amazing work darts does and being desperate to be a part of it.

I remember stone carving with young people, and listening to a Creative Directions participant reading out his poem about his car accident accompanied by 40 other participants who had created a soundtrack for the piece. There was devising and directing Unlocking Dementia, and (Talent Match Coach) Bob fire-breathing in the courtyard while someone stood by with a large bucket of water! I’ve brought my own children to activities and I’ve finally understood why parents loved bringing their children to Art Adventures. I’ve watched The Point grow in size and ambition and I’m very proud to be a part of it.’

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