Rare theatre pipe organ raised for Christmas musical

A RARE pipe organ will make an appearance at Her Majesty's Theatre tomorrow in the production of A Ballarat Christmas.

The Compton Theatre Organ, which lives below the stalls area, has been raised up specially for the festive season musical.

Her Majesty's Theatre manager Graeme Russell said the organ was perfect to accompany Christmas carols.

"It gets used about once a year in a major way by the Organ Society, who own it, but in terms of its use for this kind of concert, it has been quite some time," he said.

"It's a shame to have it sitting there and not heard, and it makes a great backing for Christmas carols, because it has such a big sound."

Howard Terrill will play the organ during the musical hosted by Bruce Roberts and featuring Entertainers Anonymous and Joel Parnis.

Janet Low of the Ballarat Theatre Organ Society said she was looking forward to seeing the instrument back in action.

"It's one of Ballarat's hidden secrets that we don't get to see as much as we would like to," she said.

The Compton will next be used for the Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields Festival in January and a special organ society event in March.

It was built in England in 1937 and originally installed at the Ritz Cinema in Warrington, Lancashire, to accompany silent films.

AT A GLANCE

WHAT: A Ballarat Christmas

WHEN: Wednesday 18 December, 2pm and 7.30pm

WHERE: Her Majesty's Theatre

HOW MUCH: From $12 to $20

MORE INFO: http://www.hermaj.com/

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