Lichfield Garrick Theatre

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Lichfield Garrick
Lichfield Garrick Theatre.jpg
The Lichfield Garrick
Address Castle Dyke
City Lichfield, Staffordshire
Coordinates 52°40′57″N 1°49′34″W / 52.682414°N 1.826238°W / 52.682414; -1.826238Coordinates: 52°40′57″N 1°49′34″W / 52.682414°N 1.826238°W / 52.682414; -1.826238
Architect Short and Associates
Owned by Lichfield District Council leased to Lichfield Garrick Theatre Ltd
Type Regional theatre
Capacity 562 seats
Opened 1 July 2003
Years active 9
Other names Civic Hall
Production Garrick Rep Company
Website
www.lichfieldgarrick.com

The Lichfield Garrick is a modern, purpose built theatre[1] in Lichfield, a city in Staffordshire, England.

The newly extended main auditorium seats 562 people and the Studio seats 157 people. The theatre is named after the actor David Garrick, who was brought up in Lichfield.

The Garrick's program includes a variety of touring shows as well as its own productions. It is also used for plays and musicals by local amateur companies. Like most British theatres the Garrick also plays host to an annual Christmas pantomime. The current Chief Executive & Artistic Director is Adrian Jackson.

The Lichfield Garrick is now operated as a charitable theatre trust and is independent of Lichfield District Council, although the Council does invest in the theatre as its principal partner. The Board of Trustees is Chaired by James Leavesley DL.

History[edit]

The theatre is named after David Garrick who grew up in the city.

The new £5.5 million theatre opened in July 2003 replacing the old Arts centre and Civic Hall. The project received over £1.4 million from the European Structural Funds Program.[2] The architect was Alan Short, founder of Short & Associates. As well as adding a fly tower and orchestra pit to the main auditorium, the theatre was remodelled, so that new front of house areas could be built, better backstage access provided and a studio theatre included. It is architecturally notable for its unique natural ventilation system, which is an award-winning eco-friendly design. In 2004 it won the Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practice and CIBSE Project of the Year, among others.[3] However, the building received a mixed response from the public, with some people arguing the theatre's design was not in keeping with the character of Lichfield.

The first production, The Recruiting Officer, was directed by and starred Corin Redgrave. George Farquhar is said to have written some of the play while staying at the George Hotel in Lichfield. It was also the first play that David Garrick performed in.

Garrick Rep Company[edit]

The Garrick Rep Company [4] was formed in 2005 with the aim of providing theatre goers with powerful and exciting performances, produced in-house at the Garrick Theatre. Early productions were presented under the name of RDC Productions.

Year Play Cast Director Notes
2006 Bouncers Tom Roberts, Mark Jardine, Simon Naylor, Andrew Dickinson Alice Bartlett & Simon West
April in Paris Tom Roberts, Sarah Kirkland Alice Bartlett
Frankenstein Tom Roberts, Sarah Kirkland, Rob Glyn-Jones Alice Bartlett
2007 Waiting for Godot Mark Jardine, Russell Richardson, Phil Yarrow, Steve Edwin Alice Bartlett
Satin 'n' Steel Tom Roberts, Rebecca Reaney Alice Bartlett
Look Back in Anger Ben Warwick, Emily Bowker, Giles Faulkner, Lydia Bewley, Robert Austin Adam Barnard
A Midsummer Night's Dream Ben Warwick, Emily Bowker, Giles Faulkner, Lydia Bewley Adam Barnard
2008 Cold Comfort Farm Hannah Jayne Stretton, Edward Elks, Georgina Stamp, Alexander D’Andrea Kim Gillespie In association with The Lichfield Players
Two Mark Jardine, Janet Bamford Alasdair Harvey
Shirley Valentine Beverley Hills Alasdair Harvey
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Matthew Kelly, Tracey Childs, Mark Farrelly, Louise Kempton Andrew Hall Transferred to Trafalgar Studios, The West End
2009 Fur Coat and No Knickers Sam Millard, Mark Grady, Richard Loosemore Kim Gillespie In association with The Lichfield Players
Ladies' Day Joanna Bacon, Lorraine Cheshire, Abigail Longstaffe, Sean McKenzie, Liz Simmons Alasdair Harvey
The Entertainer John Ashton, Gerry Hinks, Lin Blakley, Emily Pennant-Rea, Robert Pass Andrew Hall
2010 Brassed Off Matthew Stathers, Rachel Matthews, Charlie Buckland, Janet Bamford Chris Rolls In association with The Lichfield Players
The Blue Room Ty Glaser, Robert Curtis Alasdair Harvey
Haunting Julia Christopher Timothy, Richard O'Callaghan, Dominic Hecht Andrew Hall This production was repeated in 2011 and transferred to Riverside Studios, London
2011 On the Razzle Darren Beaumont, Joe Morrow, Tom McCarron, Lindsey Carr Alice Bartlett In association with The Lichfield Players
2013 Educating Rita Tom Roberts, Tupele Dorgu Gareth Tudor Price

Controversy[edit]

In June 2009, a public campaign was started against what was called "the misappropriation of council funding at the Garrick." [5] It was claimed "the facility is focused on the arts when its predecessor, the Civic Hall, catered for a wider variety of community events." However, in response to this many Lichfeldians came out in support of the venue.[6]

External links[edit]

References[edit]