The Brewhouse Theatre & Arts Centre
The theatre and to the right, administrative offices in the old Georgian brew house.
|Address||Coal Orchard, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 1JL
|Owner||Taunton Deane Borough Council|
|Designation||The Georgian brew house is a Listed Building Grade II|
|Current use||Theatre and arts centre|
The building opened 28 March 1977, on the banks of the River Tone, and offers a 350-seat auditorium and supporting studio and exhibition spaces. Its first professional production was Alan Ayckbourn’s The Norman Conquests, starring the then unknown David Jason.
In 2005, Arts Council England announced that it would cut regular funding to The Brewhouse from 2006, following a drop in artistic output. In September 2005 a new director Robert Miles was appointed to lead the artistic reinvigoration of the organisation, which now plays host to experimental theatre companies such as DEREVO, and No Fit State Circus. It was also the first theatre, apart from the Royal Court Theatre, to stage Caryl Churchill's controversial play Seven Jewish Children.
In 2009, ongoing under funding, combined with the impact of recession and a subsequent threat of cuts meant the venue was once again put under threat of closure. With support from its stakeholders The Brewhouse overcame these immediate funding concerns, and in March 2010 it was announced that the organisation had been awarded £487,500 from Arts Council England's Sustain fund to allow it to continue to programme arts and participatory activities during the economic downturn.
A feasibility study by ArtsService recommends the current site be expanded to create a 600- to 750-seat auditorium, a larger gallery space and arthouse cinema with improved bar and catering provision as part of a new "Coal Orchard" - Taunton’s cultural quarter.
The venue reopened in April 2014 by the Taunton Theatre Association (TTA), having been granted the lease from Taunton Deane Borough Council, who bought the 61-year lease of the site and its contents from administrator BDO.
- "About us". Brewhouse Theatre. Retrieved 10 January 2010.
- "Old Brewery House". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 10 January 2010.
- Gardner, Lyn (2009-04-02). "Brewhouse theatre should be rewarded for its reinvention – not at risk". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 January 2010.
- The Stage web site - "Young Vic receives biggest theatre Sustain grant of £1.2m"
- Brewhouse web site - "Past, Present and Future"
- "Brewhouse theatre closure: Arts groups search for new venue". BBC. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
- "Taunton's Brewhouse Theatre to be reopened by community group". BBC. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- "Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton set to reopen in April 2014". The Stage. Retrieved 5 December 2013.