Sunday, February 2, 2014
2 Spring Street, Chipping Norton OX7 5NL
phone: 01608 642 350
Purchase tickets onlineclick here to purchase tickets
This fabulous building began life as a Salvation Army Citadel, with the first stones, now visible in our auditorium, being laid in 1888. In strange quirk of fate, its designers and engineers were those behind many Victorian Music Halls, leaving it perfectly proportioned for its future theatrical life. It continued for some years as a furniture warehouse, before being discovered by two Royal Shakespeare Company actors, Tamara and John Malcolm in 1968. In 1973, fundraising for the new Theatre began in earnest, and the year was crowned with The Theatre’s first panto, Beauty and the Beast, staged in the town hall. The Theatre began as a true community resource, with residents of Chipping Norton each asked for £1 towards the conversion.
The Theatre was opened in 1975 by Tom Baker, the Dr Who of the time, beginning with a light programme including films and lunchtime Jazz concerts. The cottage adjoining the Citadel was purchased and converted to become the bar and gallery. The Theatre continued to grow and flourish, expanding its programme and reputation, and purchasing, in 1990, the building in Goddards Lane that now serves as green room, offices and rehearsal room.
1996 saw a major refurbishment, funded in part by the Arts Council, improving many aspects of the building, particularly the stage and wing space. Graham Rust, one of Europe’s finest muralists, was commissioned to produce the murals now visible in the bar. Not long after receiving a well deserved MBE for her services to The Theatre, Tamara Malcolm passed on the mantle of Artistic Director to Caroline Sharman.
The Theatre has had a strong reputation over the years for producing its own creative work, and notable performances of Yerma, Don Giovanni, Taste and Huck live in the minds of our audiences. These stand alongside perhaps our greatest claim to fame, the world-renowned traditional family pantomime, which draws on a long history of traditional values, top-notch creative teams, and original, daring twists to make it an irreplaceable part of countless family Christmases.
In 2008, John Terry took over from Caroline as Artistic Director, overseeing a period of further growth and professionalization, and collecting on behalf of The Theatre the 2009/10 TMA Stage Newspaper Award for Outstanding Contribution to Regional Theatre. The Theatre now stands as a rare example of a successful rural receiving and producing theatre, funded and supported almost entirely by local people, local councils and local businesses.
Tickets: Adults £15, Concessions £13
Please check availability of tickets and confirm date / start times with the organiser before setting out, as sometimes changes are unavoidable - thank you.