This week Jesse Meadows, Chris Collier and I were able to announce some really exciting news that we as co-directors have been working on for several months: In December 2015 The Wardrobe Theatre will move from its current home at The White Bear pub, to Old Market where we will create a new space for theatre, comedy, food, drink, music and much more in collaboration with the team behind The Canteen and No1 Harbourside. This new space will be twice the capacity of our current venue and having full creative ownership of the space means we can programme shows 7 days a week, programme more daytime shows, more workshops, book in rehearsal space, provide a dressing room for performers and choc-ices for audiences! This also means we will be able to put on more drama, stand-up comedy, new writing, puppetry, comedy theatre, improvisation, work-in-progress, family shows, performance art, music, spoken word/poetry and cabaret than ever before. We are also motivated in being able to create job opportunities and breathing life and culture into a much neglected area of Bristol and a long unused building - rejuvenation through the arts has worked very effectively in Bristol in the past and could work again for Old Market. We are creating a new, bigger, brighter and bolder Wardrobe Theatre. However, the new building needs structural work to make it suitable for use, including interior walls to be constructed and removed, new plumbing and new electrics, and we require new lighting and sound equipment, new staging and new seating to adequately fit the space out as working theatre and that is why we have also launched Help Build The New Wardrobe Theatre, a £70,000 fundraising campaign to run for the next few months. Since the announcement, we've had an overwhelming positive response from the people of Bristol as they share their enthusiasm for the project, offer their help with the move and donate. We've had articles already published in The Post and Bristol 24/7 and had interviews with BCfm and Made In Bristol TV. This is the start of a very long road to opening a new space but I'm thrilled by the prospect of what's ahead!
“The Wardrobe Theatre has become an essential venue for emerging talent and new ideas. I think if they can move to a more fit-for-purpose venue then the whole theatre scene in the city will feel massive benefits.”
Ali Robertson, Director of Tobacco Factory Theatres
“It is hugely important that The Wardrobe Theatre secure their new venue. British theatre desperately needs independently-run, interesting, non-elitist spaces that take risks in their programming and are run by people with a real passion for what they’re doing.”
Callum Mitchell, Co-Director of Silly Boys