Latest News | 26 March 2024

How theatre is making a dramatic difference

Derby Theatre
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In the latest edition of Marketing Derby’s Innovate Magazine, we meet the team at Derby Theatre to find out more about their ambitious multi-million-pound plans to revamp its facilities.

For decades now, Derby Theatre has been providing cultural enrichment, not just to those who walk through its doors, but in the wider community.

Recently, it received £10 million from the Levelling Up Fund to enhance its facilities – but the theatre’s ambitions go further than that.

Innovate sits down with artistic director Sarah Brigham, creative learning director Caroline Barth and executive director Iain Hayes, to find out more about their vision for the much-loved venue.

When Sarah first took over the reins 11 years ago the venue had closed to audiences because of a financial  crisis.

Today it is thriving thanks to a radical re-positioning of its role, ensuring it is viewed as a valued civic asset whose doors are open to all.

It now welcomes more than 100,000 paying guests each year to enjoy its shows and engages more than 25,000 people through its celebrated community and learning programmes.

The theatre’s growth and the contribution it makes to local life saw it recognised with Levelling Up cash.

Now, it is seeking a further £15 million to complete an ambitious makeover of its soon to be 50-year-old home, ensuring it can continue its pioneering work for the long-term.

The initial funding will allow Derby Theatre to create a new studio theatre and develop its performance, community, participation and learning spaces.

Sarah told Innovate: “We need a fresh, contemporary space that we can get audiences into so they can enjoy the work.

“The Government funding will also allow us to offer more teaching and learning space to work with our university partners in an even more comprehensive way and will mean we can do more of our development and community work.”

In addition to that, money raised through the Derby Theatre: New Horizons appeal will, hopefully, fund a transformation of the theatre’s front-of-house experience and create a new entrance to help increase its profile.

Sarah added: “We want to completely transform the front-of-house experience, with a destination place to eat and have a drink.

“We want to refurbish the main auditorium and make it more accessible and transform the back-of-house completely.

“Our dressing rooms were built in 1975 and they feel like it.”

To read the feature in full visit .

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