Theatre's extension set to be a lifeline

A TOWN centre theatre could provide a lifeline for local groups when it undergoes a major extension in the new year.

The Coach House Theatres in Grange Road is run by Malvern Theatre Players, which has now won planning permission to enlarge the auditorium and improve backstage facilities.

Players’ manager Chris Bassett said the upgrade was aimed at attracting a venue for professional groups which need a smaller venue than the Festival Theatre.

It could also provide a venue in Malvern for several amateur groups that stopped using the Festival Theatre when its hiring prices were raised some years ago.

He said: “The recent MHDC report on Malvern Theatres comments on the loss of five of the six amateur or community groups who provided six weeks’ use of the Festival Theatre, and suggests that attempts should be made to encourage the return of these organisations.

“The improvements to the Coach House will go some way to accommodating these aspirations and encourage the return of amateur drama, opera and music as an affordable, inclusive community activity for the residents of Malvern, in addition to providing a more viable venue for professional performing arts productions.”

The work will expand the theatre’s capacity from 70 seats to 80, and also provide an enlarged backstage area, an extra dressing room and improved toilet facilities.

The theatre, which opened in 2006, provides a venue for most of the Players’ productions, and is also used by amateur, community and professional groups for rehearsals and performances.

Funding, estimated at £30,000, is being provided by the group itself, with the aid of donations from friends of the Players.


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