A THEATRE in Malvern is re-opening its doors next month with big plans to help the arts sector, so badly devastated by the Covid pandemic.

The Coach House Theatre welcomes back guests for the first time on July 9 with an initiative to encourage small productions.

The theatre will be offering its performance space free of charge to small theatre groups or individuals, who will pay nothing and keep all ticket receipts.

Visual artists will also be offered free exhibition space to display and sell their work free from commission.

Appropriately called the CARE scheme (Coach House Theatre Artists’ Recovery Enterprise), the initiative is supported by The Elmley Foundation and Malvern Town Council, whose funding will cover the hire costs of the theatre and gallery spaces, making the venue affordable even if the Covid-19 emergency continues to result in reduced audience capacities.

New shows and exhibitions are also booking now. On A Role Theatre Group and Blue Fire Theatre will take the stage this season, while MalvernBard are preparing an autumn festival of new and classic comedies, and French Cinema returns in July.

The theatre will also continue to reach out to the local community with the resumption of acting and backstage sessions with the theatre’s youth company- ACT UP.

The local business community will be welcomed to several sessions of the Malvern Festival of Innovation in October.

Malvern Theatre Players, the Coach House’s Resident Company, are resuming their costume, props and scenery hire service.

Based in their much improved and extended facility in Spring Lane, the Players’ backstage experts and volunteer staff will continue to provide help and advice.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions customers for costume hire may find it useful to book an appointment by calling the Company office on 01684 569011.

Further information about this offer may be obtained by contacting the Coach House Theatre.

For performance times and booking details go to www.coachhousetheatre.co.uk