Monday, 9 March 2009

Theatre Severn guided tour

On Saturday we went on the "Friends of the theatre" - Theatre Severn guided tour.
It was supposed to happen before our first theatre trip but was over-subscribed so we had to wait until this week.
Nevertheless, it was really interesting to be shown around by one of the theatre managers who could explain how it had been planned and developed.
Its a bit like the tardis. Not very attractive from the outside, appearing to be squeezed into a small space beside the river. However, once inside, you can appreciate just how much has been fitted into the building.
The place has a very spacious, open feel to it with lovely views of the town and the river from its balconies and windows. It still needs artwork and more furniture, in the open public areas, to detract from the bareness of the new architecture. The inclusion of the old chapel/tyre shop, brick building certainly makes a feature of the main bar area.
The theatre itself is very comfortable and inviting - holding about 650 seats. It certainly looked cosy from the stage looking out towards the auditorium. I can imagine that the performers will feel really close and in touch with their audience.
We also popped back-stage to the green room and the dressing rooms, although quite basic, are a vast improvement on those facilities at the old Music Hall.
Apart from the main theatre, there is also the Walker theatre holding 250 pull-out seats. I think this can be used by local theatre groups, schools etc as well as for performances put on by the theatre itself.
There is also a large dance studio which will surely be an asset to the locality. Dance exams can now be held here instead of pupils having to travel to Birmingham.
The restaurant has apparently got over its first night teething troubles (see previous blog!).
Its a bright, airy cafe bar overlooking the river.
I am sure we will be back soon for another performance. Its great to have such good facilities on the doorstep and I am sure the good folk of Shrewsbury have waited long enough.
Apparently, many of the acts visiting the Music Hall put up with the poor facilities because they loved Shrewsbury and the warm reception they received from the audiences here.
So, best of luck Theatre Severn!

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