The Mercury Theatre, Colchester today confirms that bookings will open for its highly anticipated relaunch season on Thursday, 27 May for Priority Booking and Tuesday, 1 June for general on sale, with the Creative Engagement Programme going on sale from Tuesday, 27 April.
Full details of the opening season will be announced on 27 May, but patrons can expect world class comedy, classic dramas, family favourites, new writing, pantomime and all-round entertainment on the newly refurbished stage.
Open weekends on Saturday, 26 and Sunday, 27 June will allow members of the public to experience the new ‘all under one roof’ opportunities of the refurbished and now fully accessible building, including outdoor dining on the piazza, a bigger and brighter foyer which will be open all day, a new café bar where people can meet, work and eat throughout the day, a redeveloped auditorium and new rehearsal and community spaces.
The Creative Engagement Programme is designed to celebrate creative potential and provide people in the region with everyday opportunities to be artistic and innovative, with the theatre’s ethos of connection at its heart.
Ryan McBryde, Creative Director of the Mercury said: “Regional theatres are a vital communal gathering point, uniquely positioned to bring people together and create new connections. In June when the Mercury reopens its doors, we’re launching an exciting new engagement programme that will put the community at the heart of what we do. We will have over 12 different activities each week for people, young and old, including drama and dance classes, creative writing workshops, sensory story-time for toddlers and a social club for our senior patrons. We want the Mercury to be packed day and night with people having fun, sharing experiences together and expressing themselves creatively.”
The Taking Part activities for adults include acting classes, an intergenerational community choir and a musical theatre dance class. For those over 55, there will be a Senior Social Club that is an inclusive space to forge new friendships whilst participating in creative classes. Family Sing-A-Longs, which were a stand-out hit during the Mercury Online programme, are making a come-back and will now be hosted monthly in the café bar.
There will be even more opportunities for young people to channel and release their creativity than ever before, with the expansion of Mercury Young Company (MYC), which will now include specialist dance classes and musical theatre workshops. The new building will also host tailored Parent and Toddler Classes and drop in sessions, as well as a variety of termly or week-long activities for young people with SEND.
Mercury’s Artist Development Programme will support ground-breaking, east-based theatre makers on their creative journey by offering professional development opportunities and providing time and space for researching, exploring and testing ideas. Kicking off the talent offer will be How To Approach Gig Theatre with James Meteyard, followed by Connects, a regular rendezvous for arts professionals looking to make contacts, share ideas, collaborate, develop their careers, and chat to like-minded people about their passion at the theatre. Later in the year the Mercury will be launching Lates, a project funded by Adeste+, which will see local talent perform in the newly built café bar.
Full details of the programmes of events and booking details can be found on www.mercurytheatre.co.uk.
All events will be held according to the prevailing government COVID19 guidelines at the time of each event, with full details being made available on the website in advance.