Reading Rep Theatre opens new home next year

Published: 14 June 2020
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti

Reading Rep Theatre is to leave its sixty-seat studio space for a new home due to open in the spring of 2021.

The town's only year-round professional producing theatre will have a 168-seat space. Other facilities will include a permanent education and learning centre, backstage areas, front of house facilities and a café/bar.

These are being created within a 1927 Salvation Army building the conversion of which has been designed by David Hughes, architects of London's Park Theatre.

Artistic director Paul Stacey said, “we can't wait to open the doors of our new venue for the first time and give the communities we serve the opportunity to experience live theatre again. The COVID-19 pandemic has been monumentally challenging for the arts, but, as we emerge from isolation, Reading Rep's mission to contribute to and strengthen the local community will be more urgent than ever. Theatre brings people together in a shared space to tell a collective narrative: these stories will be essential as our community comes together again and I can't wait to share them with our audiences.”

Award-winning Reading Rep was founded by Stacey in 2012; its executive director is Nick Thompson.

The necessary £500,000 for this development to get underway has been raised from trusts, foundations, the public and Arts Council England but fundraising for the project continues.