THE TALISMAN Theatre in Kenilworth has raised the curtain on its £430,000 transformation.
The theatre revealed its new look at an official opening ceremony conducted by the town’s mayor Coun Alix Dearing, who is also a theatre patron, on Saturday (November 18).
Originally constructed in 1969 by volunteers, the building’s longevity has defied expectations, surpassing its projected 25-year lifespan. But it was becoming hindered by structural problems.
The £430,000 transformation – which has included a brand new theatre foyer – was made possible by grants received from Kenilworth Town Council, Groundworks on behalf of HS2, Warwickshire County Council, Garfield Weston Foundation, Bernard Sunley Foundation, and Warwick District Council.
Additional funds were also raised from a number of donations from City Electrical Factors, Kenilworth Lions, Kenilworth Rotary, Leamington Arts Society, Coventry Building Society as well as numerous personal donations and member fundraising events.
Members, both new and old, along with theatre patrons and grant givers, were treated to behind-the-scenes tours, including insights from the technical crew, wardrobe team, and front-of-house volunteers.
Theatre chairman Nigel Elliott said: “The social events we’ve hosted so far have created a wonderful buzz back into the theatre’s atmosphere, and it’s great to see the cast members using the space to rehearse for our main stage and Fringe nights.”
Nigel added: “We’re now excited to fulfill our ambition to use the space for performances, as an arts space, and sharing it with the wider artistic community.”
And plans are already underway to commence fundraising efforts for phase two This phase will see an extended theatre studio space and a much-needed wheelchair-accessible lift to the studio rehearsal space which will further enhance the opportunity to use this as a community space.