Arts centre to reopen for performances and candle-lit bar evenings

PUBLISHED: 11:12 05 October 2020 | UPDATED: 15:22 05 October 2020

Norwich Arts Centre. Picture: Adam Maizey

Norwich Arts Centre. Picture: Adam Maizey

Adam Maizey

Norwich Arts Centre is set to reopen for its first performances since lockdown this month with a raft of improvements.

Norwich Arts Centre director, Pasco-Q Kevlin. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYNorwich Arts Centre director, Pasco-Q Kevlin. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

And the centre, on St Benedict’s Street, also has plans for candle-lit evenings as it reopens as a table-service free entry bar throughout the venue, including the auditorium.

It closed its doors back in March when the prime minister announced lockdown, but since June work has continued behind the scenes on its ongoing regeneration project.

Having been granted £500,000 from the Arts Council in October 2018, the centre launched a 40/40 campaign to match fundraise £40,000 for its 40th anniversary in 2020.

Phase one began in summer 2019 after £25,000 was raised, with the building closing for 10 weeks to install a new lighting rig and PA, refurbish the bar and restore all the original flooring.

Work at Norwich Arts Centre to uncover and display the windows. Photo: Norwich Arts CentreWork at Norwich Arts Centre to uncover and display the windows. Photo: Norwich Arts Centre

And though they had not reached the full £40,000 by June 2020, when phase two was due to begin, they pressed on with the plans anyway.

Pasco-Q Kevlin, centre director, said: “We sadly had to freeze our fundraising journey to support our regeneration campaign in March but we decided to continue with our summer building plans to make the venue more sustainable and safer for everyone when we reopen.

“We can’t wait to get back to doing what we love but we will need our customers support more than ever before if we’re going to survive this year. The venue has never looked better in its 40th year, we’re so proud of how far we’ve come and we look forward to welcoming you back.”

Now with a refurbished auditorium and toilets, a redecorated hall and work on the windows complete, the centre is due to open initially from Thursdays to Sundays.

And from Thursday, October 23 to Sunday, October 25, the centre will host mini performance festival TITLED East, which will include a host of Norwich performers, including Molly Naylor, Luke Wright, Martin Figura, True Stories Live and TOAST.

The centre says tickets are limited due to social distancing so people are encouraged to book ahead.

Safety measures at the centre will include temperature checks on the door, widely available hand sanitiser and a one-way system through the building.

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