Despite having a culturally fulfilling evening in Exeter last night, I have to admit that my creativity bug (he is called Henry, he is green and fuzzy and felted, and I will introduce you to him one day) felt a slight pang when he woke up this morning.
As of midnight tonight, Taunton will be losing a well-established cultural commodity. Thirty five years after being constructed, the Brewhouse is due to close after going into administration as a result of the withdrawal of Arts Council Funding last year, and the decision of the Somerset Borough Council to no longer support the centre after arts budgeting cuts of their own.
I can only assume that Taunton-based theatre lovers will have to travel further afield to Yeovil, Exeter, or Plymouth in order to find their share of what should be a readily available commodity in a country famous for it’s literary, dramatic and artistic heritage. Like Exeter, Taunton is an area full of vivacity and history, and it seems such a shame to me that there’ll no longer be a centralised local resource from which this can be expressed, or a venue to which both home and visiting companies can perform and inspire those with a love of the arts in the area.
This is not to say that the arts scene in Taunton will die: there are opportunities for those who want to express their creativity by means of sheer determination and passion, if nothing else. Yet for those who hold fond memories of the Brewhouse, it’s a loss which I’m sure will be felt, and as such I wouldn’t feel right ploughing on with the day without expressing my empathy for those who have supported the centre over so many years. Henry and I send you our commiserations 😦