The Brewhouse is closing!?!!?

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.

brewhouse

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 😦

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4 comments on “The Brewhouse is closing!?!!?

  1. Steven Harris says:

    Having lived in Taunton and previously written reviews of shows at the Brewhouse on a regular basis, I must say that much of what was shown there was overly safe and less than exciting, apart from some of the regional productions. I frequently came to Exeter or went to Yeovil anyway as a lot of the bigger name comedians or more successful provincial touring companies skipped The Brewhouse. Little and Large played there, though. Oh wow. It wasn’t all poor fare, though. One of the best productions I have ever seen of The Importance of Being Earnest was by Kaos Theatre Comapny at the Brewhouse. Such high class entertainment was rare, in my experience, and if the theatre cannot survive as a venue without heavy subsidising then perhaps those who ran it need to recognise that they may not always have given the audiences what they wanted?

    • catleyscrux says:

      Hi Steve, thank you for your comments! It does make the closure seem even more of a shame if you believe The Brewhouse never quite fulfilled its’ full potential 😦 perhaps it’ll go the way of the Northcott & experience a revival of some kind, with fresh ideas & an appeal based upon the desires of their target demographic? 🙂 I have fond memories of it for my part: I performed there once, saw a few productions with my school (before life ran away with me!) & applied for a job there; had friends work & perform there… It seems to have always existed in my background, and as the nearest theatre to where I grew up (in the middle of nowhere) I’ve always maintained a fondness for the place and can’t help but feel saddened X

      • Steven Harris says:

        I performed on the Brewhouse stage too and think I feel all the more disappointed by much of the fare offered up because it is a brilliant arena with a decent amount of seating that could have done so much more. Maybe it can move forward from here, as you say, and work out who they want to attend evetns and revitalise the area’s theatrical life. Hope so.

  2. Steven Harris says:

    Oh, and as for Taunton’s history, it’s a pity the town planners do not seem interested in preserving or even promoting that history as, say, Bridgwater does a mere 11 miles up the road.

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