The Players Theatre Presents: A Masterplan in Two Acts!
A major development of the Players Theatre to extend it to create a cultural arts and entertainment facility in Lowestoft.
The venue is an iconic building located in the centre of Lowestoft. This fabulous old former chapel which has served us well for the past 10 years now needs improvement. Whilst a significant amount of money has been invested in developing the theatre the building needs further redevelopment to allow for multiple occupation by other users, improvement in the comfort for users and patrons in the form of heating and ventilation and improved hospitality and rehearsal facilities.
The Lowestoft Players have been the leading amateur musical theatre group in Lowestoft for over 50 years, putting on shows for the enjoyment of its members and the theatre goers of East Suffolk.
For the first 40 years we rehearsed in a pre-fabricated building generously provided by a local supporter. In 2008 we were able to purchase an old Chapel (The Bethel) in the centre of Lowestoft from the Fishermen’s Mission, and preserve the building for the community. The Lowestoft Players were able to convert the building into a community theatre and rehearsal studios with its reserves and the support of WREN (Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network), The Arts Council and others.
Initially the building was for the Players use for rehearsals and then to perform shows. The building has become a popular community asset for many other groups and users. The venue has proved to be so popular that decisions are having to be made as to who can use it when and either the Players have to relinquish rehearsal times to honour the needs of other groups or vice versa.
The time has come to look at how we could create more space. In doing so we recognise the limitations of the existing building and have identified what needs to be done to create a premier venue in the Lowestoft area. Plans for the extended Players Theatre have been drawn up reflecting the vision of an iconic building on Battery Green Road which will allow for musical theatre, live music, exhibitions, room and venue hire to take place at the same time and provide a facility for all people in the area to enjoy a full range of entertainment.
Our total project will cost in the region of £1.65m plus contingencies. It is ambitious and will take a number of years to realise so we are breaking it down into a number of steps or Acts as we would say in the theatre! It is our intention to seek any funding opportunities, both local or national to support our future vision.
The Theatre is managed and operated by volunteers who have a passion for musical theatre, supporting the local community and providing a major facility in the Lowestoft area. Volunteers come from all community backgrounds and all ages. We provide an opportunity for people to socialise who might otherwise be lonely.
We provide a training and development opportunity for the community to learn all aspects of theatre, from planning through performing to backstage, with many of our friends going on to have careers in the industry. Other groups who hire our current facilities organise their own events including dance instruction, meetings and parties.
We provide a valuable facility for people to pursue a worthwhile interest during their leisure time harnessing their energy into something creative.
Full planning permission. Budget £6,000
Create access between the auditorium and the bar area enabling patrons to move around the premises and access the facilities. Budget £10,000
Retractable seating with floor improvements which will increase comfort for audiences as well as allow more flexible use of the auditorium. Budget £110,000
Roof insulation and roof solar panels to improve the efficiency of heating and ventilation systems and reduce running costs. Budget £55,000
Replacement windows (including black out blinds) and doors to improve the accessibility to the building whilst preserving its exterior appearance. Budget £100,000
Repairs to façade of existing building and signage. Budget £30,000
Extension to rear side of building creating. Budget £350,000
Extension to front side of building. Budget £600,000
Mezzanine floor creation in theatre space. Budget £250,000
Refurbishment of stage area, rig and under stage cross over. Budget £100,000
Front of house lighting and access gantry. Budget £30,000
A MASSIVE thank you to all who have donated to our 'Re-Light My Fire' appeal to raise
funds to replace the heating and ventilation system at The Players Theatre
Alan and Olwen Jennison
Andrew and Patricia Liddon
Andrew Russell Morgan
Annie and Kim Richards-Croft
Bronwen Anne Bareford
Carol Lyons and Harry Godwin
David and Gay Chambers
ETS Sales & Hire Ltd
Gerald, Michelle and Rian
Jane and Richard Roberts
Jonathan and Melanie Read
K Foreman and Family
Kathryn and Andy Edmunds
Linda and George Harmer
Lynda Joanne Morgan
M&S Energy Community Energy Fund
Richard Hugh Morling
Robert A Edwards
Stephen R Wilson
The Huddersfield Boys
And of course all of the people who have donated anonymously.
Thank you to everyone. You are ALL amazing!