Brewhouse Theatre closure: Supporters organise candlelit vigil as hundreds join Facebook campaign

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By abbie_taunton | Thursday, February 21, 2013, 09:37

Following yesterday's shock closure of the Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton, local supporters have organised a candlelit vigil.

The vigil aims to reflect on the closure and provide an open forum to discuss possible options for the theatre.

Yesterday it was announced that due to funding cuts, the theatre was going into administration and shows would cease immediately.

Last night's production of Jane Eyre went ahead as the last performance before the centre's doors were shut. Bosses are now considering the venue's future.

All performances  scheduled from today onwards have been cancelled.

Drastic cuts in public funding are said to be the main reason for the closure of the 352-seat venue.

The Brewhouse lost its regular funding from Arts Council England in 2005 and in 2010 lost its funding from Somerset County Council too.

Terry Wood,  a seasoned member of Amateur Theatre groups in Taunton and most recently a member of the Wayfarer's Pantomime Society, has been involved in at least 80 shows at the Brewhouse over the last 27 years.

He said: "The closure of the Brewhouse will be a tragedy for Taunton not just to the followers of Theatre. 

"It was thought up and brought to life by the Amateur Groups in Taunton and now it should be given back to them to start from scratch and re-build it from the ashes.

"It is lack of funding by the County and the Town Councils that has finally driven it to the wall.

"Why do Weston Super Mare and Yeovil have better facilities?" he added, "Probably because their Councils had more foresight when faced with hard choices.  

"The Playhouse at Weston was burnt to the ground and could have been sold off for shops, thank God it was not, yet even they are struggling for finance at present.

"Taunton is now back in the league of the Village Hall."

The Stage media Company reported yesterday that the centre's 55 staff, 20 full time and 35 part time, are being made redundant this morning.

Hundreds of people have already joined a 'Save Our Brewhouse' group on Facebook, many offering money out of their own pockets in a desperate attempt to save the theatre.

The page has received over 900 likes in less than 24 hours.

Many will be attending the candlelit vigil, taking place outside the theatre between 7 and 8pm this evening, to discuss potential solutions to save Taunton's one and only theatre.

Memories of the Brewhouse Theatre in pictures:

Dick Whittington Pantomime at Taunton's Brewhouse Theatre - 2013

Dick Whittington Pantomime at Taunton's Brewhouse Theatre (2)

Simon Callow at the Brewhouse in Taunton

Royal Wedding Day at the Brewhouse Theatre Taunton

A Clockwork Orange at The Brewhouse 1 & 2 Nov

Taunton Wayfarers Pantomime Society Cinderella

Taunton Wayfarers Pantomime Society Cinderella PT2

Taunton Wayfarers Pantomime Society dress rehearsal



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