Our building contains not just a theatre for performances, but a production base for the company, which provides almost all the facilities we need to run the company and develop new productions.
It comprises :
- Well equipped and flexible main performance space seating up to 120 people in a variety of configurations
- Foyer and bar
- Studio space seating up to 50 for small scale productions and events
- Two other rehearsal rooms
- Storage for props and costume
- Supporting spaces : dressing room, meeting room and administration office
The land on which the Tower Theatre sits was gifted to the Society of Methodists in 1817 with the building as we now know it built as a chapel and school by the Primitive Methodists in 1875. It was badly damaged during the Second World War and was in a derelict state before being bought and renovated by the Jewish congregation Beth Hamedrash Ohel Yisroel in 1953. The building was consecrated as the Northwold Road Synagogue on the 18th December 1955 but closed in 1989.
In 1992, Sunstone Health and Leisure Club refitted the building as a women-only gym, creating a swimming pool in the basement – now our second largest rehearsal room – and building a mezzanine floor for running machines.
The gym closed in 2014 and the building remained unused until the Tower’s purchase in 2018, made possible by a bequest from long-standing member, Barbara Waddell. With the support of Suzie Bridges Architects, we converted the building – removing the mezzanine floor, installing toilets, making the building accessible, fitting seats, air-conditioning and technical equipment in the theatre, creating the rehearsal rooms and designing and building the bar.
The company also ran a successful crowdfunding campaign raising nearly £150,000, allowing people to contribute to various specific things, from lights for the dressing rooms or speakers for the sound equipment to buying a seat in the theatre, a space at the bar or even just a brick.
We moved in during the summer of 2018 and opened the theatre on 26th September with Shakespeare’s Henry V.