Following the opening success of the Barn Theatre’s inaugural production of The Secret Garden, the brand new Cirencester-based venue has announced the musical’s run has been extended by two weeks until 28 April 2018. The show opened in early March to rave reviews and a star-studded reception for director Dominic Shaw‘s folk-inspired, actor-musician interpretation of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical.
Also announced announced today, the Barn Theatre’s second production in its opening season will be a revival of Simon Stephens’ 2003 play One Minute. Running from 18 May to 17 June 2008, the production will mark the directorial debut of the Barn’s 29-year-old artistic director Iwan Lewis.
A child goes missing, vanishes into thin air, leaving a tender, fragmentary play about the inarticulacy of grief. One Minute follows several connected characters through their struggles with Daisy Schults’ disappearance: the two policemen investigating the disappearance; Daisy’s mother; and Marie Louise, a woman who glimpsed Daisy after she had been separated from her mother. One Minute is a disquieting portrait of the lives that are united in the single moment it takes for a child to disappear.
The Barn Theatre, which officially opened its doors on 19 March, is now well on its way to achieving its vision of creating a lasting legacy for accessible professional theatre in the area and to establishing itself as a significant force within the UK regional theatre landscape.
The Secret Garden runs from 16 March to 28 April 2018 at The Barn, 5 Beeches Road, Cirencester GL7 1BN. Performances are Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm, with Thursday matinees at 2.30pm, and Sunday matinees at 12.30pm and 5.30pm. Tickets are priced £14-£22. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
The Barn success
Formerly a WWII Nissen Hut housing community and youth theatre, the Barn Theatre has benefitted from £4.5million of private investment enabling the acquisition and complete renovation of the site and its historic buildings. The venue is now transformed with a 200-seat, air-conditioned auditorium space, a new stage and orchestra pit beneath, hydraulic lifts and the latest in lighting, sound and projection technology.
A newly built atrium joins the theatre to the adjacent Ingleside House, providing a contemporary theatre bar and foyer space, and through access for audiences and visitors to the beautiful Ingleside House and gardens. The venue also includes a stunning, new stand-alone restaurant and piano bar (Teatro) with pre-theatre dining options, and a varied programme of live music at the 50-seat restaurant. The theatre’s Atrium bar will also be open during the daytime serving coffee and drinks.
The development has been funded by businessman and local resident Ian Carling and his wife Chrissie. Ian embarked on the renovation of the theatre in 2015 alongside artistic director Iwan Lewis. The Barn Theatre has received tremendous industry support in the run-up to its opening, with high profile ambassadors including actors James Dreyfus, Matthew Kelly, Heida Reed, Daisy May Cooper and Broadway director Jerry Mitchell lending their support to the project’s ambitious aims.
Speaking on The Secret Garden, This Country’s Daisy May Cooper said: “The best show I’ve ever seen in my entire life… I was so moved. Why go to London when you can come to Cirencester!”
Jackie Llewellyn Bowen said of The Secret Garden: “I was absolutely spellbound, I can’t wait to come and see absolutely every production here. The exuberance, the energy, the talent! I had tears in my eyes. To be able to come somewhere locally – it’s going to lift the town, it’s a wonderful thing.”
Poldark actress and Barn Theatre Ambassador Heida Reed said: “It’s great to see such generous investment in the arts, especially outside of London. The fact that this theatre project has been undertaken without any public subsidy is incredible. As an actor I’ve always loved working in smaller scale theatre spaces because they can often enable a deeper connection to be made with the audience. The theatre’s plans to champion new, up-coming talent represents a real commitment to nurturing the next generation of artists and creatives and I’m thrilled to be involved.”
Artistic Iwan Lewis commented:
“We are in the process of creating a truly extraordinary theatrical venue in the heart of the Cotswolds. Our aim is to draw in diverse audiences from all over the country and to share with them remarkable theatre in all its forms. With the additional advantages of a purpose built education suite and Teatro, our 50 seat onsite restaurant and piano bar, we hope to be able to offer a complete destination theatre experience as well as a comprehensive range of educational programmes onsite.”