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The Brewery Arts Centre is an unusual, but wonderful, venue that offers a diverse programme of international theatre, comedy, live music, cinema, dance, exhibitions, workshops, festivals and other events. There is also a reasonable, informal, restaurant and a bar that often serves good beer. It is a notable asset to Kendal, and to the wider area.
It opened in 1972. Whitwell, Mark and Co (‘The House of Whitwell’) had established a wine business on the site in 1757, with cellars said to hold over 40,000 gallons of wine, and in 1853 built a beer brewery in the garden of the Georgian town house that still fronts the Brewery on Highgate. By 1900 Whitwell Marks of Kendal was one of the town’s largest employers . In 1946, the firm was taken over by Vaux Breweries of Sunderland, who closed their operations in 1971 and sold the site.
Liverpool's legendary Cavern Club started as a jazz venue in 1957. It eventually accepted 'pop' music, becoming a premier venue for Liverpool's talent, and the Beatles played there on about 300 occasions in the early 1960s, often at lunchtimes. The Cavern was demolished and buried in 1973, but a 'new' Cavern, much modelled on the original, emerged in its place. It hosts international stars, tribute acts and original performers - and is very much a part of the lively Mathew Street scene, as well as being a 'must-see' for any Beatles pilgrim.
The Roman theatre at Verulamium is unique in Britain, because it's a theatre with a stage, rather than an amphitheatre. It was built in about 140AD, later redeveloped and by the 4th century it is estimated it could seat an audience of some 2,000. Close to the ruins are the foundations of shops and a temple. There is not a great deal to see, but it is opposite the Roman Museum - so park near the latter and combine the two.
Part of the Gorhambury Estate.
It was the dream of American actor and director Sam Wanamaker to recreate the Globe Theatre of Shakespeare's day in modern London. The result opened in 1997, about 200 metres from the site of the original, and is believed to be as close a reproduction of the theatres of late Tudor/early Stuart England as possible, bearing in mind modern safety standards. The first production was Henry V. The complex also includes an exhibition and the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, a smaller, more intimate, space inspired by Jacobean theatres.
Sadly, Wanamaker died in 1993. But, thanks to him, you can experience a Shakesperian play almost as it would have been performed 400 years ago.
The Sheldonian is the University of Oxford’s theatre and principle place of assembly - used for ceremonial occasions, including graduations, events and performances. It is also a tourist attraction, with a panoramic view from its cupola across the dreaming spires, and welcomes visitors from around the globe. It was built in 1664–7, entirely funded by Gilbert Sheldon, Archbishop of Canterbury and a former Warden of All Souls. The architect was a young Christopher Wren, at that time Professor of Astronomy at Oxford, with as yet little practical experience of building. Inspired by drawings of Roman theatres, he adopted their D-shaped plan. However, the open arena of Rome was not suitable for the English climate and had to be covered. To do this without introducing load bearing columns into the central space, which would ruin the resemblance to an ancient theatre, Wren designed a roof truss able to span the required 70 feet, a technical achievement which gained him great credit in scientific and architectural circles and made the roof of the Sheldonian a landmark in roof construction. From below, this technical ingenuity is concealed from view by a magnificent painted ceiling.
Smallhythe Place is known as the 16th century home of actress Ellen Terry (1847-1928), one of the great theatre actresses of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She lived at Smallhythe for 30 years until her death. Ellen Terry Her daughter Edy (Edith Craig) turned the house into a museum of her late mother, leaving the bedroom as it had been in Ellen’s life and placing displays in the sitting and dining rooms. In addition, she converted an adjacent 17th century barn into a small theatre, which is still in use.
The immediate area around Smallhythe Place has a fascinating history. From the 13th to the 15th centuries, it was a port and thriving shipyard, Small Hythe, on a branch of the River Rother. Both Henry V and Henry VIII are said to have had ships built here, but activities declined as the channel silted up. The waterway is now no more than a large ditch, though barges still used it in the early 20th century. Smallhythe Place is said to have been a significant building in its day, possibly the port reeve's house, or perhaps an inn.
Note – the house has limited opening.
Snape maltings is a complex of shops, holiday accommodation, café and pub centred around the world famous concert hall. The buildings are mainly converted Victorian industrial buildings, originally used for the malting of barley. The venue was created by composer Benjamin Britten and his partner, singer Peter Pears, reclaiming the old buildings. A programme of music runs all year.
This is a growing listings directory – over 950 entries have been listed as of September 2022.
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