THE NEXT STAGE: Happy 55th Birthday to the Swan Theatre
Updated: Jun 22
This week marks the Swan Theatre’s 55th Birthday and what an incredible 55 years it has been. When the Swan Theatre was first conceived in the early 1960s, I doubt that those responsible could imagine what an incredible place it would become. To this day I can’t sit down in an industry meeting without someone else present having worked or been involved with the Swan Theatre or Worcester Rep. It became the most unlikely of crucibles for the UK’s theatrical industry and a place where actors, directors, writers, stage managers and designers could ‘cut their teeth’ with new and interesting work.
There is no doubt that the past 12 months have been some of the most challenging in its history, but with these challenges has come a reinvigoration; a new lease of life to the building and those who create in it. We have broken a considerable number of records in the past year, and before the COVID-19 outbreak the Swan Theatre, Huntingdon Hall and Worcester Rep was heading for its best year (financially and creatively) in over a decade.
Imelda Staunton (Oscar Nominated and BAFTA winner actor – and our Patron) has this week sent a video to us wishing the theatre a happy birthday and encouraging people to keep the theatre alive. A lot is still unknown about the future of theatres and venues across the UK, but with the help of members of the public we can and will survive.
The Swan Theatre has been a home to so many in the international theatrical community, both professional and amateur for over half a century and I cannot begin to tell you how desperately we all want to get back into the rehearsal rooms and onto the stage.
With your help we can!
Ben Humphrey is Artistic Director of the Swan Theatre, Huntingdon Hall and Worcester Rep. An online fundraiser running to help with costs during the COVID-19 crisis and donations can be made via Facebook or through the Worcester Rep website