July Theatre Of The Month > The Courtyard
The Courtyard Centre for the Arts is the leading arts provider in Herefordshire and a registered charity with a 436-seat main house, 120-seat studio theatre, rehearsal rooms, a gallery, meeting spaces and an award-winning cafe bar.
Attracting over 250,000 visitors every year, not just from within the county, but also from the West Midlands and further afield the building was designed to be inspirational and contemporary and lead the way for future architectural developments in the historic City of Hereford.
The Courtyard has developed in many ways through the years and is proud to be a successful rural, multi-genre, professional presentation and, more recently, a producing and co-producing venue that has grown with the needs of the community. It is a highly respected and recognised organisation that achieves excellence through its productions, its youth theatre, its nationally recognised work with arts and older people, community choirs, writing and reading workshops, film and media clubs, life-drawing classes, and drama workshops.
The Courtyard was delighted to become the first Arts Centre in the UK to join the Dementia Action Alliance (DAA). The DAA is committed to transforming the quality of life of people living with dementia and their carers. The Courtyard has been working closely with the local Alzheimer’s Society, those with dementia and their carers to develop initiatives to ensure that it is a ‘dementia friendly’ venue which supports people with dementia to engage in the arts.
The Creative Ageing project was first established in 2010, with The Courtyard being one of the first arts centres to have a dedicated team engaging older people with the arts. The project aims to combat isolation for older people living in a very rural county by delivering high quality arts sessions to improve their personal independence by allowing them to become more active, improving health, well-being and quality of life.
Alongside a diverse programme of events including drama, music, dance and comedy, The Courtyard has a very exciting year of in-house produced events and performances ahead.
This October, the gripping adaptation of William Golding’s masterpiece, Lord of The Flies will explode on to the stage with a very special pro-am production featuring members of the Youth Theatre alongside professional actors. With a powerfully poignant plot that will leave you wondering what it really means to be human this production looks set to be one of The Courtyard’s most exciting yet.
October also sees the return of Herefordshire’s Family Festival at The Courtyard and this year’s theme is space! On the Wednesday of October half term families from across Herefordshire will be donning their anti-gravity boots and grabbing their space helmets to take part in a day filled with creative events that are out of this world! Last year’s event was a huge success, with over 900 customers visiting The Courtyard in just one day! Courtyard Family Saturdays have developed as a result of this – an exciting programme of arts activities and events for families to get involved with. Every Saturday morning there is a film, live show or workshop for children to take part in with fun pre-activities beforehand making a visit to The Courtyard a great way for families to spend a weekend!
Christmas looks set to be magical at The Courtyard with a wonderful selection of shows to suit all ages including this year’s pantomime, Aladdin. The audience will be transported far-away to meet the larger than life Widow Twankey, and sons: the brave Aladdin and hapless Wishy Washy and not forgetting the incredible Genie! For younger audiences, the Christmas Kid’s show this year is The Snow Queen, a magical and fun show which will relive Kay and Gerda’s magical journey. Suitable for children 7 and under, it is the perfect festive adventure for young families.
The Courtyard are very pleased that, continuing on from its record breaking run at the Fortune Theatre in London’s West End, The Woman in Black is embarking on a UK tour in Spring 2017 and will be visiting Hereford in February. Susan Hill’s acclaimed ghost story comes dramatically alive in Stephen Mallatratt’s ingenious stage adaptation. This gripping production, directed by Robin Herford, is a brilliantly successful study in atmosphere, illusion and controlled horror.
To find out more about The Courtyard and any of its shows or projects please visit the website www.courtyard.org.uk or contact a member of the Box Office team on 01432 340555.
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