April Theatre Of The Month > Mercury Theatre Colchester
1 April 2017
The Mercury Theatre Colchester is the most active producing theatre in East Anglia, and is a vital centre of excellence in the East’s growing creative economy.
Rooted in its local community, the theatre touches over 130,000 people in Colchester and the surrounding area each year through the vibrant and broad programme we stage across two auditoria and through community education partnerships.
Under the Made in Colchester brand, the Mercury creates theatre which reaches audiences and generates critical attention regionally and nationally. The Mercury is a champion of regional arts, both as an active co-producer with other venues and companies and also touring or own productions to audiences across the UK.
Our Main Theatre seats just under 500, while our newly refurbished Studio Theatre seats 98. On site production and workshop facilities create sets, props and costumes for both in-house productions and touring companies, including Talawa and the National Theatre.
With a turnover of £3.7m annually, the Mercury is a significant local employer and a major driver of the restaurant and hospitality economy in Colchester. The Mercury is a welcoming theatre with award-winning customer service, and a proven track record of attracting people into theatre for the first time.
The Made in Colchester programme, together with our Creative Learning & Talent team and apprenticeships, incubate and nurture new talent in all areas of theatre.
The venue provides a relevant space for a diverse group of people, all of whom feel ownership over it and who engage with its spaces in a variety of ways, from attending performances to participating in outreach and education programmes. It is a centre for creativity and a space for creation. It is open and welcoming, working with a variety of voices and a diversity of communities, audiences, artists and staff.
Our vision is of a theatre that touches the lives of all the people of Colchester and its surrounding area, contributes regionally to the development of new talent and new audiences, and carves out a truly national reputation for the quality of the work that it makes.
In 2016, the Mercury was the starting house for Paul Taylor-Mills’ tour of End of the Rainbow, produced a UK tour of Clybourne Park, and co-produced Sweeney Todd with Derby Theatre. Earlier this year, we co-produced John Cleese’s adaptation of a farce by Georges Feydeau, Bang Bang, while the Made in Colchester production of Spamalot will be toured by Selladoor later this year. This Autumn we co-produce Conor McPherson’s The Weir with English Touring Theatre prior to its first ever UK tour.
In 2017, the Mercury embarks on a three-year £8.7m project to transform the building for the year 2020 – Mercury Rising.
The exceptional quality of homegrown work, made by the talented team of theatre-makers working behind the scenes here in Colchester, marks the Mercury out as one of the leading producing theatres in the country.
Our upcoming Made in Colchester productions include:
Spamalot (Fri 21 Apr – Sat 13 May)
Lovingly ripped off from the hugely successful 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spamalot is a riotous comedy full of misfit knights, killer rabbits, dancing nuns and ferocious Frenchmen.
The Events (Fri 2 – Sat 17 Jun)
Claire is a priest. She has survived an atrocity – a mass shooting. Now she must understand it. Inspired by the tragedy of the Norwegian summer camp massacre in Utøya by Anders Behring Brevik in 2011, The Events asks where goodness and hope can be found in the face of unbridled anger.
Farm Boy (Sat 17 – Sun 18 Jun)
Michael Morpurgo’s touching sequel to War Horse. An old green tractor rests in the corner of a Devon farmyard. But beneath the rust and dust lies a story which brings together two generations, reaching back to The Great War and marking the change from the old world to the new.
Peter Pan (Fri 28 Jul – Sat 26 Aug)
The magical tale of the boy who never grew up! When Peter Pan returns to the home of the Darling family to retrieve his lost shadow, he’s not expecting to meet Wendy, or that she’ll join him on a trip to Neverland for the adventure of a lifetime!
The Weir (Fri 8 – Sat 16 Sep)
Winner of the 1997 Olivier Award for Best New Play, Conor McPherson’s chilling modern classic The Weir opens at the Mercury this Autumn prior to embarking on its first ever UK tour in this, its twentieth anniversary year.
To use your Theatre Tokens at the Mercury Theatre to book for any of our upcoming shows, call our friendly Box Office team on 01206 573948.
ABOUT MERCURY RISING
Mercury Rising is an exciting project that will modernise and transform our much-loved theatre, safeguarding its future for the whole community. Our planned improvements include:
Transforming the foyer so it’s a bigger, lighter space that is open all day
Redeveloping the main auditorium with extra seats
Making all areas fully accessible for the first time
Creating a new café where you can work and meet friends
Building completely new rehearsal and community spaces equipped to support the best new talent
Revamping and extending our backstage facilities so we can make even better theatre
We’ve already raised a fantastic £7m thanks to support from Arts Council England, Colchester Borough Council and Essex County Council. But we have £1.7m left to raise. Visit our website for more information on how to support this fantastic project: www.mercurytheatre.co.uk/support