to see a slideshow of the works.
is how the theatre used to look
This is what it looks like now work has commenced
known as Barn 2000, A Vision for the Millennium,
is the largest project undertaken by the trustees of the charity since
the theatre opened in 1924.
An ambitious scheme
of radical improvements, the main object of the proposals is to extend
the theatre on the West side to provide a large new green room and bar
together with an internal staircase to the gallery. Additionally the
theatre will also be providing toilet facilities for the disabled adjacent
to the foyer, creating extra full height wing space on stage with an
external loading facility and a further dressing room. Wheelchair access
to the stage from the dressing rooms has been incorporated in the new
plans and modifications within the ground floor of the auditorium are
also planned. These further improvements will sustain the policy of
equal opportunities for patrons, actors, musicians, technicians and
indeed all that choose to cross the threshold of this very special venue.
To supplement continuing
fund raising and increase the profile of the theatre, all the residents
of Oxted and Limpsfield have received an appeal brochure setting out
details of the proposals. The response to date has been overwhelming
and the current total of partnership funding from this and other fund
raising activities is now over £196,000 and rising steadily. A magnificent
sum that would not have been achievable without the support of all our
friends and supporters.
The works started
on the 14th May 2001, almost 78 years to the day after those to the
original building commenced and the archaeological exploration that
continued whilst the digger was on site found nothing of particular
interest except a broken plate. Excitement built as the archaeologist
proclaimed she could date this fragment accurately. On the back of the
plate were the date of 1944, the initials GR and the Royal Crest! Obviously
a remnant from when the theatre was used as army billets during the
war. Otherwise nothing of significance was found.
After a very busy
summer last year the works on Phase One, the construction of the weatherproof
external shell are complete and a very successful opening was held in
December 2002 attended by many friends and patrons of the theatre. Fundraising
for Phase Two, a minimum of £80,000, is still continuing and before
the fitting out and furnishing works to the interior can be completed
we need to raise another £30,000. However the works have started and
a glance through the door to the gallery stairs will reveal our progress
so far in the Green Room. I am sure you will be impressed. Apart from
this the new dressing room backstage is in full use as are the enlarged
wings and scenery dock on stage. The preparation works to join the Green
Room to the auditorium are well advanced as can be seen from the new
brickwork clearly visible in the auditorium.
If you are interested
in having a tour of all we have achieved since last December do make
a note in your diary to come along to our Christmas Drinks and Nibbles
on Sunday 7th December. All are welcome and this is an opportunity to
look around in a relaxed fashion whilst meeting old and new friends
who love this theatre too.
We are looking to
very exciting times at the Barn during the new millennium and if you
wish to be part of this by making a contribution to the appeal fund
or in any other way please telephone or write to Bruce Reed. Any contribution
large or small helps our vision become reality.
Please donít forget
that support for the shows at the Barn is another direct way of contributing
to the appeal fund whilst enjoying yourself too and details of forthcoming
productions are to be found in the calendar.
Ronnie Corbett, Dame
Judi Dench, Richard Stilgoe and Peter
Ainsworth MP are patrons of the appeal and Tandridge Council have
committed £10,000 to the scheme; a good indication of the support
for this delightful theatre and these exciting proposals.
FOR A TAX EFFICIENT
GIFT AID FORM PLEASE CLICK HERE OR IF YOU
CAN HELP IN ANY WAY PLEASE CONTACT
Oxted and Limpsfield Barn Theatre Ltd, 15a High Street, Westerham, Kent.
Telephone 01959 561811 or Barntheatre@btinternet.com
interior of the extension at Christmas 2002
Ramage painting the mural in the new extension in 2003
The new bar almost
completed, May 2003