And so now it’s Christmas… And what have we done?
Another year over…And a new one just begun!
This year has seen the Crown Wharf Theatre project get back up on its feet and back out in the community.
The year started with the live stream of A Midsummer Night’s Dream which as well as raising funds for the project, reminded us all how much we missed live theatre.
This was followed by some sneak peak site tours of The Crown Wharf pub which gave us an opportunity to thank some of our wonderful supporters of the project that have sponsored a seat or offered donations in kind so far.
Then there was of course the grand opening of the pub itself, which we think is even more impressive than anyone ever imagined and gave us the opportunity to host some events right on the Crown Wharf site.
The amazing new pub inspired us to host our first Theatre Takeover event which took place on the August bank holiday, bringing us Ukulele’s, musical theatre, Shakespeare with a twist, live comedy and the first of many pub sing-a-longs. Come on, it’s pub attached to a theatre.
Then there was another first with Wharfstock, our first music festival made possible by the team over at Stone Food & Drink Festival. Vinyl Overdrive, Hairy Eyeball & Lack of Commitments raised the roof, raised funds and rocked the crowds! And despite holding an outdoor event in October, we managed to avoid the rain. If only there was a big enough space able to host indoor events all year round…
Music Theatre International released the rights to a cabaret of songs for a limited time in support of the theatre industry to reduce the cost of performing and maximise the fundraising potential and Theatre 1 took full advantage, entertaining the Sunday night Crown Wharf Theatre Bar community, once again showing their support and raising some valuable cash in the process.
2021 was the year that saw Crown Wharf Theatre taking over the theatre site from Joule’s in April, when we signed our 50 (yes fifty!) year lease.
We immediately got to work, and the first priority was making some essential changes to the ‘back of house’ areas to ensure the facility could cater appropriately for the wide range of community groups that have expressed an interested in the project. We have built a small link extension to ensure under-cover access to the toilets and dressing rooms, and made some big internal layout changes that have afforded us two large chorus dressing rooms, meaning the theatre will be able to host casts of up to 60 performers, great news for local theatre companies, performance academies, schools, scouts, guides etc.
With the major works complete we have gone on to commission an electrical specialist to bring mains power into the auditorium and carry out the first fix electrical installation back of house. With all that completed in the Autumn, we now have a contractors working on site installing all the insulation and plasterboard, the back of house areas are looking more and more habitable by the day.
We have some incredible help over the year, local electrical lighting specialist LAUK have donated our domestic lighting fixtures, Magnet have donated a kitchen and another local company AT Commercial Interiors are helping with our bathrooms.
More exciting still, we have recently learnt that one of our funding bids has been successful. The Community and Environment Fund, in place to benefit communities being disrupted by the construction of HS2, has awarded CWT with £75k. This means we are now ready to start work in the auditorium, and from January we will be focussing on the complex electrical installation, hanging the lighting grid and laying down a substantial sprung timber floor.
On behalf of all the team at CWT, we’d just like to say a huge thank you for the tremendous support you’ve given us this year. Whether you’ve joined us for an event, shared your amazing talents free of charge, represented CWT volunteering at this year’s Ironman event, helped unload building materials on site, driven all the way to hull to pick up a donated kitchen, bought a pint of Much A-Brew About Nothing or simply popped £1 in a bucket it all gets us one step closer.
So, there’s only one thing left to do and that is to wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.