Medway’s iconic Grade II listed theatre is set to temporarily close its curtains while it undergoes a major transformation.
The Brook Theatre in Chatham, well known for its striking architecture, will be closed from April 2023 while it undergoes major improvement works. The works will respect and highlight the building’s history and heritage whilst creating a 21st Century city centre arts centre for residents and visitors to enjoy.
The family-friendly theatre is a hive of talent and is expected to further Medway’s growing reputation as a centre for creative innovation and production. The Brook provides professional creative companies and local community groups with a place to flourish, and the city centre hub will welcome them back to a state-of-the-art facility when the works are completed.
The planned work includes improvements to:
- access across the building for the public, performers and staff, including disabled access at the entrance of the theatre and to seating within the theatre;
- new staging, lighting and sound equipment;
- better office and meeting spaces;
- upgraded rehearsal and dance studio spaces;
- improved dressing rooms for performers;
- new digital equipment and resources to support the creation of contemporary performance;
- improved and enhanced main theatre and studio performance spaces;
- new toilets and washing facilities.
The improvement works are being funded by the Future High Streets Fund, after Medway’s successful £9.5million bid was confirmed in January 2021, with £300,000 of the funding allocated to modernise and refurbish the iconic theatre. Later in 2021, we were also awarded a total of £14.4million from the government’s Levelling Up Fund (Round 1 funding) to invest in three Chatham cultural regeneration projects, including £6.5million on The Brook Theatre.
Ongoing transformation works across Chatham
Cllr Howard Doe, Deputy Leader of Medway Council and Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “The Brook Theatre is already a much-loved city centre venue for families, and is also a home to many amazing creative sector organisations and community groups. We want the improved Brook to be a beacon space for Medway and a place where creativity can thrive, supporting the delivery of the ambitious Creative Medway Cultural Strategy. Although the curtains will come down from April 2023, it will only be temporary to give the venue a modern uplift. The refurbishments are part of ongoing transformation works across Chatham and are made possible thanks to central government funding.
“We are fortunate to have two fantastic theatres in Medway, both of which enhance our city centre, Chatham. The Central Theatre in the High Street remains open and has a very exciting line-up of family-friendly performances and entertainment for all ages.”
Find out more about the improvement works
Book your tickets to a show at The Central Theatre in Chatham