STORYPOINT 10 : CORNISH HEATH
We want this space to reach far beyond its walls, harnessing the power of performance to provide memorable experiences that stretch the length and breadth of Cornwall.
That’s what the Cornish heath, illustrated here, represents. Firmly rooted in our landscape, the heath can be seen flowering across Cornwall, brightening our coastal paths and country lanes. It grows in six colours ranging from white to pink, mauve, deep rose, cerise and purple.
It’s regarded by many as the national flower of Cornwall, possibly from a story about Joseph of Arimethea who arrived here looking for tin and spent the night in a bed of Cornish heather, blessing the plant for its hospitality.
We want the hall to be like the heath in its influence: nurturing talent, welcoming all comers and spreading a love for theatre across our wonderful Duchy.
The image was taken during the transformation of Hall for Cornwall, 2019. From this angle, looking through to the Playhouse Bar, the past lives of this space can be sensed. From the terrazzo of the cinema to wooden floors skating rink and columns of the flea markets, the space holds very particular memories for Truro.
Bringing in the landscape
The reworked interior of our building showcases the Cornish landscape, with colours and materials chosen to reflect Cornwall’s industrial heritage as well as natural surroundings from right across the Duchy.
The moquette fabric on our new auditorium seats is made from 70% British wool, with colours that reference the lichen, and moss clinging to the sea walls of Coverack Harbour. Moquette is the same fabric developed for London’s tube trains – and so we know it’s going to last!
The gorse, heather and rich yellows, grey and green which stretch across the mining landscapes of St Agnes on Cornwall’s north coast.
Tin, copper and coal inform the industrial tones of brown and grey that are set against the colours of nature including the rich ochres of Cornish gorse and greens of the moors woven through Alan Kitching’s Performance Timeline commissioned to showcase our performative history through type.
The colours used in Alan Kitching’s Performance Timeline echo both the colours of the landscape, and the colours of our 20th Century theatrical posters. Courtesy of Alan Kitching Studio
We’re also celebrating Cornwall by using local natural materials. Sections of the warm oak cladding wood used throughout the auditorium have been repurposed from a replica bronze age boat, originally built as part of a research project involving the University of Exeter and the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth.
Thick Cornish granite ashlar has always formed the main fabric of the building. Hewn from moorland at Carn Brea near Redruth, this formidable pale grey stone supports the Hall’s structures, rising to the clocktower where it sits alongside hipped grooves topped with local Delabole slate. We’ve stripped back the building to its original granite core, stabilising the stone before rebuilding. You’ll see in some areas we’ve left sections exposed to show it off.
The image was taken during the transformation of Hall for Cornwall, 2019. Visible among the granite arches are elements that tell the story of City Hall’s past lives.
Lust for live
From producers to performers to audience members, we’re here to ignite a love of theatre and live performance. We’re bringing back quality theatre productions, shows and gigs to the heart of Truro to delight current generations, and inspire the next.
“Without the Hall for Cornwall, the region’s creative spirit, energy and drive would be drastically affected. A region like this without a theatre to serve it would be a travesty.” – Derek Jacobi
Over the next five years, we’re looking forward to welcoming 300,000 people a year through our doors and reaching out to support our communities, including encouraging 50,000 young people to shine on and off stage and preparing them for tomorrow’s world.
“My daughter’s main love of life is her drama and music and experiencing shows at Hall for Cornwall has brought it out. People don’t judge you in the theatre, it is where she can be herself.” (Abby – parent of young girl from Cornwall Accessible programme).
Youth Theatre Ordinalia Showcase, Kresen Kernow, Summer 2021. Photo by Sean Hurlock.