We are pleased to share with you today on this St Piran's Day, the national day of Cornwall, that our new auditorium will be named Cornwall Playhouse or Gwariji Kernow in Cornish.
We are excited to announce Cornwall Playhouse as the new name for our magnificently transformed auditorium on this special day which celebrates Cornwall’s rich cultural tradition and heritage, and which has people, passion and possibility at its heart.
While Hall for Cornwall remains the name of our venue and the mark of quality and experience in all that we do, whether you're visiting our theatre, being supported as an artist or participating in one of our youth workshops, Cornwall Playhouse will be home to our new stage programme where our motto will always be ‘Seriously Entertaining'.
The auditorium was was officially christened by Cornwall Council Leader Julian German during a socially distanced naming ceremony at the theatre a few weeks ago. Also in attendance was the Grand Bard of Gorsedh Kernow, Elizabeth Carne, Melennek, joining us to celebrate of the theatre’s importance as a place for promoting Cornish heritage and culture. Do take a look at the short film we made to commemorate the event.
Julian German, leader of Cornwall Council commented: “Over the last five years, Cornwall Council is proud to have unlocked £93 million to invest in growing and strengthening Cornwall’s cultural sector. The Hall for Cornwall redevelopment is a cornerstone of that activity which will truly enrich Cornwall’s cultural life and creative economy.
“This redevelopment will reawaken the beauty and history of City Hall, opening up the building and welcoming people and creative potential from across Cornwall. I am delighted that Cornwall Council has been able to support the redevelopment.”
The new auditorium, Cornwall Playhouse, will have better sightlines, acoustics and 300 more seats, giving capacity to attract high quality performances. Improved café, bar and public spaces will make the venue more welcoming, and a creative digital business hub will firmly root the theatre as a space to inspire and create.
Today also sees the launch of our new website and its digital heritage collection, alongside new identities for our education, community and artist support programmes.
Get Creative is the new name for our programme of creative work with schools, families and communities, which is expected to reach over 50,000 young people in the next five years using theatre, dance, music and heritage.
A new co-working space called Husa (meaning ‘to create an illusion or dream’ in Cornish), will nurture and support Cornish performance artists and the creative industries, and is a first for a UK regional theatre.
And our History & Heritage programme, supported by the National Heritage Lottery Fund, works with the community and volunteers to creatively interpret the building’s 175-year old history. The first phase of our online heritage collection, showcases the breadth and depth of the stories and histories that have been collected to date with oral histories, podcasts and a scrollable photographic timeline. Do take a look and browse through the performance timeline over the decades and then so share your stories and memories with us - it's a developing online collection for which we have great ambitions.
Last month, we announced that the world premiere of Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical, a co-production of the first of our producing arm, Cornwall Playhouse Productions, which will raise the curtain on our multi-million pound transformation and form the foundation of our inaugural launch season.
When we are able, we aim to throw open our doors to host a number of open days, with social distancing measures if required, welcoming you, our community, and visitors alike, to look around and test our new venue ahead of reopening.
Whilst we all navigate our way through the months ahead, we are so glad to have you with us on our journey - ensuring we could achieve the ambitions Cornwall so keenly needs. We look forward to the positive impact our newly re-modelled theatre will make on the lives of people returning to culture, and on the economy of our region. Only with your support is this being made possible. Thank you.