THE CHEQUERED past of an historic building in Stratford has inspired a community event.
The Stratford Playhouse is hosting ‘1 4 H’all’ so named after one if its many guises as the former civic hall – dubbed a ‘Hall for All’ when it was established in 1985.
The Rother Street venue later transformed into the Stratford Arts House, but last year owners Stratford Town Trust pulled the plug on funding because the theatre was not sustainable as a business.
Theatre company Proon Productions has since been running the show, working to promote the venue as a communal space with a variety of events, including comedy, jazz, spoken word, as well as theatre, aimed at all ages.
Co-manager Rebecca Hallworth said: “All these events are gaining a regular following from the locals and take place in the newly established ‘Variety Bar and Stage Space’. This space has really helped to bring the community together and make for enjoyable and affordable nights out.
“The company’s mission is to continue to hold regular and quality events for Stratford’s residents that are full of variety, making the venue be a ‘Hall for all’ once again.”
The 19th century building’s own variety of personas also include a chapel, library, school and a maternity hospital until the advent of the NHS in 1948. It went on to house Stratford Town Council prior to becoming the civic hall.
A mural illustrating its history was painted by graffiti artist ‘Hoakser’ and is displayed in the foyer.
The free event on Saturday and Sunday June 8 and 9 includes performances and live music, stalls, arts and crafts, poetry writing and an exhibition from ‘Stratford Documentary’ photographer William Mulryne.
Rebecca added the event aimed to allow people to demonstrate the ‘wonderful variety’ on offer in the ‘colourful community’.
Visit www.stratfordplay.co.uk for more details.