Welcome to the Coach House Theatre
Malvern’s principal community performing arts venue
The Coach House Theatre has been developed to provide an affordable venue for community arts activities. The Theatre hosts a wide variety of performing arts events and has a resident company, The Malvern Theatre Players. The venue is also a regional centre for French Films.
The Victorian building was originally the stables and coach house for a large house, The Grange, next door. It was used as a store and garage by Malvern Hills District Council and, for a time, as a scenery store for Malvern Theatres and Malvern Theatre Players. In about 1984 the building was condemned as unsafe and scheduled for demolition. Local residents campaigned to save the building and Malvern Theatre Players were then allowed to fund the reinforcement of the structure and to continue to store scenery and props. Subsequent improvements including re-roofing, and the installation of electricity and new floors enabled use as a workshop for productions staged at Malvern Theatres. In 1997 the building, which is protected by Grade II listing, was extended to provide enlarged workshop facilities, offices and props stores. This work was funded equally by Malvern Hills District Council and Malvern Theatre Players. At the same time Malvern Theatre Association funded the refurbishment of an associated building to provide a much needed meeting and gallery space which was named for the famous producer / director / designer Sir Barry Jackson who was responsible for building the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and for the Malvern Festivals (1929 – 1939) which showcased many plays by Bernard Shaw. In 2002 Malvern Theatre Players obtained planning consent to further develop the buildings by adding a foyer and associated facilities, dressing rooms, control room, new floors and other improvements to allow use as a studio theatre. The work, much of which was carried out by Malvern Theatre Players members, was completed in 2005 and fully opened in May 2006 with a production of Billy Liar. Principal contributors to the cost of the final conversion and continuing improvements have included the National Lottery, the Elmley Foundation and Arts Council England. The actor Imogen Stubbs kindly agreed to become Patron of the now-named Coach House Theatre and, in 2014 the buildings were purchased from Malvern Hills District Council. The operation of the Coach House Theatre is managed by a charitable trust
Located in the centre of Great Malvern and close to Malvern Theatres and other town centre amenities including car parks, restaurants and bars the Coach House Theatre is available for hire at reasonable rates.
The theatre provides a large performing area and flexible seating arrangements for up to 110 (less if the full stage area is used). Gallery spaces, ideal for visual arts exhibitions, are also provided in the Sir Barry Jackson Room and the theatre foyer. The Sir Barry Jackson Room is also available for rehearsals, meetings and events requiring less space than that provided by the main theatre.
The theatre is equipped to professional standards and is fully licensed for public entertainment. To minimise costs, users are encouraged to provide their own front of house and technical staff although these can be provided if required. All users will be assisted by a theatre supervisor and a resident technician.
A fun venue at the cultural heart of Malvern, operated by enthusiastic volunteers.