Wokingham Today

Theatre launches search for storage

- By ABIGAIL NEWTON news@wokinghamp­aper.co.uk

A LOCAL theatre group has sent out an SOS in an urgent bid to find new storage space.

Woodley Theatre, which hosts plays in the Oakwood Centre, needs to move out of its current space off Headley Road. They have just three months to locate a new storage and workshop area.

Woodley Theatre said that they have asked both Wokingham and Woodley Town Councils for a space to rent but nowhere has been available. Now the clock is ticking as they have until the end of June before the curtain comes down on their existing space.

And the group has a busy programme planned for the year ahead, so finding storage space is vital.

Their next show, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, by Irish playwright Frank McGuinness will run from Tuesday, April 24 to Saturday, April 28 and will be unaffected by the search for a new storage space.

However their June play – Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense by the Goodale Brothers – is set to run from the end of June, coinciding with the deadline for moving out of their existing space.

And if they can’t find anywhere, it could be the final curtain for the group.

Krysia Blake, liaison committee member for Woodley Theatre, said: “The community would lose something if Woodley Theatre were gone.”

Deborah Mander, Town Clerk for Woodley Town Council, said: “The Town Council doesn’t have any space to offer the theatre for storage but are trying to help and have made some enquiries.”

Woodley Theatre was founded in 1945 under the name St John’s Players. They are have strong community ties.

They originally built their own theatre in 1972 and stayed there until the council decided to redevelop the site. In 2002 they moved to the The Alan Cornish Theatre at The Oakwood Centre on Headley Road.

Woodley Theatre has an ongoing agreement with the Town Council to use this theatre.

On the group’s website, they state they are looking for “an area of around 30 sq metres with access to electricit­y for hand tools and lighting and facilities.”

Anyone who could help can email Moira Hunt at woodleythe­atre@hotmail.com

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