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Winchester's new Cafe Bar officially opens

On Tuesday 8 October, Theatre Royal Winchester's Cafe Bar was officially opened by Cllr Keith Mans, Leader of Hampshire County Council.

A morning reception was held in the Cafe Bar for our partners, supporters and investors to celebrate the occasion, with samples of the breakfast and lunch menus as well as cake being served.

The opening of the Cafe Bar at Theatre Royal Winchester comes after a summer of refurbishment work. We have been working with Hampshire County Council’s award-winning architect team to transform our theatre building in to a more vibrant, inclusive and accessible space.

We are thankful for the generous investment and support of Hampshire County Council, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Backstage Trust, Foyle Foundation, The Hobson Charity, Nadine and David Collinson and to all ticket buyers at Theatre Royal Winchester for enabling this extensive renovation project to take place. 

Deryck Newland, Chief Executive of Play to the Crowd, welcomed everyone to the theatre and spoke of the branding journey and transformation that the charity had undergone over the past few months.

He reminded the audience that the theatre building had been bought in trust for the community and he very much hopes that the community will embrace the changes, feel at home here in the space and help us build a stronger community around us.

Deryck continued to thank all of the charity’s supporters,  Hampshire County Council's architect team as well as the contractors who had helped with the refurbishment: HP Contracts, Ridon Joinery, Mint Sign and Graphics, Whitwam AV Integration, Hicks Joinery, Future Contracting and Waterside Blinds.

Leader of Hampshire County Council, Keith Mans, then thanked Deryck Newland for his leadership of the transformation and the wider Play to the Crowd team for their foresight and hard work in making the project happen.

He hoped that the new space should not only be the creative hub for Winchester but become the creative hub for Hampshire, before officially declaring the Cafe Bar open.  

Entertainment came from local vocal harmony group, The Spitfire Sisters, and Alresford-born pianist and composer, Jake Gauntlett, who performed during the unveiling of Trilogy – a sculpture gifted to the theatre by Winchester-based artist and sculptor, Nadine Collinson.

Trilogy tells the story of three abstract characters, whilst representing the three strands of Play to the Crowd: Theatre Royal Winchester, Hat Fair Outdoor Arts festival, and its learning and engagement brand, Playmakers. The sculptures lighting design was created by Laura Day.

Theatre Royal Winchester's Cafe Bar is open every day from 8am (10am on Sundays) serving specialist coffee supplied by Origin Coffee, fine teas, cake and light bites.

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