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The Main House Theatre.
|Owner||The Maltings (Berwick) Trust, leased from Northumberland County Council|
|Type||Main House: Proscenium / Studio: Black Box|
|Capacity||Main House: 314 (2 levels) / Studio: 74 (Retractable Seating)|
|Production||Presenting & Co-producing|
|Years active||26 years|
|Architect||Law & Dunbar-Nasmith|
The Maltings also manages Berwick Visual Arts and its exhibition and residency programme across the Granary and the Gymnasium Galleries, located elsewhere in the town centre.
It is operated by The Maltings (Berwick) Trust as a registered charity. It is mostly funded through ticket sales, event promotions, and its other trading activities, but also receives annual funding from both Northumberland County Council and Arts Council England.
The Maltings was opened on 4 April 1990 by Peter Palumbo, then Chairman of Arts Council England, as a purpose-built arts centre built in the ruins of an early 19th-century Maltings (destroyed by fire in 1984) after a public campaign to establish a permanent professional arts centre in the town. The new venue was designed by architects Law & Dunbar-Nasmith, and stands on a hillside in the centre of Berwick-upon-Tweed with views across the 17th century Berwick Bridge and the River Tweed estuary.
The building contains:
- Main House Theatre
- Henry Travers Studio Theatre
- Bar and café
- Workshop spaces and offices, including teaching rooms used regularly by Northumberland College and the main office of the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival
The Main House Theatre seats 314. Over 600 events are presented each year: mid-scale touring theatre/opera/dance, The Maltings' own pantomime each December, local community productions, music concerts, and cinema including movies and live broadcasts of theatre, opera and ballet.
The Henry Travers Studio, named after local actor Henry Travers, is a black-box studio space used for live performances, recitals, workshops, rehearsals, conferencing, and film screenings. It can seat between 70 and 120.
The current chief executive and artistic direct is Matthew Rooke, who joined The Maltings in 2012. Under his leadership, classical music has been re-established as a core part of the year round programme with recitals by the Royal Northern Sinfonia and the launch of Berwick Festival Opera. Locally produced professional cinema productions and commissions are regularly shown.
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