The Maltings in Berwick-upon-Tweed (www.maltingsberwick.co.uk)is a live arts and cinema venue located in the heart of the historic walled town of Berwick-upon-Tweed at the northern tip of Northumberland, just 3 miles south of the Scottish border. The Maltings also manages Berwick Visual Arts (www.berwickvisunlarts.co.uk)ad its acclaimed exhibition and residency programme across the Granary and the Gymnasium Galleries, located elsewhere in the town centre.
Audiences travel from across the eastern Scottish Borders and North Northumberland, with an influx of tourists through the Summer. The main building is a purpose-built venue housing a 311 seat main theatre, 74 seat studio, café, bar, meeting rooms and workshops spaces. During 2017, the programme will feature over 180 live events, 300 screenings, and 150 learning / participation events.
The Maltings is a crucial hub for cultural and community events - the venue where local people come to celebrate, escape, be challenged, learn, share and be entertained. It is a cherished asset for families, working adults and retired people alike - providing high quality arts experiences in their immediate locale.
It is operated by The Maltings (Berwick) Trust as a registered charity, and receives annual funding from both Northumberland County Council (via Active Northumberland) and Arts Council England - The Maltings earns 75% of its annual income itself through ticket sales, event promotions, and its other trading activities
The Maltings was opened on 4 April 1990 by Peter Palumbo, then chairman of the 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 successful 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 old 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 331 and is the largest venue between Newcastle and Edinburgh, fully equipped with recently upgraded stage lighting and digital sound facilities. Over 500 events are presented each year, from mid-scale touring theatre/opera/dance to The Maltings own fully professional Pantomime each December, local community productions to concerts from jazz to classical, the latest cinema releases and live broadcasts from the Royal Shakepsreae Company, National Theatre, Royal Opera and Royal Ballet.
The Henry Travers Studio, named after local actor Henry Travers (Clarence the Angel in It's a Wonderful Life), is a fully equipped black-box studio space used extensively 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 hugely successful launch of Berwick Festival Opera (www.berwickfestivalopera.co.uk). Digital cinema has also been introduced in both the Main House and the Studio, and locally produced professional productions and commissions are regular features - including the top-selling Maltings professional Pantomime, made in Berwick for Berwick!
The Maltings has brought some of the biggest names in British theatre, comedy and music to its venue in recent years. these include:
Theatre: Original Theatre Company, National Theatre of Scotland, Filter Theatre, Flying Cloud, Blackeyed Theatre, DYAD Productions, Paines Plough.
Music: Fairport Convention, Ralph McTell, Aly Bain, Ale Moller and Bruce Molsky, Sheena Wellington, Elkie Brooks, Steve Howe, Kiki Dee, Kathryn Tickell, Sandi Thom, Camille O'Sullivan, Scocha and Ian Shaw.
Comedy: Lee Evans, Ed Byrne, Rich Hall, Jack Dee, Kevin Bridges, Patrick Kielty, Julian Clary, John Bishop, Reginald D. Hunter, Russell Kane, Mark Watson and Jo Caulfield.
Dance: Scottish Ballet, London Contemporary Dance School, Northern Ballet
Spoken Word: Andrew Motion, Steven Berkoff, Jenni Murray, Liz Lochhead, Simon Callow and Val Mcdermid.