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Working for a regional theatre in Farnham

The Redgrave Theatre is still a young building being built only 35 years ago. A total of £260,000 was raised enthusiastically by people of Farnham. 

Today that would be the equivalent of raising £2,625,000 (using the retail price index from 1974 to 2009)

 What we have had...Brightwells House
Redgrave TheatreProfessional theatre has been in Farnham for more than 7 centuries from the first performance for the Bishop of Winchester and the Royal Court at Farnham Castle. Theatre has a long and distinguished history in our town. In 1939 travelling players were offered a barn in Castle Street and established The Farnham Playhouse.  This tiny venue later became The Castle Theatre and by the late 1960s was so successful that a new larger theatre was planned for Farnham.

Redgrave Theatre

 See our tribute to the Redgrave family

Redgrave Programmes      ProgrammesProgrammes


The Redgrave Theatre, built in 1974, enjoyed national acclaim for its innovative design and the quality of its Repertory productions. PrincessRedgrave Plan Princess MargaretMargaret was at the opening night, Dame Judi Dench was among the founder members and well-known names such as Prunella Scales, Leo McKern, Maureen Lipman, James Bolam, Fiona Fullerton, Bill Gaunt and Rachel Kempson, wife of Sir Michael Redgrave attracted audiences.

The people of Farnham, who had raised £260,000 (see Above) for this theatre, wereRedgrave Plan devastated when it closed in 1999.


The Redgrave Theatre drawing done by actor Dennis Chinnery.


Entertainment in Farnham - lacking a professional theatre

What we survive with now...

The eagerness and enthusiasm for theatre has not diminished. Farnham Rep have to perform in a marquee or a local church in the absence of a proper theatre. Thousands of people have objected to the developer’s plans to demolish The Redgrave without replacing it. It’s ironic that when Farnham Rep perform in Brightwell Garden, the Marquee is immediately adjacent to the dark theatre.

Kolbe's Gift, 2006  Bandwagon, 2006 The Tale of Two Cities, 2002
Battleing Billy, 2007  She Stoops to Conquer, 2006    Marquee

Marquee by night  Mike Silver, David Gooderson, Jo Huddlestone & Ellis Nichols, Hard Times, Farnham Rep 2009Brenda Longman & Angus Kennedy, Hard Times, Farnham Rep 2009
Fliss Walton & Ben Warwick in Room Service, Farnham Rep 2009Room Service, 2009Jane Eyre, 2005

As we cannot rely on Waverley Council to fund the theatre, people are once again giving hearts, souls, time and money to find a way forward. The FTA has commissioned a Theatre Report and Business Study which shows that Farnham perhaps, more than any other town, could support a theatre without subsidy. We are a wealthy, well-educated population with a great interest in the arts.

...and what we had...
Dinger Belling in Freedom to Forget  Treasure Island  SeeSaw Shellfish Suchiitra Pillai    ShellfishProgrammes

...and what we have now
Constitutional Vandalism?

Redgrave urban decay  Redgrave boarded up
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