Where did it all start? Taunton Brewhouse first opened its doors on March 28 in 1977, after John Wilkins and Cllr John Meikle led a successful campaign for a theatre in Taunton. The theatre is situated in the heart of Taunton, on the banks of the River Tone; a stunning location. The site is a former brewery (we still serve great beer), and the building retains the original Georgian Brew Master’s house, which is now occupied by the admin team.
Our first professional production was Alan Ayckbourn’s The Norman Conquests, starring the then unknown David Jason.
From the start we have enjoyed support from the local community, who have been involved in everything from: fundraising, to volunteering front of house and behind the scenes, to sitting on the Board as a Trustee. Frankly we couldn’t do it without them.
Our audiences are loyal and return again and again for the quality of our shows, enjoying live music, plays, films and event cinema, dance, comedy, family shows and exhibitions. We are grateful for regular funding from Arts Council England and Somerset West and Taunton Council. This enables us to run Learn – our outreach and educational programme – which covers activities like craft making, writing, singing, painting and dance that anyone in the community can participate in at subsidised rates, ensuring it is inclusive. We also run popular workshops for schools. We have had considerable success in attracting grant funding due to the quality of our activity, most recently from the Weston Culture Fund for a new Distillery programme – which aims to nurture and support regional artists at each stage of their career.
In 2021 we took some time to reflect on what we were doing and our aims for the future. We wanted to hear the opinions of everyone in the community who had an interest in Taunton Brewhouse so held a public consultation which all stakeholders were invited to take part in. The process and feedback lead to a reimagining of our core values. We then rebranded with the help of local creative agency Teapot Creative, resulting in a change of visual identity carried across all formats. See Our Story. We love our new look and we hope you do too.
Taunton Brewhouse has become a community hub – known for the warmth of its welcome, from volunteers and staff. It is a place to meet family and friends, take a class or enjoy a show or an exhibition, and relax and forget the world outside for a while.
We aim to continue to provide quality arts activity for the people of Taunton and the surrounding communities, for many years to come.