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Spilsby Theatre

321

The Spilsby Theatre was formed from the former Sessions House and gaol in this small Lincolnshire town. Externally, Kendall's building of 1824 has an impressive facade with a Greek Doric tetrastyle portico attached to a plain stock brick shell. The entrance lobby, with steps at each end, is an original part of the courtroom layout. A stairway leads to the gallery. Outbuildings and a garden at the rear with a former coach house used as a rehearsal room and workshop. The auditorium has an end gallery which runs the entire width of the auditorium and has an iron balustrade. It faces a low stage, approached by two steps. The ceiling is flat. The side walls are panelled in wood to a height of 8 feet. Side windows are curtained over for performance purposes. There are 8 rows of tiered seats. At the rear of what is now the stage (behind the former magistrate's bench) was a large plaster coat of arms, sold by the first owner to raise funds but since re-acquired. The gallery now houses the lighting control panel and the components of a two manual pipe organs. The console is backstage. There is no permanent proscenium, the stage being divided from the auditorium by a hardboard proscenium top with curtain legs. The opening can be closed by the use of traverse house tabs. It is curious to be able to view the rear wall of the room over the top of the false proscenium. With the present height of the stage opening, there would be sufficient height to fly. Upstage right is a doorway leading to three dressing rooms which were originally cells. The interior of the building has much atmosphere.

Built / Converted
1983
Dates of use
  • 1984 : Theatre, continuing
Current state
Extant
Current use
Theatre (currently at risk)
Address
Church Street, Spilsby, Lincolnshire, PE23 5DY, England
Further details
Other names
-
Events
  • 1824 Design/Construction: as sessions house
    H E Kendall
    - Architect
  • 1983 Alteration: conversion to theatre
    Unknown
    - Architect
  • 1984 Use: Theatre, continuing
  • 1984 - 1987 Owner/Management: Phillip Stokes, owner
  • 1987 Owner/Management: Dandelion Trust
Capacities
  • Capacity
    Later
    Description
    129
    Comment
    1993; 117-129
  • Capacity
    Current
    Description
    200
    Comment
    2015; standing
  • Capacity
    Current
    Description
    113
    Comment
    2015; seated
  • Capacity
    Current
    Description
    35
    Comment
    2015; Studio Theatre
Listings
  • Listing
    II
Stage type
Proscenium, non permanent
Building dimensions: auditorium 10.59m wide; 7.77m from false
Stage dimensions: Depth: 4.88m Width SL: 5.03m SR: 5.03m
Proscenium width: 7.32m
Height to grid: 4.27m
Inside proscenium: 7.77m
Orchestra pit: None