The Theatres Trust

Redgrave Theatre (Farnham)

  • Theatre ID
  • Built / Converted
  • Dates of use
    • 1974 - 1997: Theatre
  • Current state
  • Current use
  • Address
    Brightwells, Farnham, Surrey, GU9 7SB, England
  • Website


Set in the beautiful gardens of Grade II listed Brightwells House, the Redgrave was built in the 1970s for the Farnham Repertory Theatre Company when the Castle Theatre (q.v.) was vacated. The house itself provided a restaurant (the Castle Restaurant) and club room, with other offices and dressing rooms above. A single roof was formed from standard Trocoll double-tee bridge beams carried on simple linear walls. Inside, the end stage has a forestage or orchestra pit to accommodate 10 musicians. There is no flytower but the stage was equipped with a permanent revolve. The auditorium is a concrete structure with no decoration, fan shaped in a single rake. The foyer was extended in 1986 but facilities were limited. In all the building serves as an interesting example of combining an existing listed building with new build to provide a cost effective solution. The theatre has had a troubled history and has suffered from neglect since its closure in 1997 and is in a poor state of repair. Various schemes have been developed to re-open the building, but so far none of them has managed to provide a stable future for the theatre, mainly because of ownership issues. The building is currently under threat of demolition as part of a larger redevelopment scheme.

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Side Elevation of The Redgrave Theatre, Farnham, 1999
© Theatres Trust

Rear Elevation of The Redgrave Theatre, Farnham, 1999
© Theatres Trust

Exterior of the Redgrave Theatre, Farnham, 1999
© Theatres Trust

Side Elevation of The Redgrave Theatre, Farnham, 1995
© Theatres Trust

Rear Elevation of The Redgrave Theatre, Farnham, 1995
© Theatres Trust

Façade of The Redgrave Theatre, Farnham, 1995
© Theatres Trust

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  • Events
    • 1790 Design/Construction: Brightwell House
      • Thomas Turner - Architect
    • 1920 Owner/Management:
      • Waverley Borough Council - Owner
    • 1974 - 1997 Use: Theatre
    • 1974 Alteration: theatre added
      • Frank Rutter - Architect
      • Theatre Projects Consultants - Theatre
      • Telestage Associates - Stage revolve
    • 1974 Owner/Management:
      • Farnham Repertory Co Ltd - Lessee
    • 1986 Alteration: creation of entrance foyer
      • Frank Rutter - Architect
  • Capacities
    • Original: 356
    • Current: 356
  • Listings
    • Grade Not listed - Brightwells House is Grade II
  • Stage type
    • End stage with thrust orchestra pit
  • Dimensions
    • Stage dimensions: Depth: 12.2m Width: 20.74m
    • Height to grid: Special track grid 6.1m
    • Orchestra pit: Flexible (with thrust) for 10

Of the period

Exterior of the Theatre Royal, Margate, 2007
Theatre Royal Margate

Have you seen?

Auditorium stage left, box, stalls and balcony, Nelson Palace Theatre, August 2009
Nelson Palace Theatre

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