You may well have seen Welshman Iwan Lewis on stage or screen. His many credits include Legally Blonde, Godspell, Therese Raquin and the blockbuster film version of Les Miserables (yes, that's him with Hugh Jackman). How'd he go from treading the boards to launching and running a brand-new theatre in the Cotswolds? Watch as he lays out his vision for bringing the West End to the Cotswolds...
The Barn Theatre in Cirencester officially launches on Monday with the opening night of Dominic Shaw's actor-musician production of THE SECRET GARDEN, which starts preview performances tonight (16 March 2018) and continues until 15 April. But the journey to get to this point for the theatre that it inaugurates started three years ago and, playing a key role in that journey has been actor-turned-artistic director Iwan Lewis.
We love this video of a speech that Iwan gave to local business leaders last year. In it, while laying out his vision for the Barn, he outlines the transformative power of a vibrant theatre to a community (his model: the Watermill in Newbury, Berkshire) and tries to educate West End punters about Gloucestershire geography. Do YOU know where Cirencester is? You should!
A labour of love, the Barn Theatre was started by Ian Carling and his wife Chrissie, who, without any public subsidy, have invested £4.5 million as part of a three-year renovation of the building, a former 1940s Nissen hut. The result is a state-of-the-art complex with a 200-seat air-conditioned auditorium and orchestra pit, studio rehearsal suite, dressing rooms and green room as well as the adjacent Teatro piano bar and 60-seat restaurant, with its mouth-watering menu that has already attracted a legion of food-loving fans.