Non-professional theatre produced professionally....
In 1967 the Bass brewery sold The Swan, a derelict Yeovil pub,
to the Yeovil Dramatic and Arts Society. For seven years members
worked to transform the pub into an attractive headquarters with
facilities for rehearsals and set-building. Performances still had
to take place in hired halls. The society then decided to build its
own theatre on the land behind the building. Its first production
there was in 1976.
We have had no magic wand but, year by year, improvements have
been made. The Swan does not receive public funding, or any
financial support from any other organisation, relying solely
on the efforts of its members and patrons. Years of voluntary work
and the re-investment of all profits into the building and its
equipment have resulted in the Swan becoming one of the best
equipped little theatres in the West of England. We can now offer
the public an intimate performance space, tiered auditorium with
excellent acoustics, professional quality lighting and sound
systems, and a fully licensed bar.
The Swan Theatre Company is committed to developing the
performing arts in Yeovil and performs six shows a year, providing
a wide range of opportunities for our members to perform or work
backstage. In addition the theatre is a venue which is used by
other groups in the area and is available to hire at very
reasonable rates. As part of our work, we have a raised thousands
of pounds for local charities through donations and, in particular,
our policy of charity performances.
In addition to the six shows a year, we are building a programme
of workshop performances and rehearsed readings to offer our
members wider opportunities. We run workshops on the
technical aspects of theatre for those members whose interests lie
more in those directions. To reinforce our links to the local
community we maintain close contacts with schools and colleges in
the area to explore mutually interesting projects.
We aim to provide an interesting and challenging theatrical
environment for people of all levels of ability. The Swan Theatre
is recognised as an outstanding example of non-professional
theatre, evidenced by the press notices received for our
productions, the awards received in local drama competitions and by
the comments and loyalty of our local audience, so do please
come and join us.