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Working for a regional theatre in Farnham

FTA acts for the benefit of the public in and around the area of Farnham, Surrey.  FTA keeps its Members and the Public informed of all current affairs and developments, local and national, relevant to its cause.

We have compiled an answers to some questions below but if you would like to ask a question please email us here.

Q. What is the history of The Redgrave Theatre

A. The Redgrave Theatre Brochure

Q. The Redgrave was a success for many years - why did it close?

A. It’s true it had been a genuine success bringing quality entertainment to many thousands in the area. But the repertory structure became less successful and in its final years, new managements were installed at the Redgrave, which led directly to significantly increased costs and also reduced audiences through inappropriate programming.

Q. Why should a theatre succeed now?

A. The FTA’s new plan for a theatre avoids past mistakes and has been specifically designed for Farnham at a time when there is a revival of interest in live performance.

Q. Isn’t this idea to reintroduce theatre just based on nostalgia?

A. On the contrary, it’s soundly based on our detailed, analytical and independently produced Business Plan that takes full account of the marketplace for theatre, with great opportunities for community involvement.

Q. I understand Farnham is in a high density housing area - why isn’t there already a theatre?

A. In fact, in this part of the South-East, a catchment area for theatre already exists of over 343,000 people and that is due to significantly increase with Government targets for housing. Waverley Borough Council’s current policy for non buildings-based theatre (small companies touring village halls) needs updating and it is not even satisfying current demand and will be seen to be seriously deficient by 2020.

Q. How can the FTA say that council tax won’t have to rise to cover the running costs?

A. The FTA plan is for a self-supporting theatre made available to a wider community, through a system of advance subscription bookings to give financial stability.

Q. This new programme sounds idealistic – does it really work in practice?

A. There are over 70 theatres across the UK operating successfully without public subsidy and our individual plan has been custom-built to suit our local circumstances.

Q. The Farnham Maltings already provides theatre, doesn’t it?

A. The Maltings does run some events on its stage but cannot accommodate real theatre. If it could, it would. The shape of the buildings with very poor acoustics and technical limitations make it unsuitable. Nor has the Maltings policy of small touring companies visiting village halls been a satisfactory alternative. Consequently, thousands of people objected to the plans to demolish the Redgrave.

Q. Wouldn’t a new theatre just compete with the Maltings?

A. Not at all. A new theatre would complement the activities at the Maltings and provide what it cannot. The theatre programme would be entirely different and together their offerings would put Farnham on the map for culture and entertainment for residents and tourists to Farnham.

Q. Will saving the Redgrave or providing a new theatre upset the development plans for East Street?

A. The developers originally said that a theatre could be included in their plans. FTA says the developers should compensate the people of Farnham by providing a new theatre if they want to demolish the Redgrave as there is a continuing need for it.

Q. Who are Performers Together?

A. Performers Together is the name of the 80 or so local arts and educational organisations who are combining to create a performance venue in Farnham worthy of their needs.
Our new logo includes Sigma meaning ‘the sum of all’; it is our aim to use the sum of all our talents, energy and expertise to further this aim. Performers Together website