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Mercury Theatre Colchester

Theatre and Performing Arts

Mercury Theatre Colchester

The Mercury Theatre Colchester is the most active producing theatre in East Anglia, and is a vital centre of excellence in the east’s growing creative economy.

About the Theatre

Rooted in its local community the theatre touches over 130,000 people in Colchester and the surrounding area each year through the vibrant and broad programme we stage across two auditoria, and through community education partnerships.

Under the Made in Colchester brand, the Mercury creates theatre which reaches audiences and generates critical attention regionally and nationally. The Mercury is a champion of regional arts, both as an active co-producer with other venues and companies and also touring our own productions to audiences across the UK.

Born out of the Colchester Repertory Company in 1937, we have been creating theatre at our current site since 1972. Our Main Theatre and Studio Theatre seat a combined total of 586. On-site production and workshop facilities create sets, props and costumes for both for in-house productions and touring companies, including the National Theatre.

With a turnover of £3.7m annually, the Mercury is a significant local employer and a major driver of the restaurant and hospitality economy in Colchester. The Mercury is a welcoming theatre with award-winning customer service, and a proven track record of attracting people into theatre for the first time.

The Made in Colchester programme, together with our Community and Education team and apprenticeships, incubate and nurture new talent in all areas of theatre.

The venue provides a relevant space for a diverse group of people, all of whom feel ownership over it and who engage with its spaces in a variety of ways, from attending performances to participating in outreach and education programmes. It is a centre for creativity and a space for creation. It is open and welcoming, working with a variety of voices and a diversity of communities, audiences, artists and staff.

Our vision is of a theatre that touches the lives of all the people of Colchester and its surrounding area, contributes regionally to the development of new talent and new audiences, and carves out a truly national reputation for the quality of the work that it makes.

In May 2019, we will be closing for refurbishment. Our Mercury Rising Project will raise £1.7m to complete an £8.7m extension and refurbishment of the Mercury Theatre - transforming and safeguarding the building for future generations.

We will be moving to a temporary venue until we reopen in 2020. Mercury at Abbey Field is a state of the art pop-up theatre that will house a limited season of shows during Autumn 2019 whilst the capital redevelopment of the Mercury’s current building takes place.

This temporary space will include an increased seating capacity of over 800 seats, it will be completely undercover and fully heated with full bar, kiosks, toilets and onsite parking available to pre-book.