Creativity around every corner...

First Thursdays is a monthly festival with events throughout Colchester city centre! The festival celebrates the city’s vibrant and diverse cultural scene, seeing venues thrown open for the community, with fantastic performances, workshops and interactive experiences.  Many creatives featured responded to our Creative Commissions Fund where we seek exciting performance, workshop and installations from Colchester and Tendring creatives.


Our next festival is June 6th 2024.  The full programme can be found below.


You can reserve your place at one of our events by booking your ticket in advance (most of which are FREE). Or, if there is capacity you can just turn up and enjoy.


What’s On This Month


Curzon Colchester Open Mic @ Curzon Cinema

Come join us at Curzon Colchester for our very first open mic, everybody is welcome, turn up and sign up!

FREE entry, just turn up on the night
Cutting & Sticking @ Signals

Come along to this relaxed and creative art workshop with designer Katie Kennedy for some cutting, sticking, exploring and chatting. Using a still life set-up as inspiration, we’ll create mixed up artworks using 2D and 3D materials; scrap items, recycled materials, papers, tape, textures and more. Experiment, collage and play in a friendly environment. Drop in anytime between 6 – 9pm, all materials provided, no experience necessary.

Find out more and book your FREE ticket
Emotional Madness with MaryAnn & Mates @ Colchester Arts Centre

An evening of spoken word and poetry hosted by Mary-Ann Ambrose. A mixture of emotions, a roller coaster of fun and sadness.

Tickets from £3

Explore Colchester in novels and memoir @ War Memorial (Castle Park)

“How are Asterix and Moll Flanders  linked to Colchester?” Find out on a guided tour from VisitColchester around the city centre streets to discover the cities many appearances in literature over the centuries. If you love books, reading and Colchester then this is the tour for you!

Find out more and book your FREE ticket

Macbeth @ Castle Park Theatre

Castle Park Theatre returns with the Bard’s ultimate power couple. A gripping tale of greed, murder and the supernatural, this production features an all-female cast who have performed open-air Shakespeare all over the country.

Tickets from £14

Makerspace Socials @ Colchester Makerspace

Thinking of becoming a member and want to know more? Already a member and want to catch up with the others? Makerspace Socials are free, include a short introduction, an opportunity to meet our members and associate artists and hear a short show-and-tell from our Maker of the Month.

Find out more and book your FREE ticket

Rich Hall: Shot From Cannons @ Mercury Theatre

Fresh on the heels of his critically acclaimed memoirs, Nailing It, Montana’s transatlantic messenger returns with new rants, knife-edge observations, thrilling musical interludes and an ever-formidable knack for laughs on the fly. You’ll pay for the whole seat, but you’ll only need the edge of it.

Tickets from £19

Salsa Dance Class with Katy Ermel @ Firstsite (Foyer)

Come and learn a fun Salsa choreography with Katy and her team from PlanetKaty! Katy’s classes are all about having a good time. The class is suitable for beginners.  No partners needed, this is a solo dance. Join this fabulous class and have some Latin dance fun.

Find out more and book your FREE ticket

First Thursdays: The Hub @ Three Wise Monkeys

Join us at Three Wise Monkeys where you pick up a programme, speak to a member of our team about getting involved and socialise over a drink with fellow creatives. There will also be live music from talented local musicians throughout the night.

Find out more and book your FREE ticket

The Power of Drag Make-Up @ Firstsite (Studio)

Learn the artistry behind stunning transformations from seasoned drag professionals. From contouring to fierce lashes, discover the secrets to fierce, flawless looks. Unleash your inner diva in this hands-on experience! All are welcome!

Find out more and book your FREE ticket
The Thursday Jam @ CODA

Play an instrument? Fancy channelling your inner rockstar? Turn up and join other musicians in Colchester’s Jam Night! 

FREE entry, just turn up on the night

Writing In The Dark: A beginner-friendly horror writing workshop @ Patch

In this workshop lecture, Noah Alfred Pantano (writer and director of hit queer horror play Standing On A Nail) will teach you how to write your own spooky scenes through creative writing prompts and an exploration of horror tropes. Workshop participants will leave with a chill up their spine and new nightmares to inspire future writing.

Find out more and book your FREE ticket

To get yourself in the First Thursdays mood, take a look at our brilliant May photo gallery, taken by Jonathan Dadds.