The Theatre was founded in 1947 and staged plays at a number of locations in and around Wokingham. As it became more successful it moved in 1962 into a permanent building that was originally a wooden Army refectory building that Theatre members adapted themselves for theatrical purposes.
Having a permanent building enabled the Theatre to expand its activities, and stage 8 productions a year. It also formed a Youth Theatre, hosted touring companies and staged a number of special celebrity evenings.
As theatre regulations became more stringent it was apparent that the Theatre's ability to continue to operate in a wooden building would eventually be curtailed. Accordingly a vigorous fund-raising programme was started to raise funds to build a brick theatre on a new site.
After a number of years of fund raising, and with the support of the Wokingham District Council (WDC) who provided a 10 year loan and a grant, building work began in Cantley Park, Twyford Road, Wokingham. The New Theatre was completed and opened to the public in September 1986.
During 2000 a major extension project was undertaken to increase seating capacity to 144 by repositioning the lighting box, and widening the foyer and entrance to provide an information counter, coffee bar, and larger circulating area.
The result of all these efforts is this fine building.
Access for the public is available on the level, with facilities for the disabled. Space is provided for two wheelchairs. An audio loop system assists those patrons with hearing difficulties, using headphones that are available for loan, free of charge.
A fully licensed bar enables patrons to enjoy a drink before and after the show, as well as during the interval. A coffee bar also provides refreshment before the show and during the interval. Free parking is available close to the theatre.
Average seat occupancy in recent years has been close to 100% for the 8 or more shows staged annually, with at least 45% of our patrons being Season Ticket holders.
Facilities for productions and the public are constantly being upgraded and improved. Whenever the production schedule permits, the Theatre is available for hire to theatrical companies and other organisations.
The associated Theatre not only offers training in dramatic arts leading to a LAMDA qualification, but also stages its own productions using all the facilities of the theatre.
The Theatre is a registered charity and limited company, as well as being a member of the Little Theatre Guild, a nationwide association of amateur theatres.
The Theatre remains proud of its amateur traditions, but is routinely complimented on the professionalism of its productions. You will be most welcome at this "Little Theatre", the more so if you choose to become a member.
Members of Mandy who have worked for Wokingham Theatre