Arts & Culture

The Corn Exchange Newbury has announced it will be delaying its season of live events until September.

It has been seven weeks since the arts centre, along with theatres across the country, closed its doors to the public, and since then the Corn Exchange Newbury has been adapting its activities in order to continue to support the community during these extraordinary times.

The Corn Exchange Newbury has been overwhelmed by the public support, both in terms of the generosity shown by people donating over £37,000 to their Love Your Corn Exchange appeal and by how many people have taken part in their weekly digital activities. Last month over 300 people took part in online choir workshops to create the West Berkshire Virtual Choir recording of I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing and people of all ages have been enjoying parent and baby music sessions, art classes, poetry workshops, dance classes and story times, all from the comfort of their own homes.

The team at the Corn Exchange has been busy rescheduling as many live events as possible and keeping in touch with everyone who had tickets booked.

Katy Griffiths, Director of the Corn Exchange, says ‘We are thrilled with the number of people choosing to engage in our online activities but the closure of the buildings has also presented challenges for us as ticket sales usually makes up a large proportion of our income. We are currently working with a significantly reduced team as we have had to furlough staff to help reduce costs, and an increasing number of touring productions have had to be rescheduled as they have not been able to rehearse their shows or commence their tours due to the social distancing measures in place. This has led to the difficult decision to put our live season of events on hold until September.

We are busy working to prepare for a safe return to our buildings and putting together a fantastic autumn season for you to enjoy with music, comedy, theatre and films plus the much-anticipated Corn Exchange pantomime, Aladdin. We look forward to sharing these details with you all in June.’

If government guidance makes it possible for the Corn Exchange to reopen sooner than September, the team is exploring the possibility of running a reduced programme of events with the potential for some workshops or screenings of films, whilst still ensuring the safety of its staff members, volunteers, audience members and participants.

To keep up to date with news and events at the Corn Exchange, and to see the full list of online activities,