This February Théâtre Volière will be curating the Marchland Festival as part of the European Year of Cultural heritage. The huge programme will be highly exciting with a range of different performances from theatre, music and workshops. Inspired by various cultures, Marchland embraces everything we hope this year stands for and with cultural collaboration and proud diverse ethnic representation it is no coincidence that they have staged their festival at a theatre which also embraces these values.
The Bridewell Theatre
The theatre is a recent addition to the St Bride Foundation Institute. Conservation of the Victorian swimming pool in 1994 created the space created the theatre space which offers groups of professionals, amateurs, schools, and colleges the chance to perform just off the West end in London.
The St Bride Foundation Institute was established in 1891 with a ‘clear social and cultural purpose’ for the community living in the Fleet Street area, at the time the foundation of the growing publishing industry in London.
The Grade II listed structure was built in the Victorian period, and originally housed various printer services, a school (now known as the London College of Communication) and a technical library for the public.
It still retains many of its original features and although the school relocated in 1922, baths, printing rooms and the St Bride Library can still be visited, with other parts of the institute closed while undergoing restoration.
One of these projects had been the restoration of the William Blades Library; a room that houses collection of work purchased by the St Bride institution after the printers death. Rooms have also been rejuvenated in a creative manner to suit the newer visitors of St Brides, as the laundry room has recently been transformed into the Bridewell bar to complement the theatre.
The Bridewell foundation still commits to its mission to provide for the community around it, and still to this day hosts performances, exhibitions and general services to the public.