Reading Rep Theatre Shortlisted For Theatre Building Of The Year In The Stage Awards 2022

Reading Rep Theatre, led by Founding Artistic Director Paul Stacey and Executive Director Nick Thompson, today announces that they have been shortlisted for Theatre Building of the Year in The Stage Awards 2022, alongside Hall for Cornwall and Theatre Royal Drury Lane. The Stage awards launched in 2010 to recognise and celebrate the full scope of British theatre. It has recognised 85 winners over the years, from national theatres and large-scale organisations to pub theatres and touring companies.

To be eligible for the Theatre Building of the Year award, any theatre venues or physical structure or space hosting theatre performance must have launched (or relaunched) within the past 12 months. Previous winners include Leeds Playhouse (2020), Battersea Arts Centre (2019) and Bridge Theatre (2018). This year's winners will be announced at a ceremony on 31 January 2022.

Following a two-year fundraising campaign which raised over £1 million, the old Salvation Army building was transformed into a cultural hub for the community, complete with theatre bar, auditorium, back of house facilities, rehearsal and studio space.  Designed by David Hughes and led by Fuse Architects, over 2,000 people have visited the theatre since its opening in November 2021.

Paul Stacey, Artistic Director, said today “Building Reading Rep Theatre's new home during a pandemic and in the shadow of such difficult and challenging times for so many, makes opening the doors to our new theatre extra special. We are so grateful to the many, many people who have allowed us to get to this stage.” 

Its inaugural season Reading Rep: Reborn has seen the world première adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray written by Bruntwood Prize winner Phoebe Eclair-Powell and directed by RSC Associate Director Owen Horsley. Locally born Beth Flintoff’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol is currently playing until 31 December, directed by Paul Stacey.

About Reading Rep Theatre

Reading Rep began when Artistic Director Paul Stacey took a £500 overdraft and invested it into a vision he had always believed in: to revitalise Reading’s cultural landscape by making and creating the highest quality theatre, with, by and for Reading.

The company moved into the black box theatre at Reading College, producing packed out plays on a shoestring. Before long, Reading Rep grew to be a beloved home and playground for many of the UK’s leading theatre-makers, including Barney Norris, Roy Alexander Weise and Mischief Theatre. Collaborations and co-productions with leading regional and London theatres including Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Arcola Theatre and Oxford Playhouse placed Reading within the heart of the national theatre landscape.

With community at the heart of the artistic vision of the company, Reading Rep created ENGAGE in 2015, our flagship community outreach programme providing access to the arts for Reading’s most vulnerable communities. We run a year-round programme of workshops, delivered in partnership with Reading Libraries, Reading Borough Council, the Cultural Education Partnership, the NHS and numerous others, that has reached 15,000 children, young people and adults in the last 18 months alone.

With critical acclaim and sell out success, Reading Rep was ready for a new and permanent home. In 2018, just six years after our first production, we began raising funds to convert a former Salvation Army Hall into a 163 seat theatre and cultural hub.

After raising £1million throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, the company is thrilled to be opening its new venue in 2021 with a bold new artistic season of work.