The Mowlem in Swanage shows off its new studio

Following a £100,000 makeover, the Community Room at The Mowlem in Swanage has become a new performance space and its got a new name – The Studio.

The last coat of paint has dried just in time for an open day at the theatre between 11 am and 2 pm on Saturday 1st June 2024, allowing everyone to come round and have a look at the refurbished room with its new high tech audiovisual equipment.

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The studio at The Mowlem

The retractable cinema screen along with surround sound

The studio at The Mowlem

It all happens at the touch of a button!

“The Goldilocks Room – not too big, not too small but just right!”

On the day, there will also be tours of the whole theatre complex with a light and sound display in the auditorium, plus an opportunity to chat with trustees and staff. The Showbar will also be serving refreshments.

Chair of The Mowlem trustees, Paul Angel said:

“While much loved and used, the Community Room hadn’t changed since 1999 and was looking embarrassingly tired.

“We asked people what they wanted and fortunately we’ve been able to provide most of what was on the wish list including a solid floor suitable for dancing and yoga, regulate the temperature with air conditioning, provide a state of the art cinema screen and a brand new kitchen.

“This gives us a third performance space. Sometimes the main auditorium is too large and The Showbar too small, but this room provides something in the middle for smaller theatre performances, one person shows, music workshops and films during the Purbeck Film Festival.

“You could say it’s the Goldilocks Room – not too big, not too small but just right!

“We’ve renamed it The Studio as we wanted to make a distinctive change from the past and it’s a name which works across all art forms.”

The studio at The Mowlem

First to perform was the band She’Koyokh

The studio at The Mowlem

Lots of oohs and ahhs as everyone arrived for the dance workshop, along with remarks on the smell of fresh paint!

New seating for 80 people

The work was paid for by grants from organisations including Swanage Town Council and the De Moulham Trust, and the Talbot Village Trust.

The room can seat 80 people and new chairs are on order, along with new tables for activities like the Swanage Flower Club’s flower arranging.

With the work all completed to schedule, the first people to use The Studio were those attending a Balkan and Yiddish dance workshop with live music from the band She’Koyokh on Saturday 25th May 2024.

The studio at The Mowlem

Room with a view but new blackout curtains for cinema screenings

The studio at The Mowlem

Even washing up looks enticing in the new kitchen!

“Completed on budget and on time”

Paul Angel added:

“It’s great to see The Studio being used for the first time since all the work was completed. We did have a back up plan of using The Showbar just in case it wasn’t but fortunately that wasn’t needed.

“The whole refurbishment has been completed on budget and on time and I’d like to thank our operations manager Thomas Curtis for all his efforts and trustee Dawn Morley for leading on the project.”

The studio at The Mowlem

A new space for art exhibitions – this is Abundance showcasing the work of more than 20 Purbeck artists from 24th May to 16th July 2024

What’s on in June

Other events happening at The Mowlem in June 2024 include the classic farce Cash on Delivery directed by Brian Travers with performances at 7.30 pm from Thursday 13th June to Saturday 15th June, and Swing n Sinatra with live band Five Star Swing performing at 7.30 pm on Friday 21st June, plus lots of films.

And while no one wants to mention the C word too early – tickets for Swanage Drama Company’s festive pantomine Jack and the Beanstalk go on sale via the website and box office from Saturday 1st June 2024. Oh yes they do!

Further information

  • The Mowlem open day is on Saturday 1st June 2024 between 11 am and 2 pm with tours at 11.30 am, 12.30 pm and 1.30 pm. Just turn up – all invited
  • Become a Friend – it’s free for young people aged 14 to 21
  • The Mowlem what’s on

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