Otley Courthouse gives access to a wide variety of arts and creative activities for local people of all ages. Since opening its doors, the Courthouse has established a cultural program of more than 70 professional evening arts performances a year- from world music and theatre to contemporary dance, live literature, comedy and film.
Throughout May, Otley Courthouse celebrates its 10-year anniversary and has recently received a grant from Arts Council England to help fund its development. Jack Dean tells us what we can expect from the celebrations…
Housed in the refurbished site of a 19th century Magistrate’s court, the arts centre has helped bring new life to the town’s centre, acting as a community hub for a host of clubs, societies and craft fairs in the daytime and hosting internationally touring musicians, comedians and theatre companies in the evenings. Founded in 2004 to continue the legacy of a community play with a cast and crew of over 350, the venue has bucked the trend of regional arts venues by continuing to expand its activities, receiving a grant from Arts Council England to fund its development in early 2014.
Our Centre Manager, Chloe Perry, said, “As a volunteer-led charity, we’ve always tried hard to provide something for everyone in our area, and the enthusiasm of everyone working here, from the board to the office staff to our team of over a hundred volunteers, have been essential in keeping us open and welcoming to our community”.
Throughout the month of May there will be a series of events to mark our tenth birthday. Events will include a gig on the 3rd of May from Bayou Gumbo, who played at the Courthouse’s opening night and have reformed especially for the evening, and a performance on the 9th of May by Radio 4 poet Ian McMillan.
The venue will also be throwing open its doors for a family day on the 26th of May which will feature a picnic, mosaic making and an immersive puppet show by Mimika Theatre, as well as a chance to explore the building’s rich heritage, including its restored Victorian cell block and collected oral and written histories from townspeople dating back over the last two centuries of the Courthouse’s life.
TSOTA Kate’s Top Pick:
Friday 9th May – Ian MacMillan & Luke Carver Carver Goss – 7.30pm (£10.50-£13.50)
Monday 26th May – 10th Birthday Family Day – 10am – 5pm