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25th Jun, 2021

Malvern's world famous small theatre given a new lease of life

A WORLD famous theatre in town has had its lease taken over by Malvern Hills College.

The Theatre of Small Convenience, in Edith Walk, re-opened its doors on May 21 courtesy of Mayor of Malvern Cynthia Palmer.

The much-loved performance space was founded by impresario Dennis Neale, who put on regular performances of drama, puppetry, poetry, storytelling and music.

The theatre’s name comes from the building’s original purpose, a Victorian gentleman’s public convenience.

It is a key tourist attraction which in 2002 entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s smallest theatre and today seats 12 people within its quirky interior.

Caroline Park, head of art at Malvern Hills College, said: “The college is thrilled to be able to take on the tenancy of this very special theatre, because we love what Dennis has created.

“We are looking forward to building on the success of this unique attraction and developing his ideas of alternative community theatre, as well as using the space for exhibitions and performance.”

An inaugural art exhibition called ‘Think Big Start Small’ opened to the public last Friday and featured a glimpse of the very first artworks created by students on the new Foundation Degree and Diploma courses at the College.

Malvern Hills District Council owned the building and was keen to ensure it continued to be open to the public in some capacity following Mr Neale’s announcement he was retiring at the beginning of the year.

Coun James O’Donnell, responsible for finance on Malvern Hills District Council, said: “The Theatre of Small Convenience is one of Malvern’s gems and I’m delighted we’ve been able to secure a deal that will not only ensure it continues to be used as a performance space but will remain accessible to the public.

“I’m excited to see what the college has planned for the future of this unique attraction.”

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