Highbury Theatre Centre, a Community Theatre Arts Centre, is a private membership theatre that was established on the opening of a Building Fund in 1935. The site was purchased in 1937 and the theatre opened in May 1942. It has proved to be a remarkable sustained voluntary community effort undergoing many changes, including a major rebuild of the premises in the 1980's and improvement work iin the 1990's with the financial support of the National Lottery and Sutton Coldfield Municipal Charities. More information is on the History pages under the Development of Highbury tab above.
The Highbury Theatre Centre is for people of all ages from the very young to those who have retired. Everything concerned with community activity, theatre and the arts has a place.
The resident company is the Highbury Players who were established in 1924 and whose then members were the founders of the Highbury Theatre Centre.
Highbury was a founder member of The Little Theatre Guild .
Highbury Youth Theatre are the resident youth group.
If you would like to become involved in any of the activities listed below please use the Contact Us tab.
Main House Plays
Seven main house plays are produced in a season commencing in September and closing in June. The plays are presented by the resident company, The Highbury Players. The plays selected will usually follow the Highbury tradition by including an English Classic, an International Classic, a play connecting the theatre with our own times, one or more new plays that are good theatre but which cannot be readily seen elsewhere and a children's Christmas play. Familiarisation and Audition dates are shown under the Highbury Players tab and are posted on the Notice Boards in the Theatre.
Our Studio provides a venue for challenging and unusual plays. The intimacy of the space makes for exciting presentations - always off-beat but often very funny too.
Join the group who select and manage a season of Classic Films in the main house.
There is an informal Coffee Morning each Wednesday during the season 10.00a.m. - midday.
The Social Committee organise and advertise regular events - Click their tab for details.
Light suppers for groups of up to 40 persons can be arranged before performances. Ask the Box Office for more information.
Administration and Hospitality
The administration and hospitality work involved in day to day operation of the Centre includes Box Office, Coffee Shop, Bar work, Publicity, Membership Records, etc. There is a comprehensive archive of material relating to the development of the Centre and its activities dating back to 1924.
For just £1 a show participants take part in a cash prize draw at the end of each main stage production plus a Christmas Bonus Draw. Ask at the Box Office for a leaflet.
Development and Gift Aid.
"A good Theatre never stands still" - So said Highbury Founder Member John English.
A review of our future development programme is in hand when proposals for which includes wishes for a new cafe/bar, a larger Wardrobe storage area and other items will be considered.
If anyone would like to help us achieve our goals by way of a Gift Aid donation or by organising a fund raising event then please contact the Centre Chairman.
The many Amateur Musical companies and other societies in the locality are welcome to become associate members of Highbury with the opportunity to mount their productions at the Centre.
A professional drama school also use the facilities on regular basis for training young people.
Occasional Sunday Evening Musical Performances
It has been the practice over many years to run concerts to raise money either for special projects within Highbury itself or for local charities.
Occasional acting and technical workshops are run for the benefit of members. Please enquire for the current situation.
Scenery Building, Wardrobe, Props and Technical Activities.
Highbury has a large scenery workshop and wardrobe. Newcomers are always welcome to join the team and to assist in scenery construction, making props, costume, etc. The team usually meets on Wednesday 9.30am-12.30pm and at 7.00pm on Monday evenings. Similarly, assistance is welcome in all of the other departments.
Some examples of costumes and accessories donated to Highbury Wardrobe over many years can be seen here.
There is always the usual housekeeping and building maintenance work to be undertaken on a large, highly used premises. Assistance with these activities is always welcome.
During the season there is a changing exhibition of arts and crafts by local artists in the Upper and Lower Foyers and Coffee Shop. Members usually provide a display of formal flower arrangements in the Inner Foyer.
Talks and Tours
Members are available to give talks on the development and work of Highbury Theatre Centre to interested community groups and schools.
Little Theatre Guild (LTG)
Highbury Players are founder members of the LTG and participate in their activities.
Click for information.
Sheffield Road Residents Association
The Association holds regular meetings at the theatre.