The volunteers that run Sleaford Playhouse are proposing to redesign the historic theatre’s foyer area and have submitted plans for approval by the district council.
Committee members have held discussions with North Kesteven planning officers about their hopes for the scheme to improve the layout of the foyer, ticket booth, toilets and bar area and are now seeking listed building consent as one of only two original Georgian theatres still in operation in the country, dating back to 1825.
The building has seen various incarnations as the town’s first primary school, a library, air raid shelter and benefits office until being purchased by Sleaford Little Theatre amateur drama group in 1994 and restored to use as a theatre.
Christine Malkin, chairman, explains: When it opened its doors to the public in 200, this was the only time that any work has been undertaken to the foyer.
“We now feel that the audience attendances are high enough to warrant further advances to the proposed refurbishment to enhance the public’s theatre experience.”
She adds that the theatre’s trustees want to reflect the Georgian style, revealing the wooden flooring and retaining the oak pillars added in 2000. The interior walls would be panelled using period style wooden panels, painted in a heritage colour. All doors would be panel style to match the walls.
The bar area is proposed to be moved to the area beneath the raked seating at the back of the foyer. The layout of the toilets would be altered to give more standing room for guests in the foyer and the ticket booth would be redesigned to have its own entrance.
Former publicity manager Craig Pakes had told The Standard previously: “We need to make it look a bit more ‘theatre-like’.”