• The Drill House Opens in Great Yarmouth as a Circus and Street Arts Creation Space

    13 September 2012 Venues & Spaces
    SeaChange Arts

    Managed by the arts development charity SeaChange, Great Yarmouth's Drill House officially opened last weekend (during the Out There festival) as a new creation space for circus and street arts.

    The House is one in a chain of linked developments contributing to Great Yarmouth's emerging identity as a circus and street arts capital: the town's Hippodrome, an extraordinary purpose-built circus building that's more than a century old, is beginning to programme some contemporary circus companies (recently XY and BAM) and joins the Cirque Jules Verne in Amiens and the Teatro Circo Price in Madrid as a member of the Les Grandes Cirques network/project; St George's, a 300 seat theatre in an old converted chapel that's been dark the past six years, is now reopening and represents a potential venue for circus performance; the Out There Festival, which sites circus and street arts in Great Yarmouth's St George's Park, on the seafront and at other satellite locations, has had a watershed year in 2012 with a greatly expanded programme; and SeaChange are also partners in a number of other national and international projects, including ZEPA (a network of festivals/producers sharing street arts across the Channel), the Cross Channel Circus Arts Alliance (pretty much ditto, but with circus), and a three-year project to 'develop European best practice in vocational training in the field of professional outdoor arts' funded by the Leonardo programme.

    The Drill House will be used to receive artists supported by SeaChange's projects and to develop new work that can feed into Out There and Great Yarmouth's venues, but is also available to hire for artistic training and residencies. Joe Mackintosh, SeaChange's chief executive: 'Physically it’s a really nice space for artists to work in – natural light, heated and beautiful – and we’re absolutely committed to making the facility as helpful to artists as possible. We have a number of projects through which we can support artists, and more working street arts and circus partnerships with Europe than any other organisation in the UK. We’re also trying to make the space as affordable as possible for a UK space, which coupled with the staggeringly low cost of good food and accommodation in the town should make a good offer. The space is already in use and in the future we plan significant additional developments.'

    The Drill House features:

    - 6000sqft / 600m2 heated main creation space featuring semi-sprung (wood on asphalt) floor and natural light
    - Large entry access: 2.7m (h) x 3m (w)
    - 13 amp and 3 phase power supply
    - Kitchen and catering facilities, washing machine
    - Equipment available for hire
    - Additional office/meeting/workshop spaces
    - Changing rooms with shower and toilet facilities
    - Support from SeaChange Arts' experienced team, including help arranging accommodation and transport. (Great Yarmouth is 2 hrs from London by road, 2.5 hrs by rail, and is 40 mins by road from Norwich's international airport.)

    SeaChange are interested in hearing from artists who want to hire the venue, but also 'support the professional development of artists with actions ranging from venue hire bursaries to major international commissions' and are interested in talking to artists and companies who want to develop their work. For more information e-mail becca@seachangearts.co.uk or see the SeaChange website.