Back in 2007, Leicester’s well loved Haymarket theatre closed it’s doors for the last time as the multi-million pound Curve theatre swung in to life. Mired in controversy and it’s lease a burden on the council, efforts to transform it had proved fruitless – But news broke earlier this year that a consortium of Leicester creatives had launched a bid to reopen the imposing 70’s building as a space for both music performances and for music and theatre training courses.

Our photographer David Wilson Clarke was given access front and back stage of the theatre to document it in it’s current form before contractors move in to put the pieces back together, and we caught up with the consortium to find out how things were going…

“The building just grabbed me. It was crying out to be helped and had so many peoples memories held within it.” Says Director Jed Spittle, who was invited to see the space by his friend and now co-director Chris Knight.

The consortium aims to open the theatre on Easter Weekend 2017, exactly ten years to the day that the previous tenants left.

“The aim is to add to the Cultural offer of the city by putting on shows that currently aren’t offered by De Montfort Hall and Curve – it will be mostly music acts that aren’t big enough to fill De Montfort but draw a bigger audience than can be accomodated at the Musician or Cookie.”

But it’s not just about hosting events – the team want Leicester to give life to the next generation of venue and theatre technical crew by hosting training courses and giving students genuine hands on experiences.

“In the same way you don’t want a student doctor operaring on your brain comercial promoters don’t won’t students running their shows – but no one minds students watching and getting the practical experience that a purely academic course cannot give them.”

Check out our gallery of photos below.

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Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Great Central, John has been actively involved in Leicester’s creative community for over a decade – promoting shows and releasing records under the name Robot Needs Home. He is a director of Handmade Festival, and ex member of the band Maybeshewill.

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