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Brand new performing arts centre is one to watch

13 March 2017

https://www.bristol247.com/news-and-features/news/brand-new-performing-arts-centre-one-watch/

Having quietly opened its doors in September, the venue is now set to kick off an exciting spring line-up that hints at eclectic offerings to come.

First up is Fuze 2017, the largest student-run fashion, dance and music event, on March 18 and 19, which will be raising money for Bristol Refugee Rights.

From its ultra-modern exterior in University Road, to its historic ties – 1532 was the year the school received its Royal Charter – the new venue cuts an impressive figure, boasting a 245-seat theatre, dance studio, recital hall and recording studio.

“It’s quite a challenge combining the school’s use with the professional companies because, unlike the Redgrave Theatre, the school uses it for teaching every day,” said manager Beth Morgan, who has worked solely in professional theatres before.

“I’m excited about the fact that Bristol Grammar School has invested in an incredible facility. There is such a thriving arts scene in Bristol and not enough good quality spaces to support emerging talent, local community groups and youth development.

“The level of interest so far is great. I’m proud of the school’s ethos in reaching out to the community and ensuring music, dance and drama are represented and people from all walks of life can use the facilities.

“We hope the facilities we have will entice top companies and it also gives amateur performers a chance to use facilities they would not otherwise have access to. My aim is for the centre to become a household name. We want to be as well-known as Bristol Old Vic and the Redgrave Theatre – that is my challenge.

“The school has been fundraising for a long time. It was the headmaster’s vision when he arrived. Historically BGS is known as an academic place and he wanted to put more emphasis on performing arts.”

The venue will host high-profile talks on March 23, featuring the BBC’s James Brickell who will provide an insight into the making of Planet Earth II series, and Dr Martin Christlieb from the University of Oxford on the world’s premier cancer research centre.

With space to hire, school productions and professional acts alike, this is certainly one to watch out for. Email 1532@bgs.bristol.sch.uk for further information.

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