Wise Children is a touring theatre company which means that when we're not out on tour we don't have a base. It's only recently that we've started renting office space again after the pandemic. We're all used to this nomadic life; working out of theatre cafes, spare rooms and car parks. It has its draw backs though. When we're trying to figure out a new show, rehearsing a current one or running the school we often find ourselves in unfamiliar spaces, missing the kit we need and looking for somehwere to plug in a kettle.
We started looking for a space to call our own a while back. It's always been in the back of Emmas mind. We all have fond memories of making shows at the old, magical Kneehigh Barns (which, by the way, are back and being run Mike Sheppard... more on that soon).
We've looked at and considered lots of places. Deserted department stores in seaside towns, former bonded warehouses in Bristol, at one point we we're trying to buy a pub, and then an old hotel. Either nothing was quite the right size, or height, or was too expensive or would take too long.
One such project was the conversion of a warehouse in Frome, Somerset. We spent a while working on this through lockdown but that particular project was always stalling and we we're getting frustrated.
Our involvement with this project led us to working closely with Frome Town Council. We we're probably moaning about how long everything was taking when they quietly sent us a Right Move link.
The Portway Methodist Church in Frome was up for sale!