at 16 Upper Brown Street, Leicester, LE1 5TE United Kingdom
Sue Townsend Theatre is a theatre in the city of Leicester, England. The centre hosted live shows and films of the arthouse and world cinema genres. In 2010, after a new Phoenix Square opened on the other side of the city centre, it was reborn as an important music training and performance venue under the new name, Upper Brown Street Theatre, it has since been re-branded as Sue Townsend Theatre, in honour of the late author and playwright, Sue Townsend.HistoryIn 1963 Leicester City Council (LCC), identifying a gap in cultural provision for live performances, built a 262-seat theatre in Leicester. The Phoenix Theatre was intended to be a temporary solution until a more permanent theatre could be established.Directors included Clive Perry, Michael Bogdanov, Chris Martin, Graham Watkins, Paul Wetherby and Adrian Bean, and actors such as Richard Eyre, Anthony Hopkins and Greta Scacci have all performed in the venue. Its artistic philosophy was to be a theatre for the Leicester community, not only presenting "in house" productions but also touring Leicestershire with dance and small-scale theatre productions. Notable in the touring work were productions about the travelling community and about substance abuse. At its greatest strength in the early 1980s, employing around 80 people, the company consisted of a main acting troupe, a touring company called "Flying Phoenix", and a touring dance company, "Phoenix Dance". It developed new writers, notably Sue Townsend, and premiered many productions that went on to national acclaim in the 1980s, such as "The Hobbit" and "The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole". During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the theatre also played host to annual revues performed by the Leicester University Revue & Theatre Society (R.A.T.S.), featuring such cult comedy performers as Nick "Tubby" Griffiths.
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