Curtain Goes Up on New-Look George Cadbury Hall

Posted on Thursday 19th March 2009

The University of Birmingham’s George Cadbury Hall, built in the 1920s as a memorial to George Cadbury by his wife Elizabeth, officially reopens after a period of refurbishment on Friday 20th March, marking the inauguration of this modern and flexible performance space. 

Now home to the University’s Drama and Theatre Arts Department, the theatre has been designed around the needs of teaching theatre and performance in a university setting in the 21st Century.  This intimate space has flexible staging options and the latest in electrical and stage equipment for training undergraduate students.  The staging allows many variations on the traditional proscenium arch, and encourages students to be creative in thinking about their use of space. 

George Cadbury Hall was originally built for the study of religious and social issues, for recreation, for art, music, literature and drama.  It had an auditorium to seat up to 500 people, with an organ and facilities for showing films.  Dr Brian Crow, Head of the University’s Department of Drama and Theatre Arts, says, ‘Thanks to the £1million refurbishment the theatre is now excellently equipped to accommodate the public productions and in-house performances which are such an important part of our undergraduate and postgraduate work here at Birmingham.’

The reopening will be celebrated with a performance of ‘The Threepenny Opera’ by Bertolt Brecht, which runs from Thursday 19 - Saturday 21 March with the official reopening taking place on Friday 20 March.  At this performance Sir Dominic Cadbury, the University’s Chancellor, will formally open the theatre which is named after his grandfather. 


Notes to Editors

1. The Threepenny Opera is directed by Mollie Guilfoyle, professional theatre director, with musical direction by Paul Rodmell from the University’s Department of Music.

2. George Cadbury Hall was opened in 1927 on the fifth anniversary of Sir George Cadbury’s cremation and was the gift of his wife, Dame Elizabeth Cadbury.  It was presented to the Central Council of the Selly Oak Colleges, a federation of theological institutions surrounding the Bristol Road in which Sir George had had a keen interest in the later years of his life.  During the Second World War the Hall was given over to public use as an Employment Exchange, where decisions were made and implemented about national service attendance. 

For further information

Kate Chapple, Press Officer, University of Birmingham, tel 0121 414 2772 or 07789 921164.