Mercury Theatre is a highly regarded theatre staging a mix of classics and new writing along side working within the local community. The theatre is nearly 50 years old, but the foundations of building the company started began in the 1930s.
In 1963 David Forber became the manager and pushed the company’s reputation forward considerably and the theatre was considered to play a significant role in Colchester’s arts offering.
The year 1968 was a big leap in the foundations of the theatre. The Colchester New Theatre trust was formed to find a potential site for a new theatre and to oversea construction. This lead to the Mercury Theatre, designed by Norman Downie and opened on 10th May 1972 after a very successful fund raising campaign, this campaign was mainly supported by a large grant from the Borough Council.
David Buxton was one of the first artistic directors he was succeeded by Michael Winter in 1984. In late 1990, Michael became the Artistic Director and Chief Executive, after David Forder’s retirement as Administrative Director. In May 1994, Adrian Strokes joined as Associate Director in 1995 and initiated the Community Education Programme.
1998 was the year when Dee Evans joined as the Chief Executive alone with Gregory Floyd who was the next Artistic Producer. Together in 1999 Mercury Theatre Company was registered. Not long after that point, the company became known nationally and achieved several awards. Floyd resigned in 2003 which made Evans both Chief Executive and Artistic Director.
2012 was the year when the leadership team changed again. Daniel Buckroyd was made the new Artistic Director, and was the founder of the critically acclaimed title ‘Made in Colchester’. After just 6 short years, Daniel Buckroyd resigned and left the theatre in 2018. In 2019 the theatre had an exciting redevelopment project, the theatre was closed for refurbishment and the shows were transferred to Mercury at Abbey Field, for a short time with new Director Ryan McBryde presenting productions of Cinderella and Oliver. 2021 is the year when the fully refurbished theatre will be accessible to the audience.