Small bit of breaking news. I’ve known about this for some time, but it was only properly announced a few days ago.
So, I can now tell you that The Empty Shop HQ off Framwellgate Bridge is now open to wider range of events which includes the possibility of theatre. This means that the Empty Shop effectively becomes Durham’s fourth space for performance after the Gala, the Assembly Rooms and the City Theatre. All this and more is possible due to a change in license term for the building. Not sure why there was a rule against this in the first place, but whatever the reason, it’s all change.
The other notable change is that there is now a properly licensed bar, as opposed to the old practice of helping yourself to a drink and making a donation (on pain of getting withering stares). Carlo and Nick promise this will mean a nicer range of drinks.
It’s not a theatre in the sense of having a stage, a lighting grid and Laurence Oliver saying “To be or not to be, my Kingdom for a Macbeth”, but anyone who’s been round the Fringes can tell you pretty much anywhere can be used to stage a play. Will keep an eye on this and see what comes forward. Failing that, I might try using this space myself.