Brentwood Theatre refurbishes foyer to create 'community hub' café

Brentwood Theatre before and after

Brentwood Theatre manager, Ian Southgate (pictured), said the aim of the refurbishment was to create "more of a community hub space" - Credit: Brentwood Theatre

The foyer of a Brentwood theatre has been refurbished to include a new café. 

Brentwood Theatre, in Shenfield Road, has seen its lobby turned into a café space, which opened two weeks ago.  

Brentwood Theatre

The foyer before it was refurbished - Credit: Brentwood Theatre

The newly decorated area also features a courtyard garden equipped with awnings and patio heaters for when the sun isn’t shining.  

Theatre manager, Ian Southgate, said the aim of introducing the café was to “create more of a community hub space at the theatre, where people can come, be sociable, book tickets and see what’s going on in the theatre and around the town as well”.  

Ian Southgate

Theatre manager Ian Southgate - Credit: Brentwood Theare

The 37-year-old said the idea of renovating the foyer came about during the pandemic, as they wanted the theatre to “come out stronger”.  

He said: “We saw that there was a greater pull towards community and people wanting to support local business during the pandemic.  

“So, we decided the time was right to try and embrace that and create somewhere where the community could come and have a nice cup of tea or coffee and see what’s going on.”  

Brentwood Theatre

Brentwood Theatre's new cafe - Credit: Brentwood Theatre

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Ian said refurbishment works began in August and September last year, but due to the winter season of shows, it wasn’t the right time to launch the café. 

Since opening on June 6, the space has been welcomed by people who have popped in to enjoy the courtyard seating area and the range of cakes on offer, said Ian. 

Brentwood Theatre

The space has been designed to welcome the community in, Ian said - Credit: Brentwood Theatre

The menu features products sourced as locally as possible, he added.


Cakes are on the menu - Credit: Brentwood Theatre

Ian said he has received feedback from customers who have commented on “how lovely the space is”.  

At the start of the summer holidays the theatre is putting on a production of The Jungle Book and it will also hold its first-ever summer panto called Cinderella's Summer Ball – in partnership with Brentwood-based Sophisticated Entertainment.  

The café is currently open on weekdays from 10am until 4pm.

Brentwood Theatre

The courtyard garden area is equipped with awnings and patio heaters - Credit: Brentwood Theatre

In the future Ian aims to extend the opening hours of the café to weekends. 

He is also looking at introducing activities such as musical performances and play or book readings to generate interest in the café.

What's on at Brentwood Theatre can be found at