‘I am calling it the Holy Theatre… the notion that the stage is a place where the invisible can appear…’
This ancient church in the heart of Cambridge had long since lost the population for which it was built. A conversion was carried out which screened off the chancel with glass, and a cafe was created in the nave. This created an inherently dramatic space which was the venue for the premiere of Nick Warburton’s stage play, Witness, based on the Gospel of Luke. The staging of the play used both main spaces, with the first half in the nave cafe (Galilee) and the second half in the chancel (Jerusalem).
Leper Chapel, Newmarket Road, Cambridge
This little church, built around 1125, was once an important place – whichever churchman had this building also had the income from the 3 day fair held on nearby Stourbridge Common, once the largest fair in Europe. Now the building is cut off from its historic context, bounded by the railway and the busy Newmarket Road, a sort of ‘useless jewel’.
The building is still used for worship, for education, and also for theatre. I once had the pleasure of seeing a performance there of Macbeth by Insitu theatre. The adaptation (for a cast of just two – Richard Spaul and Bella Stewart) made excellent use of what is an intimate and evocative space.