Welcome to an exciting new season at Parabola Arts Centre
As a home for contemporary performance in the heart of Gloucestershire we have a passion for supporting local creativity, developing new work and creating opportunities for the next generation of artists.
This season includes:
- Our packed Made in Gloucestershire programme
- Mess by Caroline Horton; our first co-commission, published by Methuen and returning to us from a triumphant run at The Traverse Theatre
- The Victorian in the Wall, a brand new show developed by Perrier Award-winning comedian and writer, Will Adamsdale, with Fuel and The Royal Court
- Our youth theatre taking part in the National Theatre Connections Festival
Parabola Arts Centre’s mission is to support emerging artists from across the UK and inspire young audiences in Gloucestershire.
Parabola Arts Centre was opened by Sir Richard Eyre on the 3rd October 2009. PAC is owned by The Cheltenham Ladies' College and is used by the school for performances, exhibitions and events.
In February 2011 PAC launched as a public arts centre with a programme focused on innovative work that stretches the definitions of theatre, music and dance and encourages people to look at the world differently.
PAC also invites artists for residencies. We have hosted Little Bulb for the development of Goose Party and provided support and space to develop work including Mess by Caroline Horton, The Bullet and the Bass Trombone from Sleepdog and The Guild of Cheesemakers by Stand & Stare. PAC welcomed lots of exciting artists and companies in our first two years and is looking forward to growing in scope and ambition in the coming years. If you think your work is right for our space, please contact the Programme Director.
PAC was built by Foster Wilson Architects. Their brief was demanding and wide-ranging: to be a creative learning environment for the students of the Cheltenham Ladies’ College, to develop a cutting edge arts space, to offer spaces for hire to the local community and to meet the need for a creative hub in Cheltenham. All this inside a Grade II* listed building on a constricted site.
The original, listed Bayshill House was transformed into a gallery, bar and foyer area. The villa also houses all the rehearsal spaces, offices, video editing suite, dance studio and library. This means that the regular activity of the building –the teaching, rehearsing and the daily work of the theatre staff, takes place in the light, beautifully restored listed building.
The new-build 325-seat theatre sits behind the villa. The auditorium is beautifully proportioned, resonant and atmospheric. Foster Wilson chose to work with natural materials: wood, brick, local limestone, brushed concrete and wool. The shape and surfaces are an update on the perfectly formed Georgian theatres: intimate, playful, tactile. The theatre is also naturally ventilated and has a ‘B’ energy rating.