Norwich Arts Centre


CENTRE Is it a Gothic Church? Is it a music venue? Is it a Theatre? Is it an exhibition space? It is all of these! We went to speak to Pasco-Q Kevlin, Director of Norwich Arts Centre, to find out more.

Many people associate Norwich Arts Centre with music butthat hides the all the other things that happen here. How would you explain Norwich Arts Centre to someone? If people still just associate us with music then I’ve failed over the last five years. We have a fantastic heritage and history in music as a gig venue, but as part of my interview I remember saying that, in order for us survive as an organisation we’ve got to get back to what we actually are; and that’s an Arts Centre. We’re a contemporary performing Arts Centre and music is part of what we do. I swore to myself and those that were interested in employing me, that I would protect the music and ensure that was never compromised. We had to develop all around performing arts offer. I think the music program is as strong as it ever was; ….but increasingly people particularly students, actually arts students from the UEA and from NUA are recognizing that we get some of the best performance arts in the country. Live theatre is something that you’ve really brought in very strongly here haven’t you? I think that I’ve still got a lot of ambition for it. I remember a number of years


I ago down to Colchester Arts Centre to see a band. I go on the wrong date and I walk into an avant-garde piece of live art, and it was being done by a guy called Robert Pacitti. … I’d never seen anything like it, I remember going home and thinking I want to work there. .., but people are making really great theatre right now and I want it to be a place where people have the ambition. What would you recommend people check out that they may not have seen? I won’t ever give one theatre show over another, one band over band... It sounds a bit cliché but it’s really important come and take a chance. Just go and have a look . Oſten you make live art performances ‘pay what you can afford’, what’s your idea behind this? I first heard about ‘pay what you can afford’ by an organization in Glasgow called Buzzcut … and I try to do it for about 70 to 80% of the theatre shows. Part of the thinking is, it will help encourage people just to pop out and take a chance….. but it’s also about people just being able to go out, have a good night out and hopefully it’s less than a tenner. The concept is behind that?

I think it’s ‘pay what you can afford’ not

chuck a couple of quid in the bucket on the way out. This isn’t a donations thing… Particularly if you’re on a budget ? Yeah... if you can’t afford it let me know and you can come and do a volunteer on another show or something like that. I get public money; we’re funded by the Arts Council and part of that is to find ways and routes to ensuring people come out... Culture is important. Amongst the many accolades the Arts Centre been awarded was the ‘Best Small Venue 2014’. That’s stunning really when you consider who you’re up against Nationwide What draws artistes to this venue? The thing that I believe swung that for us was artistes re-tweeting, using social media to support us. That encouraged the general public; we were up against venues with 2000 capacity, we’re 260. Why the bands like coming here comes down to the crew. We’re all fans. … when a band arrive here they’re treated as we’d wished to be treated ourselves. So, we make sure the food is good, we make sure the beer’s cold, we make sure their sound is good. When looking at some of the bands that have played here it might

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