Hope in Hell Theatre was created in 2017 by Miranda Debenham. We are a developing social enterprise based in Sheffield, with aims to open in 2018/19.
Hope in Hell Theatre will be a new venue for performing arts in Sheffield, with a specific focus on making the arts accessible to everyone, regardless of their experience level or financial capabilities. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to have their voice heard, and that theatres should take risks in programming work from new companies and writers. Our aim is to have the venue constantly in use and open, for community groups, rehearsals, university groups, touring productions, residencies – anyone who wants to use the space, can.
Sheffield currently has one main theatre, The Crucible, which is a large receiving house. The productions there are very good, but the tickets can be expensive, and the theatre faces the same exclusivity problems as others around the country. Sheffield also has two smaller scratch performance spaces, Theatre Deli and DINA Venue. Both of these spaces have expensive hire rates, and limited capacity for new/emerging performers.
Hope in Hell Theatre will fill this gap, and work explicitly to create an arts network for theatre creatives, dancers, musicians and other performing artists in Sheffield. Our policy is that every show, performance and proposal will be accepted if it is physically possible to do so.
The theatre itself will be a 50-70 seater black box, in a converted shop or entertainment site. We expect to be offering a basic lighting and sound setup from the start, with the aim to improve as the company grows. We will have rehearsal and desk space available for hire, and a bar for performance nights. We will be using a “split hire” agreement for performers, removing any up front cost for them, though we will use a guarantee system for first time hires to ensure we meet our financial targets.
The Hope in Hell mission statement is:
To offer an affordable and nurturing environment for both theatre-makers and audiences, and to work with the local community to encourage participation