Drama Alibi Morphs into Constant Arts Place After Budget Slash

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A Fresh Chapter for Emmanuel Hall with Theatre Alibi’s Resilience

Tucked in the heart of Exeter, the once serene Emmanuel Hall bustles with new-found vigour, thanks to Theatre Alibi, the renowned theatre company based in Devon. Following a withdrawal of financial support from Arts Council England in 2023, Theatre Alibi carefully navigated through tough times and converted the hall into a lively arts space.

A New Identity for Theatre Alibi

Previously known for touring its vibrant plays across Devon and surrounding regions, Theatre Alibi had created a name for itself in the theatre world. Each year, it entertained and educated roughly 13,000 children through its productions, creating a magical theatrical experience for them. However, the discontinuation of the Arts Council England’s funding in 2023 prompted the end of the company’s extensive tours. Unfazed by this situation, Theatre Alibi explored fresh avenues that could allow the company to persist in facilitating cultural exchange among children.

Emmanuel Hall Breathes the New Wave of Creativity

In a true testament to overcoming adversity, Theatre Alibi ingeniously transformed Emmanuel Hall into a creative space called ‘The Centre for the Imagination for Young People and Children.’ This innovative, child-centric venue is envisioned as an arts haven meant to offer young minds enriching cultural experiences. Moreover, it welcomes collaborations with other creative organizations, providing them a stage to display their talent. As a result, Emmanuel Hall has become a hotspot for fostering a dynamic, collaborative, and diverse artistic environment for young individuals.

Current Happenings and Future Plans

At present, Emmanuel Hall is gearing up for its inaugural event, planned to coincide with the end of the school half-term break. Irrespective of the financial constraints, Theatre Alibi remains true to its commitment to delivering cultural value to children, underlining the significance of the arts in education and personal growth. This transition from a touring theatre company to a permanent cultural venue is a mark of Theatre Alibi’s tenacity and adaptability during turbulent times.

Interestingly, a spokesperson from Arts Council England expressed optimism about Theatre Alibi’s new operational model. Although public funding is currently aiding Theatre Alibi’s transformation at Emmanuel Hall, the spokesperson emphasized the sustained support and cohesion exhibited by England’s arts community. The new incarnation of Theatre Alibi in the form of a community hub at Emmanuel Hall marks a significant milestone in the evolution of arts in the region.


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