Plans for community arts theatre in Croydon

VM the barn theartre  founders

Mark Nicholson and Sam Facey. Pic: The Barn

Ambitious plans have been launched by three musicians to create a new multi-purpose performing and community arts theatre in west Croydon.

The Barn, a planned community arts theatre in Union Street will have a multi-functional use for the community, including band rehearsals, TV productions, theatrical performances, concerts and live recordings. The venue is planned to have a capacity of 220 seats.

In order to build the theatre, founding company Doxa Partnership, launched by three Christian musicians and producers: Samuel Facey, Bishop Mark Nicholson and Dave Prince – is seeking funding for the project. The group started the project with no financial backing and only £10,000 in capital.  The trio were behind the gospel musical, Dream Across the Ocean, which was staged at the Hackney Empire two years ago.

In establishing The Barn, Doxa Partnership plans to promote creative arts through music and provide opportunities for young people to obtain industry recognised qualifications. Currently, they are seeking acts to take part in ‘Croydon with Talent’ a talent show which they aim to stage at the theatre.

Plans for the theatre were approved by Croydon Council last November.

Bishop Nicholson, senior pastor, from the ACTS Christian Church in Bensham Lane, Thornton Heath, said: “This will primarily be to take on productions to help other young people who would like to have a career in the arts.

“It will be a multi-functional venue that will take on every aspect of recording, rehearsal, dance, even worship. It will cover every remit.”

In an interview with The Stage magazine, Facey said: “After the social unrest in Croydon… we felt an urgency to get back to our original roots, and develop something around the creative arts that could be beneficial to the youth in our community.”

Doxa Partnership hopes to eventually run the venue as an independent commercial theatre similar to the Park Theatre in Finsbury Park, north London.

For more information on donating to The Barn Theatre, go to

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