The Brewery is a flagship arts venue for Cumbria. Through the variety, quality and diversity of the work we present we have a regional and national impact. We draw on the uniqueness of our location but also find inspiration from the diversity of arts and culture from throughout the UK and beyond.
The Brewery is one of the North West’s liveliest music venues, hosting a wide and varied programme of live performances across the genres of Folk, Roots, World, Blues, Jazz, and contemporary music.
A wide and varied programme of live music performances is at the heart of the Brewery’s programme and builds upon 40 years of landmark music performances within our walls. Memorable gigs have included Patti Smith, John Martin (who recorded a live album at the Brewery) and Robert Plant, plus many more.
In association with our programming partners, Band on the Wall, we programme live music across the genres of Folk, Roots, World, Blues, Jazz, and contemporary music; with around 60 performances a year.
We are committed to programming work that reflects the diversity of modern Britain and to celebrate music from across the world.
The Brewery seeks to support emerging talent through performance opportunities and small-scale commissions.
We use live-streamed digital content to expend the programme; bringing unique live performances from across the globe to Kendal
THEATRE & DANCE
The Brewery is south Cumbria’s premier theatre hosting an eclectic and diverse mix of theatre and dance, throughout the year. Our programme ranges from classical drama to contemporary dance and includes work by emerging talent and some of the UK’s foremost touring theatre and dance companies.
The Brewery hosts an eclectic and diverse mix of theatre and dance, offering audiences experiences around accessible and more challenging work, with an emphasis on new writing and finding new ways to refresh classic work.
The Brewery uses its limited co-commissioning budget to create and host new and innovative theatre experiences. We also support the development of new talent through our Emerging Artists Programme and Brewery Young Actors scheme.
The Brewery’s theatre programme focuses on drama, family and physical theatre and within dance the emphasis is on contemporary dance and the crossover with theatre.
We utilise larger venues to programme high-profile performances that increase reach to a wider number of audience members and we seek to programme existing work into unique locations within the Lake District, to raise profile of Cumbrian culture
The Brewery hosts live-streamed digital performances as part of the programme, mixing work from the classical repertoire with new and innovative performances.
The Brewery hosts screenings for over 360 days of the year, ranging from major film releases to specialist film and world cinema.
We present live streamed performances, particularly to expand the styles of performance and art forms on offer.
The Brewery seeks encourage young people to experience the unique atmosphere of cinema, with innovative marketing and ticket discounts and programming opportunities.
SPOKEN WORD AND LITERATURE
Hosting Verbalise, a monthly open mic event for writers, performances by some of the biggest names in literature and providing a home for major festivals like the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, the Brewery is at the heart of literature and the spoken word in Cumbria.
At the heart of the Brewery’s spoken word programme is Verbalise, a monthly open mic event, hosted and programmed by poet Ann Grant and featuring some of the UK’s leading poets and spoken word performers. Verbalise also provides the starting point for special spoken word projects and small-scale commissions within the local community.
The Brewery also hosts larger performances and events by writers and performers, including Lemn Sissay, Henry Normal and Jodi Picoult.
The Brewery is a Founder Supporter and host venue of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, and supports the Brewery Poets and Kendal Poetry Festival.
The Brewery welcomes some of the biggest names in comedy to its own venues and to larger performance spaces across Kendal.
Our Freerange Comedy Festival seeks to bring together established performers and emerging talent in a weekend of ground-breaking comedy. The festival also commissions innovative site specific performances in unexpected locations across the Lake District, ranging from slate quarries to lake steamers.
Programming strands, including Right to Roam and White Noise, seek to attract new audiences to emerging and more challenging comedy performances
The Brewery hosts a year round programme of free exhibitions and other visual arts activities, across a wide variety of art forms, from printmaking to digital art.
We focus in particular on celebrating and developing the work of emerging artists from Cumbria and beyond, seeking where possible to take art outside the Brewery confines and into other parts of Kendal and the Lake District, including site specific and digital work.
We work with partner organisations, including Kendal Mountain Festival and the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, to develop the breadth and range of our exhibition programme, through co-commissioning of exhibitions.
The Visual Arts Committee, a group of elected arts professionals from across Cumbria, offer the Brewery a wealth of experience and a diversity of approach when selecting work to be exhibited.
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