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The Hazlitt Theatre and Exchange Studio, Earle Street, Maidstone, Kent

Also known as - The Hazlitt Arts Centre

The Hazlitt Theatre, Maidstone in August 2012 - Photo M.L.

Above - The Hazlitt Theatre, Maidstone in August 2012 - Photo M.L.

 

The Hazlitt Theatre, which is situated in Earle Street, Maidstone, was first constructed in 1869 as a Concert Hall, behind which was the town's Corn Exchange, itself built in 1835. Today the original Corn Exchange is partly in use as a shopping arcade but the rest, now called the Exchange Studio, is used for concert performances. The Theatre and Exchange are jointly known today as the Hazlitt Arts Centre although the Theatre itself still bares the Corn Exchange name above its facade.

The 1869 Concert Hall was converted into the proscenium arched Hazlitt Theatre in 1955, and was named after William Hazlitt, a preacher in Maidstone who was active in the town's non conformist church in the late 1700s. The Theatre has seating for 382 people on two levels, stalls and one circle, and has 5 dressing rooms, a licensed bar, a stage 6.4 metres wide by 8 metres deep and 4.5 metres high, an orchestra pit, and a large scene dock.

The Exchange Studio can seat up to 200 people and is flexible in the way it can be arranged. The space is 15 metres by 12.6 metres and 5.5 metres high, and the performance space can be anywhere in the room, thrust, in the round, etc. Both venues boast full lighting and sound facilities. There is also a space called the Fourth Wall which is a large rehearsal room but can be adapted for small scale performances as well.

You may like to visit the Theatre's own Website here.

If you have any more information or images for this Theatre that you are willing to share, please Contact me.


The Hazlitt Theatre, Maidstone in August 2012 - Photo M.L.

Above - The Hazlitt Theatre, Maidstone in August 2012 - Photo M.L.

 

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