Testimonials

Home » About » Testimonials

What People Say About South Hill Park

South Hill Park has been a part of the community of Bracknell for over 40 years. In that time it has nurtured two generations of aspiring artists across a number of artistic disciplines, provided a safe haven for thousands of young people, become a vibrant community hub for local residents and so much more.

Every day we receive glowing feedback on the work going on at South Hill Park, and so we thought we would collate some of it here.

Below are testimonials from a whole range of people who have been touched by the work that South Hill Park Arts Centre carries out for and with our local community. Each and every one of these stories and anecdotes shows why our Arts Centre is such an important part of the community of Bracknell.

We’d love to hear your story too. Please leave a comment below or email your testimonial to michelle.green@nullsouthhillpark.org.uk

There is no other arts venue for miles around with such a wealth and variety of artistic excellence… Many diverse individuals have walked into the great hall for the first time to participate in all manner of workshops and to enjoy what can be experienced at South Hill Park. Ongoing and lifelong friendships have been forged here. Our neighborhoods and our communities are diminishing and need to be preserved. South Hill Park is a place where community can always be found and should be encouraged to do so.
Mark Rayment, Actor
I am always impressed at the quality of the venue at south hill park and the Wilde theatre. As a disabled visitor, I find everywhere quite accessible and always come away with a feeling of great satisfaction with the activity or performance seen.
P Hammond, Customer
For the last four years I have directed and appeared in the South Hill Park Christmas productions. These are unique events quite unlike any other seasonal performances on offer in the area with production values not normally associated with this type of event. These are often responsible for people’s first experience of live theatre. I believe that over many years South Hill Park has an important role in the cultural life of Bracknell and the wider community and this must continue.
Julian Hirst, Actor, Director, Businessman
When I was 13 I joined a youth group called 11/19 with a friend. We went every week and had really fun experiences in art, drama and dance… South Hill Park has not only built my confidence from nothing, but also taught me invaluable people and organisation skills as well as nurtured me at my craft of acting. SHP is there for everyone and anyone, and I think that without South Hill Park I would still be a timid, shy girl who doesn’t know what to do with her life. Thank you South Hill for all that you have done and continue to do for me.
Charlotte Sharland, Young Performer
The Arts Centre is the Jewel in the Crown for Bracknell and we have been members and attending since it first opened in 1972. It has struggled on many occasions but over the years we have watched it grow and transform into the wonderful venue it is today. It gives so much to the young and local society with its drama and music and such a wide range of entertainment… The productions that it is able to put on with the help of grants and donations from loyal supporters are diverse and amazing, I can’t begin to tell you how many wonderful productions that we have been to over the years.
Jill Davies, Customer and Member of SHP
I am not alone in starting my creative life at South Hill Park and then forging a successful career. I could name, off the top of my head, at least 50 people that have done and are doing the same, in all areas of the Arts. My career has not been the only benefit I have received from South Hill Park either, my convalescence from my Cancer treatment would not have been the success it is without the support, practical and emotional, given by the community (Theatre Company, Staff and Patrons) at South Hill Park Arts Centre.
Paul Taylor, Actor
South Hill Park is a cultural oasis in an otherwise urban area. It solely provides theatre and arts courses unavailable elsewhere in the area. But more than that, it is a home away from home for countless people. South Hill Park provides opportunities and experiences to every age group. It is undeniably welcoming and inclusive of every demographic – young people in care (11:19), middle class working adults (community productions), parents and babies (classes and meet-ups), the elderly (cinema and theatre when they are unable to travel too far). The long and the short of it is, Bracknell would be a lesser place without it.
Rosie Hill, Events Manager/Producer/Director
A great place to go right in the heart of Bracknell. They produce some really excellent shows here, and brilliant courses for anyone of all ages. Would highly recommend coming here.
Jonathan Turner, Customer
It’s a local treasure with an outreach that I expect can’t be measured. It has a devoted following, it’s a place to be hallowed. Those who know it speak of it with immense fondness. If it were a person, it would be Stephen Fry. South Hill Park is, without hyperbole, a diamond of a resource. For those inclined to creative industries, for those wishing to learn or enhance a variety of skills, for those simply wishing to congregate in an environment that is as accepting as it is flourishing. Its legacy has to be ensured not just for future generations but for the good of so many souls and livelihoods. Put simply: it must remain.
Aggie Holland , Actress
I am in awe with the courses and programmes South Hill Park runs for children and adults. It really is a hub of excellence. Although it’s not just what South Hill Park runs, it is so much more than what you see in brochure. It is the beautiful rose of Bracknell, it is a home from home to thousands of people. It is not just a “Arty building” it is a community, it is a place to let your imagination run wild and be supported, it is a family, with so many memories attached to it with the people of Bracknell.
Brad Clapson, Actor/Choreographer/Presenter
West End quality at a local venue. Wonderful!
A Iles, Customer
I started my own stained glass business in 1995 and shortly afterwards approached SHP with the idea of starting a stained glass evening class. Twenty years later I now run five weekly classes with weekend workshops and a summer school. Over the years I have taught people of all abilities and it never fails to impress me what a sense of achievement someone feels when they leave a class proudly holding their first stained class creation. Although most of my students are local, some travel a great distance because SHP offers something they can’t find anywhere else.
Caroline Loveys, Stained Glass Tutor
I started my working theatre life at South Hill Park Arts Centre when I was 18. I worked front of house (Duty House Manager and Box Office Receptionist), enabling me to fall VERY quickly in love with the arts surrounding me on a day to day basis… I will always support the work the theatre and Arts Centre produces, from community to professional work. It’s not only a huge part of England’s arts landscape but a HUGE part of its community, people have watched the Arts Centre grow in its 40 years and just talking to the people in the atrium bar will show any ‘out of towner’ how much this venue means to a wealth of people.
John Potter, Theatre Publicist
One of the most user friendly venues you could wish for. Good restaurant. Lively bar. Great atmosphere. Easy car parking.
J Giles, Customer
South Hill Park is an essential part of the Bracknell community. For the Arts it is the ONLY organisation that caters for all tastes and for all ages and it does that EXTREMELY WELL. When I visit the Arts Centre I am always struck by how many people are there and what an extraordinary cross section of the community it is from the youngest (mothers and babies) to school students and other young people through to adults and a large contingent of senior citizens. For this last group the cinema, concerts and theatre events are a really important part of their lives and leisure activities. For funding to be reduced further can only damage what is an important and exceptionally well run organisation.
Alistair Jones, Conservatoire Concert Series Organiser
The Arts Centre is such a wonderful asset for the Borough it would be a tragedy if it were to be damaged by further cuts. There is nothing comparable for many miles around.
Sara Stewart, Customer

Spotlight Video Interviews