Interview with SESSIONS Set and Costume Designer

Ahead of Paines Plough’s latest touring show SESSIONS by Ifeyinwa Frederick coming to South Hill Park on Wed 27 Oct, the company took a few moments to speak with the show’s designer, Anna Reid, to find out about her work, what it takes to create the look of a Paines...

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day Fri 8 Oct Join us for a walk or tai-chi session in South Hill Park's beautiful grounds, Bracknell. Tai Chi: 11am-12noon Walk: 12.30-13.15pm Join us for an optional tea or coffee, cake and a chat to find out more about local mental health...

Auditions for the Studio Theatre Company’s next production Road

Come audition for the Studio Theatre Company's next production Road, by Jim Cartwright on Mon 27 Sept 7.30pm, and Fri 1 Oct 7.30pm. They will be group auditions, nothing to prepare. The company are looking for 7 actors most of whom will multi role. The performance...

Shrek 2022 Auditions

We are excited to share that our 2022 Easter Production will be Shrek The Musical - coming to the Wilde Theatre in April 2022! If you would like to be part of the greatest fairy tale never told, that's guaranteed family fun, then book your audition here. Auditions...

RARE Productions Hairspray Auditions

Visiting company RARE Productions will hold open auditions for their production of Hairspray at South Hill Park from Thu 3 - Sat 5 Feb 2022. Auditions will take place at South Hill Park on Tue 5 & Sat 9 Oct and are open for anyone aged 8-21yrs. Audition event...

Excellent results for South Hill Park’s LAMDA students

Eleven learners took their LAMDA exams at South Hill Park this summer under the tuition of Mark Hooper (Director of Learning, Participation and Community Engagement). The learners (10 Grade 8 & 1 Grade 1) had their exams cancelled at the start of the pandemic and...

Bracknell resident completes 500km run for South Hill Park Trust appeal

On 12 June 2020 Bracknell Forest resident David Baker pledged to run 500km in aid of South Hill Park Trust’s major public fundraising campaign following the potentially devastating impact of Covid-19. On Saturday 12 June 2021 David will complete this mammoth feet at...

An acting debut in Rope 2021

Gordon Vince, who will make his acting debut in the Studio Theatre Company’s 50th show celebration performance of Rope from Wed 23 – Sun 26 June, has shared with us what made him want to audition, what audiences can look forward to, and some behind the scenes...

Live events return to the Wilde

‘The social distancing at this was amazing; lines and rows of seats physically removed to keep all groups apart with a fantastic one-way system and oodles of sanitiser everywhere. It was lovely to support a local production and the cast were insanely good.’ – Louise,...

Calling all 8-18yr olds to audition for this year’s Pantomime, Cinderella (2021)

Panto Auditions – Junior Ensemble Want to be in panto? Oh yes, you do! Audition for South HiIl Park’s in-house pantomime production this Christmas Cinderella (Fri 26 Nov 2021 – Mon 3 Jan 2022). We are looking for 30 young performers who can dance, sing and act to form...



South Hill Park

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Life Without the Arts

Life Without the Arts

Arts legend has it that when Winston Churchill was urged to cut investment in the Arts during WWll to help pay for the war effort, he responded, “Then what would we be fighting for?”

Here at South Hill Park, we couldn’t agree more. The Arts make living worthwhile. They aren’t just there to give us pleasure in our spare time, but are the tools through which we express ourselves, connect to other people, share experiences and discover new things about ourselves, each other and the wider world around us.

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Take a moment to imagine a life without the Arts

A world without dance schools, theatres, art galleries or music venues. A world without Mozart or The Beatles, Van Gogh’s Sunflowers or Monet’s Water Lilies; without Shakespeare, Chekhov or Tennessee Williams.

Imagine living in that world

Community Arts venues subsidised by public funding are fundamental to keeping the Arts available and affordable to everyone in the UK, and not just the privileged few who can afford to journey into the big cities and pay the big city prices.

Publicly funded community arts venues are also the life blood for the great artists – and arts events – of the future.

Arts and culture benefit us economically, socially and educationally. They also give us joy, let us reflect and help us empathise. As watchers and visitors, as artists (professional and amateur), as producers, curators and entrepreneurs, as policy makers and investors, we are all connected to our country’s unique and rich cultural life.
Arts Council England

Making the Case for Arts and Culture

Health and wellbeing

Studies consistently show the positive benefit of the Arts on good health and wellbeing. Arts Council England’s report The Value of Arts and Culture to People and Society noted the following:

  • Those who attended a cultural place or event in the last 12 months are almost 60 per cent more likely to report good health compared to those who had not, and theatre-goers are almost 25 per cent more likely to report good health.
  • People value being in the audience to the arts at about £2,000 per person per year and participating at £1,500 per person. The value of participating in sports is about £1,500 per person per year.
  • Research has evidenced that a higher frequency of engagement with arts and culture is generally associated with a higher level of subjective wellbeing.
  • Engagement in structured arts and culture improves the cognitive abilities of children and young people.
  • A number of studies have reported findings of applied arts and cultural interventions and measured their positive impact on specific health conditions which include dementia, depression and Parkinson’s disease.
  • The use of art, when delivered effectively, has the power to facilitate social interaction as well as enabling those in receipt of social care to pursue creative interests. The review highlights the benefits of dance for reducing loneliness and alleviating depression and anxiety among people in social care environments.


And then there’s the economic argument

Continuing to fund the Arts makes sound economic sense.

Funding the Arts throughout Britain costs just 14p per person, per week (source: Arts Council England). Public funding for arts and culture (including museums and libraries) currently amounts to just 0.1% of total Government spend, but yet returns an impressive £7bn to the UK economy.

Every £1 of public money invested in arts & culture generates £5 for the economy (source: Arts & Growth Report commissioned by Creative Industries Federation July 2015; Contribution of the Arts & Culture Sector to the National Economy Report – commissioned by Arts Council England July 2015).

Living in an area where there is twice the amount of Arts & Culture available could increase house prices by an average of £26,817 (source: Centre for Economics & Business Research May 2013).

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You can get more information or read the full report from Arts Council England here.

Community Outreach

It costs £25,000 a week to keep South Hill Park open enabling our vast community outreach


220,000 visitors annually with 185,000 participating in our Arts programme

Learning and Participation

5000 people of all ages join our courses and workshops, with 2000 students taking part in community learning and participation activities

In-house Productions

We host 21 amateur groups each year and produce up to 6 in house productions annually encouraging local talent


We provide local primary and secondary schools with workshops, classes, tours, lessons and talks with industry professionals and offer exceptional holiday activities for over 160 young people

Dementia Friendly Screenings

12 dementia friendly screenings and 12 free exhibitions a year

Amature Groups

We host 21 amateur theatre and music groups annually

Resident Companies

3 resident theatre and dance companies for young people


We support over 100 volunteers and welcome 20 students from the arts into work experience annually

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