A THEATRE has been given the green light for its big top-style temporary home.

The Mercury Theatre will set up shop in a 800 seat marquee on Abbey Field, Colchester, from September.

It is making the move while its multi-million pound redevelopment is completed.

From mid-September to the beginning of January the theatre will run a limited season in the tent.

The venue will also have a heated auditorium, bar, kiosk, toilets and on-site parking.

The theatre has worked with the Colchester Council and the Ministry of Defence to bring the plans forwards.

The bid have now received backing from planners at Colchester Council, who have approved the bid subject to 11 conditions.

The venue will be a circus tent-style structure with temporary hard flooring, and will be disabled accessible.


Performances will get underway with a co-production of Oliver! with the Colchester Operatic Society and will finish with the pantomime, Cinderella.

Steve Mannix, executive director at the Mercury Theatre said: “We are grateful to receive permission from Colchester Council for our exciting plans at Abbey Field.

“We recently had a positive meeting with members of the community who have fully supported us becoming temporary neighbours.”

The move marks an important milestone for the Mercury Rising project, which has £500,000 left to raise of its £9.7 million target.

It is being supported by Colchester Council, Arts Council England and the public.

Demolition work started last October, and the project to refurbish the 46-year-old theatre building.

The theatre is running a campaign asking the public to donate £5 during the month of May. To donate text MERCURY to 70085 or visit mercurytheatre.co.uk/mercuryrising.