Oast Theatre, Tonbridge

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Oast Theatre
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The Oast Theatre
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Oast Theatre
Location of the Oast Theatre, Tonbridge within Kent
AddressLondon Road
Coordinates 51°12′21″N0°15′44″E / 51.2059°N 0.2623°E / 51.2059; 0.2623 Coordinates: 51°12′21″N0°15′44″E / 51.2059°N 0.2623°E / 51.2059; 0.2623
OwnerTonbridge Theatre and Arts Club
Capacity 112
Years active1974-present
Official website for The Oast Theatre

The Oast Theatre is situated on the outskirts of Tonbridge, Kent. It is a small theatre that is based in an old oast house. It is home to the Tonbridge Theatre and Arts Club. The theatre seats 112 people.



Tonbridge Theatre and Arts Club (TTAC) was based at The Mitre PH, Hadlow Road, Tonbridge. In the late 1960s, it was apparent that the venue was too small and an alternative was sought. The search led to a disused oast house, [1] which had been used to dry hops until 1966. [2] The oast was purchased for £7,000 by a consortium of ten members of TTAC, [1] who sold it on to TTAC for £6,000. The Oast Theatre was opened on 20 April 1974 by Lady Rupert Nevill. [3] The opening production was an adaptation of Tom Jones . [4] By 1978, TTAC had paid off all loans taken out to purchase and convert the oast. [4]

In 1982, the Oast Theatre was awarded Civic Design Award from Tonbridge Civic Society. [5] The theatre is a registered charity, [2] the Tonbridge Theatre and Arts Club. [6] In 1988, an extension was built on the side of the oast. The adjoining barn was purchased and converted for use as storage and workshops. The extension was opened by Prince Edward, who attended a performance of Children of a Lesser God. A further extension in 1997 provided improved dressing room and additional storage facilities. [4] The theatre can seat 112 people. [7] In January 2010, the theatre was granted planning permission for an extension of an ancillary storage building. [6] The planning application was supported by The Theatres Trust. [8]

Oast Youth Theatre

The Oast Theatre is home to the Oast Youth Theatre. Its members are between 13 and 18 years old. They produce three plays per annum. [2]


The Oast Theatre has its own art group, which meets weekly. [2] The theatre plays host to an annual art exhibition held in the Janet Young Room. The exhibition normally attracts about fifty artists and one hundred and fifty exhibits of extremely high quality.

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  1. 1 2 "The Early Years - 1946 - 1974". Tonbridge Theatre and Arts Club. Archived from the original on 5 September 2018. Retrieved 15 November 2010. (select "History", then "The Early Years" from menu on left side)
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Tonbridge Oast Theatre". Mandy Actors UK. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  3. Walton 1985, p. 106.
  4. 1 2 3 "The Oast Theatre – From 1974". Oast Theatre Tonbridge. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  5. "Civic Design Awards". Tonbridge Civic Society. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  6. 1 2 "Oast Theatre, Tonbridge, to be extended". The Theatres Trust. 4 January 2010. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  7. "Tonbridge Oast Theatre". English Heritage. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  8. "Application Ref.: TM/09/03097/FL" (PDF). The Theatres Trust. Retrieved 8 November 2010.