The Barn Theatre Society at Smallhythe Place

The Summer Theatre Company

In 1932 Edith established the Barn Theatre Society, running it on a subscription basis in much the same way as the society runs today.

With five or six plays being performed each summer, there was nothing like it in this part of Kent and up to the Second World War the Barn Theatre was a dramatic centre for the area. After the war, Edith was in poor health and, in March 1947, when planning that year's annual Shakespearean matinee, her heart condition worsened and she died.
 

Sir Lewis Casson and Sir John Gielgud then established the Ellen Terry Fellowship which presented annual memorial matinees from 1947 to 1961. In 1961, Anthony Thomas took over the theatre, formed the Ellen Terry Theatre Group and staged several productions each year. In 1992, Tony Weare revived the Barn Theatre Society which has staged several productions each year since that date. Five years later in 1997 (150 years after Ellen Terry's birth) a theatrical Angels Appeal was launched to raise further funds. Angels who donated £100 were given a certificate; Guardian Angels who donated £1,000 had their names put on the back of the original rush-seated chairs. There were 22 Guardian Angels, including Sir Paul McCartney and his first wife Linda McCartney, and the theatre owner and impresario Sir Cameron Macintosh.

In 2004 the National Trust took over the management of the theatre and introduced a season-long programme of productions by visiting artistes to supplement those of the Barn Theatre Society. 

Upcoming events

Playwrights, Pioneers and Provocateurs

Wed 18 Oct 2017
11:00-17:00
This new exhibition explores the work and relationships of Edy Craig and her circle of friends in the LGBTQ community. From groundbreaking plays to intimate friendships, Playwrights, Pioneers and Provocateurs celebrates their important stories.

Hallowe'en themed crafts at Smallhythe Place

Wed 25 Oct 2017
13:00-15:00
This October half term join us in fancy dress for an afternoon of Hallowe'en themed crafts.