A new creative home in the heart of Leamington Spa for Motionhouse

David Mead

In a move that will greatly enhance the company’s available spaces to create work, Motionhouse is to have a new home in the heart of Leamington Spa, leasing the Assembly Hall within the historic 1882 Town Hall building on the town’s main street, The Parade.

The move is sure to breathe energy into the previously underused venue, which will be transformed into a fully-equipped professional rehearsal space. The company offices and present studio in Spencer Yard will be retained, the latter continuing to be used for community classes.

To make their trademark dance-circus productions that integrate digital and live performance, and that tour the UK and the world, the company needs a large space with high ceilings. The Assembly Hall fits the bill perfectly. Importantly, the new installation is free-standing and does not impact the fabric of the Grade II listed building and its iconic Victorian architecture.

Motionhouse's new space, now finished, in the Assembly Hall at Leamington Town HallPhoto courtesy Motionhouse
Motionhouse’s new space, now finished,
in the Assembly Hall at Leamington Town Hall
Photo courtesy Motionhouse

Motionhouse’s equipment at the company’s creative development studio within their rehearsal space at Vitsœ, the internationally-known British furniture manufacturer, has moved with the company.

Louise Richards, executive director of Motionhouse says the company are delighted to be moving into the Town Hall and to be part of the vision to make the building a creative focal point for the town. “The Assembly Hall provides the perfect space to create our work in to take to audiences across the world. But importantly, the space has the major advantage of bringing us into the town – it is a place where we can share our work and our creativity with local people.”

The support the move has received is also a sign of Motionhouse’s long-standing close relationship with Leamington, and of Warwick District Council’s backing for the arts and other creative industries, and it’s understanding of the positive impact they have on people’s lives.

Motionhouse artistic director Kevin Finnan on the company’s new Assembly Hall home[clear]

Stressing just that, David Guilding, arts manager at the council says, “We see this as a truly innovative, ground-breaking collaboration which demonstrates the commitment of Warwick District Council to supporting the recovery of the creative industries during this most challenging of times. It also recognises the important contribution that the creative sector makes to our district.”

Councillor Moira-Ann Grainger, portfolio holder for culture at Warwick District Council points to the opportunities the move will bring, and how it resonates perfectly with the district’s newly launched Creative Compact and the development of Leamington Spa’s Creative Quarter. She hopes that having such a well-known name on board will help attract other creative businesses. “To be able to see the company working is going to be a fantastic opportunity for residents – particularly young people.”

Motionhouse in ChargePhoto Dan Tucker
Motionhouse in Charge
Photo Dan Tucker

Looking ahead, Motionhouse are presently working with theatres to reschedule the tour of its new large-scale production, Nobody. Venues and dates will be announced on www.motionhouse.co.uk as they become available.