MINCHINHAMPTON Market House was paid a visit by theatre royalty.

Multi-award-winning director Sir Richard Eyre visited the historic building to discuss ideas for improving the venue’s theatrical facilities.

The veteran film, theatre, television and opera director visited the town with his wife, TV producer and writer Sue Birtwistle (Lady Eyre) on October 5.

The building’s management committee is putting forward proposals to give the 17th Century Market House more modern facilities.

They are also submitting a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund, which they hope will help fund the work.

Chair of the management committee, Janet Payne, said: “It was extremely kind of Sir Richard and Lady Eyre to spend time giving us the benefit of their considerable experience regarding how the Market House, with its unique and impressive stage, could best be utilised by theatrical performers.”

On October 17, the Committee presented three proposed designs to the community at a public meeting and want to gain as many views as possible from those who use this unique Grade II* listed building.

Stroud News and Journal:

They are hoping that the proposed developments – which include glassing-in part of the under-croft beneath the hall, modernising the toilets and providing better access for disabled people – will help re-establish it as the town’s social, cultural and architectural centrepiece.

A renowned film, theatre, television and opera director, Sir Richard is Patron of Minchinhampton Market House and spent ten years at the National Theatre as Artistic Director.

He has won numerous awards – including five Olivier Awards – and is currently directing Mary Poppins at the Bristol Hippodrome.

Sue Birtwistle (Lady Eyre) is a producer and writer for film and television, whose work includes Pride and Prejudice, Emma and Cranford.

  • The three proposed designs are available online at www.minchinhamptonmarkethouse.co.uk/news and members of the public have until Sunday November 15 to return their choice of design to the committee.