Elmbridge arts directory

Statement on the Cecil Hepworth Playhouse, Walton-on-Thames

4 February

Residents may be aware that the current management of the Cecil Hepworth Playhouse in Walton-on-Thames is coming to an end in March 2023. Therefore, it is time for us to review the future running of the Playhouse. We understand it is much loved by its users and it is our responsibility to assess its role within the context of an already vibrant arts scene in Elmbridge.

Following consultation with the Playhouse User Committee regarding the future of the Cecil Hepworth Playhouse, it is clear there is strong local feeling about the facility, as well as maintaining the provision of local arts. Considering this, we have invited the Playhouse users to submit a proposal to take a self-managed lease of the Playhouse from April 2023. Following that proposal, we will bring the findings to the Elmbridge Cabinet . A date will be confirmed as soon as possible.

How Elmbridge Borough Council supports arts and culture in the borough

  • Funding: connecting local groups with funding
  • Support and advice for local arts and cultural groups
  • Delivery of arts programmes to local communities (ie Royston Pike Lectures, Literary Competitions, Light up Elmbridge Festival, Schools Choir Festival)
  • Delivery of Dance 21 Programme at the Three Rivers Academy School supporting the physical and mental health of teenage girls 

The Elmbridge Arts Directory lists contacts for local arts organisations including drama, dance, music, galleries and more. The directory is continually updated so if you have any details to submit, please contact arts@elmbridge.gov.uk.

Useful contacts

The Elmbridge Arts Forum: a group of professional, voluntary, amateur and community artists, arts organisations and schools who are based in Elmbridge.  Members meet every six months to share information, discuss projects, network and pinpoint issues concerning the arts in Elmbridge.  The Forum is currently chaired by the Arts Development Officer and supported by local artists. Why not join the Elmbridge Arts Forum Facebook group and get involved?

The R C Sherriff Trust is an independent charitable trust with the aim of advancing and developing the arts in the Borough of Elmbridge in Surrey. Visit their website to see how the Trust can help your group.

See what's on in Elmbridge by checking the Arts Focus published by the R C Sherriff Trust or the Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre programme.


The Cecil Hepworth Playhouse, Walton-on-Thames

The Playhouse was originally part of the Hepworth Film Studios and later turned into a theatre in 1924 after the studios closed. The building was bequeathed by cinema pioneer Cecil Hepworth for the benefit of local dramatic societies. Today the Cecil Hepworth Playhouse is a prominent arts venue in Walton-on-Thames. It is available for public and private hire and equipped for professional theatrical, dance and music productions.       

Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre, Walton-on-Thames

Since opening in 1989, Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre has been providing the community with a comprehensive programme of events including drama, classical music, traditional and modern jazz, folk, americana and roots music, comedy, children’s shows, cabaret and art exhibitions. It also offers a variety of classes in arts and crafts for all ages, adults, young people and toddlers.

See what’s on at Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre.

The Barn Theatre, West Molesey

The Barn Theatre Club is a professionally run local Studio Theatre, which has provided nearly forty years of continuous entertainment to the community. The Club offers a variety of entertainment throughout the year.

The Vera Fletcher Hall, Thames Ditton

The Vera Fletcher Hall hosts a wide range of theatrical productions including classical music concerts, opera, drama, music hall, film nights, jazz and contemporary music and shows for families and children. On a weekly basis the Hall offers the local community an exciting range of classes for people of all ages.

Esher Theatre

Located off Esher High Street, adjacent to the Civic Centre, Esher Theatre is a multi-faceted entertainment venue for the arts. Opened in September 2021, the theatre hosts everything from live music, fashion events, dance, comedy, theatre and poetry. Esher Theatre is available for hire. The venue has a full capacity of 250 and is designed to be adaptable, functional and professionally equipped for any production. It has a bar and a foyer. 

Galleries and exhibitions



Fine arts

Music and choirs

Theatre groups

For further information about arts organisations please contact arts@elmbridge.gov.uk.  

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