Waterside Arts Centre, Sale

4.5
#4 of 8 in Things to do in Sale
Waterside Arts Centre is a thriving and vibrant arts venue in the heart of Sale in Greater Manchester. Comprising a theatre, art galleries, studios and workspaces, the centre is an important regional hub for both performance and visual art.

It is a major touring venue for theatre productions, music groups, comedians and art exhibitions, while at the same time providing a vital resource for the local community. The centres hosts classes, seminars and workshops on subjects ranging from drama to salsa and poetry to tai chi. It also regularly serves a base for regional music and performance groups including Touchdown Dance, Sale Chamber Orchestra and Trafford Youth Orchestra. A brochure containing a full list of all the centre’s performances, exhibitions, classes and events is produced three times a year (January - April, May - August and September to December).



The centre is supported by Trafford Council, Arts Council England, Manchester Airport and Lauriston School Trust. It’s partners are Cofely, PANDA and All About Audiences. Waterside Arts Centre forms part of the Sale Waterside Complex which overlooks the attractive Waterside Plaza and Bridgewater Canal. Also housed in the complex are the Waterside Bar and OCA Restaurant as well as Sale Library, Youth Talk Shop and Trafford Direct and Trafford Council Offices.

History

Waterside Arts Centre occupies the site of the old Sale Civic Theatre as well as part of the former Trafford Council Town Hall. Following the closure of the theatre and the relocation of the town hall to Stretford, plans were made to rebuild and update the site into a new arts venue. After 10 years of work, the Waterside Arts Centre was able to launch its first artistic programme in November 2004.



Now a modern arts venue, the centre continues to reflect several aspects of its local heritage. The 350 seat theatre is named after the late Sale-born screenwriter Robert Bolt. Born in 1926, Bolt became one of the most successful playwrights and screenwriters of his generation. He won Oscars for his screenplays for Doctor Zhivago and A Man for All Seasons, which he adapted from his own play. He also penned the script for David Lean’s epic 1962 classic Lawrence of Arabia. The centre was officially opened by Bolt’s widow, Sarah Miles.



The centre’s Lauriston Gallery also commemorates the Trafford based Lauriston Trust. The aim of the trust is to promote the arts in all their forms to young people in Trafford and Greater Manchester. It provided invaluable support to the gallery, which was opened by trust chair, Betty Gallimore MBE, on April 29, 2004. The Waterside’s civic heritage has too been preserved. The centre’s venue known as The Chamber is the former meeting chamber of the old Trafford Council Town Hall. The room remains the same as when constructed in the 1930s. It boasts wood panelled walls, parquet flooring and art deco flourishes.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
47 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • June 19, 2017
    There are a lot of good things in Sale Waterside. It is very disabled friendly and a good place to hold events  more »
  • June 10, 2017
    We attended a brilliant talk by Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards. The auditorium itself was good, the problem is with the bar and staff. The staff aren't very friendly and never have been whenever I have att...  more »
  • May 23, 2017
    From the excellent staff to the productions themselves, waterside excels in all areas. We often book large groups and nothing it too much trouble. We've enjoyed what we've been to see - there's lots f...  more »
Google
  • Sale's wonderful cultural centre has a theatre, art gallery and bar. Events include music of all kinds and plays for every taste including shows for children in the school holidays.
  • Chorlton Marathon came to Sale, Cheshire...Doing the hard work and raising money for a good cause. Love you all.
  • Good local theatre. Facilities are good and location is great there are lots of bars and restaurants nearby
  • Really Nice concert Hall. Great Sound. We saw to really good tribute bands
  • Often good events and reasonable price

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