Spotlight is a year-long residency and exhibition project celebrating the reopening of South Devon’s largest regional theatre, the Princess Theatre, Torquay, after over 500 days of enforced closure during lockdown, created by interdisciplinary artist, Mellony Taper.
Supported by Arts Council England, Spotlight is one of four artist-led projects, focusing on the life and survival of regional theatres following the immense impact of COVID on the arts. Each theatre is a regional, “local” UK theatre in the Ambassador Theatre Group, which also operates theatres across the globe, from Broadway to the West End.
The commission was an opportunity for an artist to delve into the theatre’s history, engage with its communities and staff and extract the stories contained within its walls, as well as also explore Torquay’s heritage. From its coastal history and the bay’s shift from fishing to fashionable seaside resort, to Torquay’s unique natural environment and climate; from Bay to Stage.
The artworks would become a lasting contribution to each theatre and place, creating new relationships and community connections, with the mission of the project to embed artist’s work and creativity into the reopening programme and have a new conversation with audiences post-covid.