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“Character just within the Roman walls”

Colchester Arts Centre
Ranked #11 of 64 things to do in Colchester
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Colchester Arts Centre - the little church with the big attitude deep in the heart of Essex. Well that's how we describe it anyway. It sort of works, it at least gives a flavour of what we're about. Because just how do you describe a venue that can put children's entertainer Palfi the Clown on, on the same day as Cradle of Filth? Where a Farmer's Market in the morning becomes a comedy club in the evening, where folk enthusiasts can sit happily knitting (and they do!) in the exact same spot a ferocious mosh pit of teenage dancing takes place the following night? And where the beautiful historic architecture of St Mary's Church dating back over a thousand years, plays host to some of the newest comics, most modern choreographers, some of the coolest DJ's and some of the freshest talent in Britain. Over the years we've promoted Coldplay, Eddie Izzard, Graham Norton, Harry Hill, Catherine Tate, Jo Brand, The Libertines, Ash, The Killers, The Strokes, Phill Jupitus, Mick Jones, Bill Bailey, Jack Dee, Count Arthur Strong - all before anyone had ever heard of them of course - plus the likes of jazz legend Ronnie Scott and even the late lamented and much loved Brian Johnston the cricket commentator. Our passion to present new work, bring great bands and comics to Colchester burns more brightly than ever. Our business is all about fresh ideas, new acts, new art forms and vibrant new ways of working. We can't stand still. We embrace the new, the quirky the original and yes, the surreal.
Level Contributor
70 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Character just within the Roman walls”
Reviewed May 7, 2013

Get yourself on their email or newsletter list. Fantastically atmospheric, good acoustics and brilliant bouncers make this a great venue for comedy, music and theatre, not to mention the farmers' markets and beer festivals. Always a mixed crowd, so expect grandmas dancing to punk bands and teenagers lapping up the poetry. Unlikely to be any trouble as atmosphere is more fun than fight!

Visited March 2013
3 Thank Jane K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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129 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Bury St. Edmunds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great little venue”
Reviewed April 10, 2013

We went to see King Charles here. It was packed out and had a good atmosphere. The space has a lot of character and it has a homely kind of feel to it. Prices were great to and its handy having the bar at the side of the space. Good quality sound and a nice staff as well. Really enjoyed the night.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank Chris P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
146 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Great for all kinds of events”
Reviewed April 9, 2013

I have been to children's and adult events here for many years and always have a good time. They get a great variety of acts performing here and the setting in a church makes it a really interesting venue. Prices are great too and with parking just across the road it's easy to access too.

Visited March 2013
2 Thank Jane H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manningtree, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
186 reviews
95 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 276 helpful votes
“Colchester's Little Gem”
Reviewed March 3, 2013

I've been going to the Arts Centre for quite a while now and have been lucky to see, among others, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Wedding Present, Tindersticks, Sean Hughes, Six By Seven, Lucy Porter, Dark Star and Marcus Brigstocke. Being in the church is a unique location to see a gig or a variety of comedic talent. The Arts Centre has a cosy feeling all of its own. In the last 3 days I have been lucky to see comedian Simon Day and then the mighty Magic Band, showing the diversity that the venue offers. The staff are great and very friendly, the prices are more than reasonable and you couldn't ask for more. The winter and summer beer festivals are also worth a look as well as the monthly farmers market. Always a top night out.

Visited March 2013
4 Thank Mark B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
36 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Great place for a gig”
Reviewed November 11, 2011

A redundant church in Colchester - Colchester Arts Centre was a great venue to see a band. We saw Adrian Edmondson and the Bad Shepherds - A great concert with good sound quality. The venue was all standing, intimate, with 2 bars selling a wind variety. No draft ale but a wide range of bottled real ales at 'high pub' prices. Friendly helpful staff, A great night out.

Visited November 2011
1 Thank divedart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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