No. 1 Fringe Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon

Resident company of the Attic Thatre

Hoping the drama will remain on stage!



We are delighted to announce that The Attic Theatre will reopen on the 6th June after a five month closure following the flooding on the site of Cox’s Yard.



Dick Whittington was on his way to London when the Avon burst its banks and stopped him in his tracks.

That was the disaster that befell Tread the Boards Theatre Company in early January as they put on their panto at their Attic Theatre base at Cox’s Yard, next to the river in Stratford.

Although the floods have kept the site closed the good news is that the theatre is reopening with a bumper programme in June.

Looking back at what happened, Tread the Boards Artistic Director John-Robert Partridge explained: ‘We were in the process of performing Dick Whittington when the river flooded and the site was forced to close. We were incredibly fortunate that the Bear Pit Theatre allowed us to continue our week of sold out performances, and that no children were left disappointed. Following the initial flooding, the site flooded twice more and the choice was made to close the entire site and to undergo a deep clean of the complex as several parts of it were under water and certain areas needed urgent work’

That work is nearing completion and Wells & Co, the brewery that operates the Cox’s Yard site and pub, told the company they can get back into the theatre on 22nd May.

The long wait has been a challenging time for John-Robert Partridge and his wife Catherine Prout, Tread the Boards producer, who have run the company together since founding it in 2008.

‘The waiting has been incredibly difficult and the not knowing’ said John-Robert. ‘Personally I have been running the company for 15 years and very rarely get a huge amount of time off, so it has been a big adjustment’.

As Catherine also works as a digital inclusion co-ordinator. for Coventry City Council, it has meant that John-Robert has spent his down time looking after the couple’s daughter’s, Alexandra (Five) and Éireann (Two). ‘At least the enforced closure had given me some real quality time with our girls, which has been so wonderful’ said John-Robert. ‘Alexandra is definitely going to direct in the future as she orders me around like a pro and Éireann has a flair for the dramatic.

It’s not all been play though ‘I also have been directing and lecturing at The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in Acting, directing their foundation showcase production and I am currently in the final weeks of directing Richard III for them’. Working through adversity is not exactly new to Tread the Boards.

‘One day I plan to write a book about my time as Artistic Director of the company as, during the last few years, you would not believe the things that have happened to us’ joked John-Robert, ‘Four burglaries, flooding, a two year closure due to Covid, which necessitated performing pantomime in a car park on Christmas Eve on the back of a truck, and now more flooding’.

Nonetheless, the team have resiliently stuck to the old adage ‘the show must go on’.

‘The adversity has made us stronger, we bounce back. We’ve had many years of fighting to be seen and have our work respected, including having to be self funded. That’s the thing that keeps us going, as well are the incredible team around us who are always positive and supportive of our work’ he continued ‘Having Catherine always on hand to discuss projects and solutions is invaluable. We’ve come back so many times – I guess we have become good at defying the odds!’.


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