Who we are

Taunton Association of Performing Arts (TAPA) was founded by Brian Cresswell in 1998 to promote and support the performing arts in Taunton Deane.

Membership is open to any performing arts group in the Taunton Deane area. TAPA provides an events diary, sits on the Taunton Cultural Consortium and liaises with Taunton Deane Borough Council on behalf of its membership. We are proud that we were instrumental in bringing about the reopening of the Brewhouse Theatre in 2014.

Please contact us if you want to know more:
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A message from Evelyn Glennie

The organisations whose information you have here represent an enormous range of amateur talent across many forms of music and theatre – choirs large and small, pantomime, musical theatre, ‘straight’ theatre, opera, orchestras, chamber groups, with members ranging in age from primary school to retirement. Their work is adventurous, but also familiar, in whatever area of performance they specialise.

The characteristics which they all have in common are the enthusiasm with which they rehearse, create and perform, and the aspirations they bring. Whether you are a performer in the making, or have even just a passing interest in live events, these organisations have something vital and exciting to offer you.

One of the most obvious signs of a lively, interesting community is the number and range of its amateur performing organisations. So it is even more exciting for TAPA at a time when the town of Taunton is about to embark on the single biggest programme of regeneration it has known in its 1100 year history.

By the time the project is complete, Taunton will have new housing, new offices and new transport networks. But, more significantly, it will also have a revitalised cultural environment, where performance and exhibition of all kinds of art, for all kinds of tastes, will have a range of facilities and support which will establish Taunton as a cultural centre for the West for generations to come.

It’s a brave Vision whose time has come, and I am pleased to be able to add my support to TAPA for its role in these exciting developments.

Evelyn Glennie (International Percussionist)

A message from Brian Cresswell

In September 1973 I arrived in Taunton to take up a new appointment as some breed of advisor/tutor in music for schools in West Somerset. I was to be based in a non-existent music room in what was then called Taunton Technical College, and without any students. My experience I suspect was not totally untypical of how things happened in our County Town at that time.

However it was not long before I heard of the name John Wilkins with his vision and efforts, along with others, to establish a professional theatre in Taunton.

Meetings were held where the major topic was to decide just how many nights could be filled in the new theatre. We got to around 150 or so.

The Brewhouse Theatre was built with the future promise of expansion – witness the uncompleted brickwork to the left of the foyer as you look straight onto the building. Those early days extended the artistic community and raised standards all round. Now it is too small.

Today we look forward to the next inevitable step; a bigger theatre with improved facilities with all the opportunities known and unknown that that will bring to Taunton and the County. The artistic community is ready. At the Millennium, TAPA had just 5 members. Today our membership is 23 and growing.

TAPA is excited by the prospects offered by the Vision for Taunton, and we give it our fullest support.

Brian Cresswell (Founder of TAPA)

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