The Vera Fletcher Hall – “The Theatre in Thames Ditton” – in Embercourt Road, is the old Victorian Village Hall built in 1887 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee as a gift to the community from local benefactor Hannibal Speer, Lord of the Manor of Weston.
A hundred years later the Hall was faced with demolition. With active support and fund-raising by the Residents’ Association, and a starting donation from Harry Fletcher in memory of his wife, Vera, the necessary half a million pounds was raised to restore the Hall. It is a well-equipped, intimate theatre/concert hall/pocket opera house for productions, and provides a space for classes, meetings and a Day Centre.
Not many small theatres, let alone village halls, have been able to attract stars such as Petula Clark – who opened the Hall-, Dorothy Tutin, Denis Quilley, Janet Suzman, John Julius Norwich, Susannah York, the English National Opera and the Royal Shakespeare Company with their “Shakespeare Revue”. The Hall has notably introduced many to opera, on a small scale but of high quality at affordable prices, and above all, accessible. Rising stars such as the pianist Tanya Ursova, and local drama and music groups have also presented excellent performances.
We work with the local schools and thousands of children have been introduced to live theatre for the first time. The Hall provides a focus for the local community and we have supported many local charities who have raised close to £200,000 through shows and fund raising events there.
We host a wide range of theatrical productions, bringing to local audiences the highest quality in entertainment, including classical concerts, opera, drama, music hall, film nights, jazz and contemporary music and shows for families and children.
On a weekly basis the Hall offers the local community an exciting range of classes for people of all ages. These currently include Pilates, Fitness and Yoga, Zumba Dance, and introductory ballet classes for children
With well equipped sound, lighting and projection facilities, changing and committee rooms, and a kitchen the Hall may be hired for a wide range of private functions