There have been dramatic societies in Staveley since at least 1887, but the Players had to make do with the noisy-when-rainy corrugated roof of the Volunteers Drill Hall until the present Staveley Village Hall was built and until Edwin Brockbank (of Staveley Wood Turning Company) and his wife - both prime movers in the works of the Players - gave them use of a cottage on Main Street.
In 1957 the cottage was demolished and in memory of Alice, Edwin gave the Players the building which has now become 'The Roundhouse.'
The building was originally a gasholder owned by "Staveley near Kendal, Gas Company" started in 1862, but had held no gas since 1913. In the '50's with the demise of the gas company the gasholder was dismantled and the site was restored to its owners, the Staveley Wood Turning Company .
Edwin had a building constructed which followed the contours of the original base of the Gasometer thus giving the building its unique shape.
Performances continued in the Village Hall with regular productions including a seasonal Pantomime. As with today, its success depended on the many volunteers involved in building sets to casts committed to learning lines and keeping to rehearsals schedules and performances. Many societies struggled coming into the '80's with shifting cultural priorities and the Roundhouse was no different. A decision would have to be made.
The Trustees called a meeting to discuss the Roundhouse's future. A proposal was made by Simon Breaks to scale down operations and create a little studio theater which could be self-sufficient and would generate income to expand and improve the building. The members of the proposed society would be the audience and the aim would be to produce the highest quality entertainments possible to attract their patronage. The Trusteees backed this proposal and so The Roundhouse was born.
Renovations began immediately with toilets, green room, kitchen, lighting and sound and entrance foyer were essential additions and with a starting budget of about £85, much optimism, dedication and hard voluntary work was necessary. Development was complete in 11 years.
Over the last 20 years with the help of some small grants, but mainly out of earned income, we have created a vibrant studio theater offering unique facilities for the performing arts and converts into a first class exhibition hall for the annual art exhibit. We also regularly provide performance space for conerts from jazz to classical to folk. Our video projection capabilities simply add another string to our not inconsiderable bow.