Leicester’s pub theatre was founded in 2012 by Gary Phillpott, Verity Bartesch, Sally Jack and David Hately (Off The Fence Theatre CIC) with a successful run of Loughborough writer Thomas Scully’s play Godot Was Here. Early 2013 and the walls were painted, seating hired and a unique stage was built on beer kegs. Upstairs at the Western’s first season that year featured twenty one performances, giving audiences many opportunities to experience a wide variety of culture at affordable prices.
More permanent alterations to the space have been made since then and Upstairs at the Western is now firmly established as a fully equipped 40-50 seat arts venue in Leicester’s West End (off Braunstone Gate).
In January 2017, a new not-for-profit community interest company (Upstairs At The Western CIC) was formed to take over the running of the theatre, which has two objectives to be:-
Our programmes run from September to June each year – We promote events and shows through this web site, our mailing list, Facebook, Twitter and Ticket Source.
David is a planning, project and programme manager with 30 years of experience in the public and private sectors, during which time he completed his MBA at De Montfort University. He has been into arts and culture throughout his adult life and can usually be found in a gallery, theatre, cinema or concert somewhere in the city. He lives in Leicester and has been a regular at Upstairs at the Western since it opened.
Jess is the Co-Director of Impulse Collective Theatre Company where she creates and performs shows across the UK as well as handling the business side of things. With a BA (Hons) in Acting from Northampton University, Jess also works for Pedestrian as the Projects Assistant and she is the Development Manager for Story City Festival. She is a Londoner but has found a home in Leicester and believes there is a special arts community here. You will find her at the cinema, theatre, pub or playing football.
Jessamyn is an events manager and stage manager with two years experience working in the field. She has recently completed a MSc in Cultural Events Management at De Montfort University and has worked in the Leicester arts and music scene both before and throughout her studies. She has worked with a variety of organisations, including Oxjam Leicester, Handmade Festival and Dreaming in Colour Productions. As a West End resident, she is keen to see such a unique venue such as Upstairs at the Western reach its full potential as a vibrant and community-focused theatre and arts venue.