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Trestle Arts Base

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Tickets for all performances at Trestle Arts Base can be bought online here

A beautiful conversion of a Victorian chapel, Trestle Arts Base (TAB) is a unique centre hosting theatre, dance, films, art installations, exhibitions and community events. It is home to the touring Trestle Theatre Company and the Trestle Mask Workshop.

The Gallery Cafe serves a selection of hot and cold drinks and cold snacks.

Trestle Taking Part offers a wide-ranging programme of workshops, residencies and training for all ages and abilities from pre-school children to professional performers. Creative activities include:

  • Story Tent (2 years+) – storytelling and craft for pre-school children and parents
  • Trestle offers an extensive range of training from mask and physical theatre INSET and CPD courses for teachers, professional practitioners and workshop leaders, an MA in Education (Drama),  to corporate training for business groups.
  • Trestle has an inspiring and exciting programme of drama workshops in physical, visual and mask theatre delivered by our professional practitioners. From two hour theatre workshops to week long residencies, we offer activities to suit all levels and abilities.
  • Trestle Theatre Masks are handcrafted on site and shipped all over the world.

Follow Trestle Arts Base on Twitter and Facebook.


  • Dates and times: Term Time Only- *Holiday Periods May Vary
    Mon 9.30 am – 12:00 pm
    Tues 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
    Wed 9.30am – 7:00 pm
    Thurs 3:30 pm – 7:00 pm
    Friday CLOSED
    Sat 9 am – 3.30 pm
    Sun CLOSED – (excluding programmed events/shows)
  • Hire information: Voted one of the UK’s top party venues by the Independent newspaper, TAB hires out its theatre, dance studio, exhibition space and apex room for a wide range of functions.

Address and Contact info

  • Address: Russet Drive
  • Town: St Albans
  • County: Herts
  • Postcode: AL4 0JQ

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Counting the Ways - 21 May 2010 - review by herts critic

Counting the Ways by Edward Albee (Face Front Inclusive Theatre) 21 May 2010

As suggested by its title, derived from the Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem, Counting the Ways is a play about love, in this case the tired love between a couple who have been together for many years. You sense there might be trouble when the simple question, 'Do you love me?' causes anxiety and insecurity in them both, even when the answer is a casual 'Of course.'

Face Front Inclusive Theatre has presented Counting the Ways as accessibly as possible. Audio-described and performed in parallel in sign language but as an integral part of the action, the play is indeed a multi-sensory experience. Albee's work is often linked to that of Beckett and the company are clearly at home with the absurdist, physical theatre elements of much of the action. Ilan Dwek and Jean St Clair as 'He' and 'She' excel in this regard, at times displaying a delightful chemistry together. Wayne 'Pickles' Norman deftly flits in and out of the action as the audio-describer, his 'interior monologue' asides often dream-like and at times hilarious. The many layers of accessibility are not always simultaneous, and this leads to moments of delight and comedy.

On a bright, slightly surreal set, beautifully designed by Jo Paul, the married couple are also well played by Jon French and Catrin Menna. Despite the games they play to spice things up a little, their love has wilted, rather like the roses with which they play 'She loves me, she loves me not'. They have imperceptibly 'passed through' their love for each other, rather than it dying, to the extent that they're not entirely sure how many children they have or how exactly they've ended up sleeping in separate beds. At least they're not in separate rooms.

Perhaps the slight drawback is that the play is somewhat insubstantial. It asks some interesting questions but doesn't pursue them, and its metaphors are laboured through repetition – in particular the wilting of the flowers. The cast take time out to introduce themselves warmly to the audience, and there is an excellently played cameo about social etiquette, but these tableaus come across rather as fillers, and the play as a whole, at around an hour long, is more of a delicious hors d'oeuvre, arguably leaving the audience impressed but slightly hungry for more.

Verdict: Queen of Herts (3 out of 5)

22 May 10
Trestle Arts Base
Lovely café - more highchairs please! - review by south-sider

This small but delightful café on the ground floor of TAB serves up an appealing range of reasonably priced soups, salads, hot and cold snacks, home made cakes and coffee. Highly recommended if you don’t have small children due the lack of appropriate seating, which we hope will be rectified soon.

We popped in for lunch and sampled the excellent jacket potatoes, a vegetarian pizza bagel and a very tasty toasted sandwich of the day. Service was friendly and swift, the freshly prepared food tasty and filling, and the artistic surroundings a refreshing change – we were even tempted to buy some original artwork.

Unfortunately, on the day we visited with our toddler, the café was busy and the small table for two children, complete with lovely puppets, toys and books, was occupied, as was the one and only highchair (an unexpected economy for such a family-friendly venue). This left us, and another family, struggling to enjoy our lunches with wriggly children on our laps. We’ve made a request for more highchairs so that we can become regulars. [Oct 08]

08 Oct 08
Trestle Arts Base


User Rating: 3 out of 5  ( 2 reviews )

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