- The Stage - https://www.thestage.co.uk -

Newport toilet block wins planning permission to become 25-seat theatre

Arts entrepreneur Janet Martin hopes to repurpose the Newport Victorian gentlemen’s loos as a theatre

Planning permission has been granted for a block of men’s public toilets in Newport to be turned into a performance space.

The Victorian building in Newport city centre is to become a 25-seat micro-venue used for monologues, site-specific works, magicians and other professional and amateur performances.

Arts entrepreneur Janet Martin, who has previously converted a church into an arts centre, is behind the scheme.

Martin previously told The Stage [1] that the toilets are in a “troubling area” of the city and have been used in the past by residents for “cottaging”.

Martin said she hopes to “win over” the local residents with the philanthropic venture and prove the loos can “reach a wider audience”.

Permission was granted by Newport City Council subject to some conditions, including that the development will begin within the next five years.

The project will see the men’s urinals removed and one of walls will be replaced with folding glass shutters, so that residents can watch performances from the grass outside the block.

It will be named the Phyllis Maud Performance Space after Martin’s late aunt.