THERE is something wonderful about being outside on a summer’s evening, glass in hand, sorting things you should have done long ago, like my collection of Brewhouse Theatre Programmes.

It’s more than five years since we reopened The Brewhouse in April 2014. Like all of us, I have my favourites, so my collection is by no means comprehensive, more a flavour of the variety of our offer. I’m sure you have a different list! I’d love to know.

When we started it was all new, rather scary but exciting. Now, I can see that alongside our values we created traditions. Big in-house Christmas shows with local ensemble are an example. It’s hard to pick one; the last always seems most glossy but I have a soft spot for Around the World in Eighty Days which was imaginative, touching, and innovative in linking the journey to Christmas.

Another is the range of top-quality shows for children. The wonder in children’s eyes as they enter completely into a story is marvellous to behold. If only we were all able to lose ourselves so easily!

I love drama. On the main stage, I particularly enjoyed Land of our Fathers - a mining disaster in Wales – gripping stuff, you could actually smell the coal. Recently, Shakespeare’s Globe brought the completely different: A Comedy of Errors.

One of the joys of watching Shakespeare performed by outstanding performers is that they can make us believe the unbelievable. Here, action depended on two pairs of twins with repartee as quick and lively as any modern comedian.

Of fine productions in the studio, I’d pick out the insightful Diary of a Hounslow Girl and the harrowing true tale in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot which arrived in advance of the ‘Me too’ exposés.

In dance I’m proud to have seen Akram Khan’s autobiographical ‘Chotto Desh’ and a whole programme by Richard Alston who was knighted in the 2019 New Year Honours for his work in modern dance.

I have seen many works by the Royal Ballet and ever-inventive Matthew Bourne as part of our Event Cinema programme which also brings marvellous plays, opera, music and fascinating exhibitions.

The community responded magnificently to the crowd funding appeal which enabled us to bring this facility to the Brewhouse. Even though we are too far from London for a trip to the West End without an overnight stay, we enjoy the very best right here in Taunton.

Column by Val Hammond, Chair of Taunton Theatre Association