Mercury at Abbey Field
Mercury at Abbey Field is a pop-up performance venue in the heart of Colchester that will house a range of performances whilst redevelopment work continues on the main building. This stunning fully heated, undercover, temporary theatre will open in Autumn 2019 - we hope to let you know more about our exciting programme very soon!
What & Where is it?
Mercury at Abbey Field is a state of the art pop-up theatre that will house a limited season of shows during Autumn 2019 whilst the capital redevelopment of the Mercury’s current building takes place.
This temporary space will include an increased seating capacity of over 800 seats, it will be completely undercover and fully heated with full bar, kiosks, toilets and onsite parking available to pre-book.
Our pop-up theatre is situated on Abbey Field and is accessible from Circular Road East Lower (CO2 7SZ). For further information on how to get to the site please see our FAQs below.
Will your pantomime be at the Abbey Field Centre (former Garrison Gym)?
No – the Abbey Field Centre on Ypres Road is a space we use for our Make It activities and to rehearse our productions. Our pantomime and a limited season of shows from mid-September will be performed at Mercury at Abbey Field. This is a new temporary structure that will be situated on the Abbey Field grounds and is accessible from Circular Road East Lower (CO2 7SZ).
How do we get there?
The entrance to the venue will be on Circular Road East Lower, it is just a 15-20 minute walk away from the town centre.
There are several bike stands at the Mercury at Abbey Field. You can download the Colchester Cycle map from the Cycle Colchester website, where you can also find useful information to help and support cyclists. There are numerous off-road cycle paths around the area. You can also hire bikes from Colchester station.
We are only an hour from Liverpool Street railway station by train. The nearest station is Colchester Town Station. There are trains every hour to and from London; book your ticket on-line at www.thetrainline.com. Taxis are readily available from outside the station, or you can book a taxi with Panther Cars (01206 540540).
Walking from Colchester Town Station takes around 20 minutes, or you can hire a bike – Bike and Go
The Pownall Crescent stop on Mersea Road is a ten minute walk from Mercury at Abbey Field. On arrival at the stop, walk down Pownall Crescent – then cross the road and walk up Circular Road East Lower, this leads to Mercury at Abbey Field. This stop is served by services 8, 50B, 67, 68, 69A, 175. Services 8 & 67 are the most frequent.
We have added 200 parking spaces at Mercury at Abbey Field. Tickets cost £1.50 and will need to be purchased in advance from the Mercury Theatre Box Office. You will be sent a ticket to display on your dashboard. The entrance to the carpark will be via Circular Road East Lower. Please allow plenty of time to park as it may get busy at peak times.
Once this car park is full, or if you have not purchased Parking in advance, alternative carparks are also available at Napier Road and Butt Road both are within a 10 minute walk from the venue.
Both of these are marked on the map above.
Accessible parking – there will be a limited amount of parking in the car park which will be free for blue badge holders. Please book this in advance.
Could you car share with friends or relatives to help with traffic problems? Join the LoveurcarColchester car share bay scheme for FREE, then you can park in preferential bays in town centre car parks including St Mary’s, and St Johns Street. You will still have to pay (please see information further down) but you will be able to park in a wider space nearer the exit and share the parking charge and fuel with your fellow car sharers. Or park in the LoveurcarColchester bays at Colchester Station for free! (Maximum stay eight hours) then walk into town.
If you would like to search for a car share use the Essex Lift Share website.
If arriving by Coach there will be a drop off point on Circular Road East Lower, next to St Johns Green Primary School – Abbey Field site. Please make Coach drivers aware that the Mercury at Abbey Field has a drop off point only and coaches will need to park elsewhere.
There is a Colchester Borough Council run car park on Sheepen Road which can accommodate coaches. This car park costs £5.50 for up to 6 hours (prices may change) – please see details on their website http://www.colchester.gov.uk/article/13035/Sheepen-Road-Lorry-Park
Where can I buy tickets?
You can buy tickets from our website or by calling 01206 573948. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the theatre until it closes in late May.
What will be the seating be like?
The front area of seating nearest the stage will all be on one level, as well as the front row of the back three sections, these are rows A-Q. The three sections to the rear of the auditorium (Rows R-Y) will be raised seating, accessed via stairs with handrails. There are 8 spaces specifically for patrons with access needs and these are all at floor level with step-free access. Ushers will be on hand to help guide you to your seats. If you are booking online you will have access to our fully functional seating plan and can choose the perfect seats for your party. Please click on the image above to see a full screen version of our seating plan.
What will the space look like?
Check back here to see some visualisations in due course.
What is the capacity?
The auditorium can seat up to 824 people and has 8 dedicated spaces for wheelchairs and companions.
What are your opening hours?
The venue will be open 90 minutes prior to a performance and after the show.
Will the venue be accessible?
The venue will have level access across the site using festival matting and ramps. There will be disabled seating in the auditorium, and our staff will be on hand to help you. There are 8 dedicated spaces for wheelchairs in various areas of the auditorium and these are marked on our seating plan.
I have an assistance dog, can I bring them?
Yes – we welcome assistance dogs at all performances, please just inform us when booking. Your dog can come into the show with you, or be well looked after by our team.
Will you have an assisted listening system?
Yes, we will use the same Sennheiser equipment we currently use at the Theatre. Please book this when you book your tickets.
Will you have an audio described performance of your pantomime?
Yes – this will take place on Saturday 21st December at 1pm. There will be a touch tour beforehand at 11.30am, this must be pre-booked, click here to get your tickets.
Will you have a captioned performance of your pantomime?
Yes – this will take place on Thursday 19th December at 7pm. We cannot yet confirm the position of the captioning unit as we are exploring options but as soon as we do we will look to update.
Will you have a relaxed performance of your pantomime?
Yes – this will take place at 12pm on Sunday 8th December. As usual with these performances attendees will benefit from a relaxed environment. Audience members will be free to come and go as they please throughout and make noise if they want to. We will also send out a social story to all bookers a week before the performance.
Will the venue be family friendly?
Yes of course! There will be booster seats for young children free of charge, available on the way in to the auditorium. We will also have a baby changing facility available in the toilets.
Will there be toilets on site?
There will be plenty of toilets as part of the venue, these will be accessible through undercover tunnels so you don’t have to venture outside to access them. We will also have dedicated accessible toilets. All toilets will be fully flushing and not chemical/portable.
Will there be a cloakroom?
Yes – there will be a dedicated space to leave bags and coats marked clearly on your way into the auditorium.
Will there be a bar and catering offer?
There will be a full bar offering all of the drinks and snacks you would expect as standard at the Mercury. There will still be the option to beat the queues and pre-book interval drinks. Ice cream, sweets and savoury snacks will also be available.
When will the bar open?
The bar will be open 90 minutes prior to the show.
Will I be able to pay by card?
Yes, our kiosk and bar will be able to take card payments.
What is the admissions process?
Tickets will be checked as you enter the auditorium and our ushers will guide you to your seats.
Will it be cold?
No – the venue will be fully heated and the temperature will be monitored and maintained.
Restricted View Seating
Due to the layout of the venue there are some seats with a restricted view that have been priced accordingly.
How many steps up to the raised seating?
Check back here to find out more information in due course. There are also plenty of seats at floor level if you prefer.
Will performances go ahead if it rains or snows?
Yes – we will do our very best to ensure every scheduled performance goes ahead and adverse weather conditions shouldn’t affect this. However in extreme circumstances if we did need to cancel a performance we’d ensure we contacted all customers booked for that particular show.
I am attending the pantomime with young children – how can I make my visit as stress-free as possible?
This year you are able to pre-order an “Easy Peasy Panto Package” that will include a limited edition tote bag, two flashing toy vouchers, four ice cream tub vouchers and a programme. These are available to book on our supplementary items page once you have selected your tickets for the performance. You will be making a saving of £9 if you bought these items on the day, and £5 if you pre-booked the items separately. You will be able to exchange your voucher at the kiosk on arrival ensuring you save time and beat the separate queues.
Will I be able to pre-order merchandise and ice creams?
Yes – you will be able to pre-order programmes, ice creams, flashing toys and drinks packages before the show whilst booking your tickets.
Will I be able to buy tickets or merchandise on the door?
Yes absolutely, although we would always encourage you to book in advance to save time and avoid missing out.
Can I still use my gift vouchers/theatre tokens?
Yes, you can still use gift vouchers or National theatre tokens by calling our box office on 01206 573948.
What happens if I’m late to the show?
You will still be able to gain entrance to the site and our ushers will escort you to your seats at an appropriate point in the show.
Will the venue be noisy for local residents?
We don’t expect there to be any problems with regard to noise, as we’ve undertaken a variety of noise impact assessments for the site. However, in the event of any concerns we have a dedicated facilities helpline: 07587610596 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The sound levels will be constantly monitored and there will not be any late night activities.
Will the space be available to hire?
We will not be able to accommodate any additional performances, but we may have some daytime hire opportunities available at the most exclusive venue in town!
our Abbey Field Centre, the former Garrison Gym just across the field, is available for hire and further information can be found here: www.mercurytheatre.co.uk/about-the-theatre/hire-mercury-theatre/hiring-the-abbey-field-centre