Axis Arts Centre, previously the Alsager Arts Centre, has an acclaimed public programme of touring new performance and visual art work presented in two intensive seasons - September to November and January to March. The core of the work is programmed into the new Axis Theatre, Dance and Studio, and the Open Space, in the new Cheshire Contemporary Arts building on the MMU Cheshire campus in Crewe, and 10 minutes walk from the train station. The centre is regularly funded by Arts Council England and Manchester Metropolitan University.
A much easier question to answer than where's Alsager... Crewe, with its famous train station, is 45 minutes south of Manchester, 50 minutes north of Birmingham and 15 minutes from Stoke-on-Trent. It's also about 10 minutes drive from Junction 16 of the M6 motorway.
Axis Arts Centre aims to promote the best national and international small-scale touring contemporary theatre, live art, contemporary dance, performance writing, new music and installation.
At present we do not promote stand-up comedy, amateur performance or performance aimed at families or children, pop, rock or folk bands, or other work in theatre, dance, poetry, music or visual art which does not appear, in our humble opinion, to be facing up to the challenges confronting such art-forms in the 21st century. We also do not currently present any performance work during December, or from April to August.
The Alsager Arts Centre developed as a public facility out of the 'Cultural Policy' of the old Crewe and Alsager College of Higher Education, in the early eighties. Over the years it has presented some of the biggest names in contemporary performance of all kinds, from Forced Entertainment to Benjamin Zephaniah, Yolande Snaith to Goat Island, Scanner to Frantic Assembly, Bobby Baker to Odin Teatret.
And why Axis...?
The main hall on the Alsager Campus was opened in 1969 and shortly after given the name Axis Theatre, as the first public performance was configured across the 'short axis', ie sideways in the big rectangular space. But, aside from carrying forward the history of the old theatre, we also like the idea that our programme is the line we choose to draw through the range of artistic practices and disciplines that are increasingly swirling around in the contemporary air...