THE STERTS Theatre canopy has been condemned and the outdoor venue will not open for live performance this year.

But amid the sadness of this news is optimism that a new theatre can emerge - and a touring show is planned to show that Sterts is very much alive and kicking, say trustees.

Auditions will be held soon for the production which will be staged at local venues including in Launceston and Liskeard.

Sterts, at Upton Cross, had to postpone the start of its 2023 season after the canopy and its structure were found to be damaged.

The trustees have announced in recent days that the canopy has to be condemned.

“It is a great sadness, as it is a unique structure. But it has not weathered the storms,” said chairman Nick Hart.

“However, our insurance settlement means that we are in a position to start work on planning for a new theatre, and already work has been going on behind the scenes to see what we can construct with the funds available, and what Planning at Cornwall Council will support.”

The theatre has now “come through the worst” of a financial crisis, said Nick.

“We have had an incredibly patient and extensive list of creditors who got caught up in the spiral of misfortune that characterised some of last year. We deeply regret the length of time it has taken us to repay our debts, and their forbearance has meant that we are still here. Instructions are now going out that they can all be paid, fully and fairly.

“I am delighted to report that we are through the worst and that we do have a very exciting future ahead of us.

“We should be able to start our new financial year clear of all debt, with all creditors paid, and a sufficiently large sum of money to re-imagine our theatre. One of the privileges of being chair during this very turbulent time has been to begin to understand the strength of feeling that the community has towards Sterts. It is a truly vibrant and dynamic group of people, all with a determination to make a success of whatever fate throws in our path.”