Cramped can be best

I would love more and bigger toilets. It’d be convenient not to have to queue for a table in the bar when you want to eat. The stairs to cinema screens 2 and 3 are a little awkward. And I love several other new and large cultural halls/theatres, whatever you want to call them.


So I’m not too much of a stick-in-the-mud I hope, and change can be beautiful.

But – and I hope the but could be felt a long way off – hands off Cornerhouse as it stands!

When I received the email telling me of the changes planned for the new and ‘better’ Cornerhouse I didn’t think too many dark, negative thoughts. But as I realised that the so-called city centre location is over by Deansgate station, plus a bit, I really don’t see that it’s going to be convenient in the way Cornerhouse is now. And its location is much of its charm.

The fact that it is cramped is what makes it what it is. If it could suddenly house many more people, while also sharing facilities with the Library Theatre Company, the Cornerhouse-ness may well disappear. You sort of know what kind of people you are going to meet at Cornerhouse. That’s a lot of its appeal.

As for travelling, you can’t be more convenient than next to Oxford Road station. It does have fewer trains off peak, but the fact that it’s a short walk to Piccadilly means you’re not stuck, even when it’s late and dark and possibly cold. The Deansgate area isn’t that much further off, but it’s that extra distance which will make getting back to suburbia less streamlined.

I haven’t yet heard a user of Cornerhouse say what a good idea they think the new plans are. Sometimes it is better to stay put and not believe that bigger and newer must mean better.

Being a recent Cornerhouse fan I suppose I have less ‘right’ to moan, but I’m already mourning.


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