The Knut is a new building (opened May 2014), a backstage facility for events & theatre. It is situated in the centre of the small town of St. Just in the far west of Cornwall, UK, next to an ancient Plen-an-Gwari, one of only two surviving medieval amphitheatres. This will enable the Plen-an-Gwari to be revived and developed for the 21st century. The building will also house an archive.
We hope to nurture a deeper understanding of the significance of the Plen, by doing a wider range of activities, events and performances than has been practical in the past. As we develop a full summer season of theatrical/performance events including the revival of the medieval Ordinalia Cornish miracle plays, more visitors will be attracted to the town, benefitting local businesses and accommodation providers.
The Knut is an ecobuild (Ecofab) using local timber and granite, and the walls are wool filled. It has solar PV panels and a green roof. Local tradesmen were employed wherever possible: granite work was done by Tim Lord; bespoke metal work by Graham Jobbins and signage by Tom Brookes.
What is the Knut for?
- To provide a backstage resource - changing, toilets, kitchen and storage facilities for events and theatre using the Plen-an-Gwari.
- To house an archive focused on the historical and community importance of the Plen-an-Gwari, offering in house and outreach information sessions to schools, colleges, community groups and visitors to St Just. The archive is run by volunteers and will be open from Easter to October.
- To co-ordinate a summer season of theatrical and performance related events in the adjacent Plen-an-Gwari including regular community productions of the Ordinalia plays.
- To provide a range of events in the Knut. In keeping with our ethos, these will include Ordinalia and archive film showings, workshops, talks and seminars, performances, creative, contributory and collaborative events.