Revamped Warehouse Theatre ready to thrive
By Rosalia David
THE new Warehouse Theatre owner Che Rousseau has promised to bring an exciting groove to the popular entertainment hub which had closed down last year in October due to financial constraints.
Rousseau confirmed the opening of the revamped Warehouse Theatre, saying that they are almost done with the place’s interior decoration. “We’re still busy fixing a few things here and there, but we have adjusted a few things on the building, the interior is different. It is going to be a complete change.”
He said the added a few extra activities, such as hosting the market every Saturday to inspire the inner city community and to motivate aspiring entrepreneurs. ‘We have also added a lab to the boiler room which makes it more exciting. We will be open from morning until late, probably the same time it used to be open,” he said.
Struggling to contain his enthusiasm for the re-launch, Rousseau said it is about time as its closure affected a lot of creatives in the industry, resulting in a loss of employment for many. “There will be different food stalls, consisting of kapana, dumplings, sushi and many others, just to have a variety of food as well,” he added.
Although the Theatre has been renovated and changes have been made, he pointed out that they will continue to keep the culture of the place alive. Events such as Free Your Mind and Song Night will continue to be hosted at the venue as usual.
The Warehouse Theatre was one of the best-known live music spaces where both artists and audience felt at home; the purpose was to make performance art in Namibia easily accessible to the public, whilst giving artists a chance to grow their audiences and make a living doing the work they love.
It has also hosted big name local and international acts such as Joss Stone, Johnny Clegg, Lira, Ty Bailie, Ensemble Vertograd, Julia Sarr and Jan Blohm while grooming home-grown gems like Ras Sheehama, Sandy Rudd, Lize Ehlers, Big Ben, Elemotho and Slick.
But with the economic downturn over the past three years, consumer spending on nights out and on entertainment substantially declined and many entertainment establishments were hard hit by the recession, to the extent that The Warehouse Theatre could not pay rent for an extended period.
On 8 October 2019, Warehouse Theatre’s previous management made an official announcement at a farewell party. After its closure the management and artists tried to keep it going by hosting crowdfunding events but nothing helped until Rousseau stepped up.