SALISBURY Arts Centre is a great asset to the city.

And it’s staffed by people whose genuine priority is to make the arts as accessible as possible and to offer as eclectic a mix as they can so there is something to appeal to everyone.

More than half of the participatory events it puts on are free, it runs workshops with local schools, and ticket prices are kept as low as possible so that people can afford them.

It’s often cheaper than a trip to the cinema – especially if you factor in the extortionate price of popcorn and a drink - and the ticket sales don’t come anywhere near to covering the cost of putting on the shows.

The money to keep it going comes from Arts Council England, Wiltshire Council and through the centre’s own fundraising activities.

Director Gemma Okell chooses the shows that are put on in the centre very carefully.

In the run-up to putting together a season, she travels around the country to see what’s on offer, taking in up to 100 performances to make sure that those they invite to the theatre are the best.

Audience surveys last year came back saying that people simply want more of everything the centre is already doing, and this has been taken to heart for the coming season.

I’m intrigued by the all-male production of The Merchant of Venice, and by the idea of “one show, three actors and all the Greek myths”.

And a show called Inspector Norse that bills itself as “a self-assembly Swedish crime thriller” and promises “a knitted set, a seventies pop band and a drunken moose” sounds hilarious just on paper.

The Arts Centre goes to a great deal of trouble to both produce and host high-quality work and it deserves all the support it can get from the public it serves.

And the mad Swedish crime thriller people are also asking us to get involved in a slightly weirder way – by helping them to knit the set.

If you want to have a go you can email melanie@salisburyarts.co.uk.

Maybe our resident yarnbombers could help out?

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