The Mercury Theatre is a theatre in Colchester, producing highly regarded original work under the title "Made in Colchester" and also receiving touring shows. The theatre has two auditoria, and is led by Tracey Childs (Executive Producer and Joint Chief Executive), Steve Mannix (Executive Director and Joint Chief Executive) and Ryan McBryde (Creative Director). The theatre also contains The Digby Gallery, which showcases local art.
In 1968, the Colchester New Theatre Trust was formed to identify a site for a new theatre and to oversee its constructions. The Mercury Theatre, designed by Norman Downie, was opened on 10 May 1972, after a successful fund-raising campaign, supported by a large grant from the Borough Council. It originated with the Colchester Repertory Company, formed in 1937.
The theatre was initially structurally identical to the Salisbury Playhouse, though the Playhouse was later extended.
David Buxton, the first Artistic Director, was succeeded by Michael Winter in 1984. After David Forder's retirement as Administrative Director in late 1990, Michael became Artistic Director and Chief Executive. In May 1994, Pat Trueman succeeded him in the joint role, until 1998. Adrian Stokes joined as Associate Director in 1995 and initiated the Community Education Programme.