About Us

Viva is a place for creativity, inclusivity, ambition, excellence, fun and great entertainment!
For over 20 years, Viva has focused on cultural outreach, award-winning multi-generational theatre productions, arts engagement and heritage projects.
We create exciting arts, cultural & community based opportunities for the local community to participate, learn, achieve & enjoy.

Our History

Established in 1997 by Soham resident Daniel Schumann, Viva began life as a small youth theatre run by a team of volunteers.

Viva’s first project was a performance of Bugsy Malone, which played to an audience of 400 at Beechhurst Hall, Soham Village College. The show was a big hit and, with more and more children joining, Viva was able to expand and take on bigger and more ambitious productions.

The Wiz 2007
Over the past 20 years, Viva has performed in various venues throughout East Cambridgeshire including Ely Cathedral, the ADC Theatre and many local schools and halls. Viva is a biennial visitor to the world famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where it has received five star reviews and, in 2012, Viva had the honour to perform at the Playgroup Theatre in New York City. Viva has picked up many National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) awards including ‘Best Musical’ and ‘Best Overall Production’. In 2008, Viva purchased its first premises, a converted Methodist Chapel in Churchgate Street, Soham, where it was able to establish its own Charity Shop, providing core funding and enabling it to branch out into other areas, such as after school drama clubs, accredited arts training such as LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts) and the Arts Award. A Viva Office was also formed to centralise communications and carry out various local community projects funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

In 2018, Viva purchased Spencer Mill in Soham and embarked on a large capital project to restore the decaying building and create a permanent home for Viva and a centre for arts, cultural and community activity for the area.

In 2020, Viva was forced to suspend activities and close the Charity Shop, following restrictions put in place to help stop the spread of Covid-19. After a pause, work continued on the Mill renovation and Viva refurbished a new retail premises at 14 Churchgate Street, Soham where it now houses The Viva Shop and Café, and the Viva Office. Viva are currently looking forward to resuming their activities post-lockdown at The Viva Theatre, Spencer Drove, Mereside, Soham.

Skrek the Musical
Skrek the Musical 2020
Without a doubt, Viva’s roots are firmly planted in the local community and it continues to flourish.

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