“ Address:Shepherds Lane / Dartford DA1 2JZ / Kent / Tel: 01322 291101 „
THE MICK JAGGER CENTRE
The Mick Jagger Centre is a venue situated in Dartford, Kent. It is located next to The Dartford Boy's Grammar school, where Mick Jagger, the famous lead singer of the 'Rolling Stones' is a former pupil. Mick Jagger, as far as I know, is the most famous person hailing from Dartford, therefore it seems fitting that he should have a sports and arts venue named after him.
This venue was opened in March 2000 by HRH the Duke of Kent. Mick Jagger was also present.
The venue has a well-equipped sports centre with both indoor and outdoor sporting facilities, and it also houses arts facilities and is used by local schools and residents.
Although I have seen some of the facilities here, I am mainly familiar with the theatre side, having attended shows and competitions held here over the last five years, as well as seeing some of the backstage facilities.
The theatre has a large room which can hold around 350 spectators and a smaller room which holds 150. Other things to mention are that it has well equipped recording studios and music technology facilities, making it a great music and creative arts centre for Dartford and the surrounding areas of Kent and south-east London. It has rehearsal rooms and dressing rooms.
Professional, well known bands and singers appear here and it is regularly hired out for amateur productions; these are mainly where my knowledge of the theatre comes from.
The stage school in which my daughter attends holds its yearly gala event here. As this means the bringing together of four stage schools from Kent, Essex and south London there needs to be two shows and the venue chosen has to hold the parents and friends of the pupils and have good backstage facilities. The Mick Jagger Centre seems fitting for this gala.
She has also performed here (as well as in the yearly gala) in heats of various singing and performing arts competitions, including heats of the national competition UK Unsigned.
The bar area could be improved; seating is not the most comfortable and mainly consists of plastic chairs, a few of a softer more comfortable design and a few tables. There isn't much here in the way of a welcoming ambience to be found.
The bar is expensive and not that well equipped. No draught beer is available, only cans and bottles. There is a good selection of spirits, soft drinks and tea and coffee. It is nice that drinks in plastic glasses may be taken into the theatre. Bar snacks are available.
Box Office: 01322 291100
I find this website very good, with constantly updated information of upcoming events. A seating plan can be viewed.
I tend to view the theatre's seating plan online before purchasing my tickets over the telephone. I always find staff helpful when doing this. I do think it unfair that a charge is made when booking tickets if paying by debit card.
My tickets have always arrived promptly.
My opinion of the Mick Jagger Centre theatre is that it is good mainly for the fact that seats are very well tiered giving good views. The seating looks down at the stage area. In fact the view is largely unrestricted from most, if not all, seats. Lighting and sound is good, but I would say that the acoustics seems better from further back in the theatre.
One complaint I have, and I know this is shared by others, is the fact that if the weather outside is hot then it gets very close inside the theatre; I would even go as far as to say I have been here when it has been oppressive. Mobile air conditioning units have been brought in but haven't proved adequate enough to cool down the audience let alone the very hot performers.
These are kept clean but fairly basic. They are like a school's lavatories really. More hand driers are needed. Disabled toilets are also available.
As already mentioned there are disabled toilets and the theatre itself is accessible to those with mobility problems as the entrance is ramped. Also the front seats in the main theatre are reserved for wheelchair users and can be removed so that suitable space can be used for wheelchairs.
Address: Shepherd's Lane,
Kent DA1 2JZ
The nearest station is Dartford which is about a fifteen minute walk away.
Dartford is easily accessed from London via the Blackwall tunnel and the Dartford crossing.
Box Office: 01322 291100
As long as tickets remain at a reasonable price then this is a pleasant theatre for the local and nearby area. It could be improved in some respects, especially in the bar area. Staff are always helpful, knowledgeable and polite.