ADMISSION TO FIRSTSITE IS FREE

Open 10am – 5pm everyday

Welcome to Firstsite

Firstsite is the winner of Art Fund Museum of the Year 2021! 

Visit us this winter – enjoy our exhibitions, films and events, relax in our newly refurbished cafe and find quirky and stylish products in our shop.

See What's on

 

ADMISSION TO FIRSTSITE IS FREE

Open 10am – 5pm everyday

What's on

Top picks

Exhibitions

Free

Life with Art: Benton End and the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing

11th December 2021 - 18th April 2022

10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Established by artist-gardener Cedric Morris and his partner Arthur Lett-Haines, the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing at Benton End became the centre of a diverse community of artists, writers, and horticulturalists throughout the 1940s and 1950s. With…

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Cinema

Bolshoi Ballet: Jewels (Live)

23rd January 2022

2:50 pm

Emeralds for the elegance and sophistication of Paris, rubies for the speed and modernity of New York, and diamonds for an imperial St. Petersburg. Three sparkling scenes accompanied by the music of three essential composers, feature the styles of…

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Exhibitions

Free

Opening event | Keep Being Amazing

22nd January 2022

11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Join us for this special free event as we celebrate the opening of our new exhibition ‘Keep Being Amazing’

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Cinema

Licorice Pizza

28th January - 3rd February 2022

Multiple times available

‘Licorice Pizza’ is the story of Alana Kane and Gary Valentine growing up, running around and falling in love in the San Fernando Valley, 1973. Written and Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, the film tracks the treacherous navigation of…

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Courses, Clubs & Classes

Limitless Street Dance

2nd November - 29th March 2022

Multiple times available

Breakdance skills for 8 – 14 year olds. Join the Limitless dancers Andi Mill and Isaac James to try out the basics of street dancing in a cool, fun and energetic environment.

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Exhibitions

Free

Simon Carter and Jevan Watkins Jones: Shore Lines

11th December 2021 - 18th April 2022

10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Imagine two drawings by two artists drifting across a five-mile stretch of salt-water, merging and morphing on the surface as they meet. Artists Simon Carter and Jevan Watkins Jones collaborate in this collection of charcoal drawings inspired by their…

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Cinema

Boiling Point

28th - 31st January 2022

Multiple times available

This is ‘Magic Friday’, the last Friday before Christmas and the busiest night of the year. Andy Jones, Head Chef at one of the top restaurants in London, is battling debts, addiction and an imploding personal life. The pressure…

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Cinema

Drive My Car

6th - 9th February 2022

Multiple times available

Based on the short story by Haruki Murakami, Drive My Car is the story of love, loss, longing and driving. Yusuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima) is a stage actor and director who is happily married to Oto (Reika Kirishima), a…

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Cinema

Hope

22nd - 27th January 2022

Multiple times available

When a woman’s life is rocked by a diagnosis of incurable illness, her family and her relationship with her husband is put to the test as they battle to come to terms with the devastating news.  Andrea Braein Hovig…

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Cinema

National Theatre Live: Leopoldstadt (Recorded)

27th - 30th January 2022

Multiple times available

Tom Stoppard’s critically acclaimed new play Leopoldstadt is a passionate drama of love, family and endurance. At the beginning of the 20th century, Leopoldstadt was the old, crowded Jewish quarter of Vienna, Austria. But Hermann Merz, a factory owner and baptised…

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Cinema

Minyan (LGBT History Month)

3rd February 2022

7:30 pm

A young Russian Jewish immigrant in New York Brighton Beach, caught up in the tight constraints of his community, develops a close friendship with his grandfather’s new neighbours, two elderly closeted men who open his imagination to the possibilities…

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Cinema

West Side Story (2021)

2nd - 10th February 2022

Multiple times available

Directed by Academy Award winner Steven Spielberg, from a screenplay by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Tony Kushner, “West Side Story” tells the classic tale of fierce rivalries and young love in 1957 New York City. This reimagining…

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Exhibitions

Free

Keep Being Amazing

22nd January - 6th June 2022

Arts Council Collection National Partners Programme Explore the ground-breaking Firstsite Holiday Fun programme through vibrant artworks in this interactive exhibition celebrating the fun, friendly and creative ethos of Holiday Fun and the families who attend. Holiday Fun was launched…

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Cinema

National Theatre Live: The Book Of Dust (Live)

17th February 2022

7:00 pm

Set twelve years before the epic His Dark Materials trilogy, this gripping adaptation revisits Philip Pullman’s fantastical world in which waters are rising and storms are brewing. Two young people and their daemons, with everything at stake, find themselves…

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Courses, Clubs & Classes

Free

CLIP

10th January - 28th February 2022

Multiple times available

CLIP is a weekly meet up for anyone 12 years old and up interested in music and sound. Play with synths, microphones and musical technology.

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Cinema

First Love (The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2022)

12th February 2022

1:00 pm

Kanna (YOSHINE Kyoko) is a university student who, by all appearances, was on the fast track to achieving her dream of becoming a TV announcer. That is, until the day she stabs her father to death without any apparent…

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Cinema

Lola And The Sea (LGBT History Month)

1st February 2022

7:30 pm

Lola (Mya Bollaers) lives in the city with her best friend Samir (Sami Outalbali, Sex Education) studying for her diploma as a veterinary assistant. Emboldened by her life changing transition and the support of her mother, she has the…

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Cinema

The Electrical Life Of Louis Wain

21st - 26th January 2022

Multiple times available

The extraordinary true story of eccentric British artist Louis Wain (Benedict Cumberbatch), whose playful, sometimes even psychedelic pictures helped to transform the public’s perception of cats forever. Moving from the late 1800s through to the 1930s, we follow the…

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Cinema

The Tragedy of Macbeth

20th January 2022

Multiple times available

Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand star in Joel Coen’s bold and fierce adaptation – a tale of murder, madness, ambition, and wrathful cunning.

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Cinema

The Royal Ballet: Romeo & Juliet (Live)

14th February 2022

6:45 pm

Romeo and Juliet has become a great modern ballet classic of the ballet repertory since its creation by Royal Ballet Director Kenneth MacMillan and its premiere in 1965. In this special screening on Valentine’s Day, the doomed lovers attempt…

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Hire Firstsite

Firstsite’s stunning architecture and versatile spaces creates a fun and inspiring venue for any event – from private parties to conferences, community meetings and presentations. Plus, by hiring our spaces you can support the local community as any profits go straight back into funding our exhibitions and outreach projects.

Find out more
Firstsite shop

Take a look at our shop

Featuring a range of design-led and affordable products, inspired by our exhibition programme, events and community, our shop has something for everyone. All profits from your purchase raises funds to help us keep our exhibitions free and supports our community outreach activities.

Explore shop

Make the most of your visit

Latest news

Firstsite wins Art Fund Museum of the Year 2021

22nd September 2021

Colchester’s Firstsite was announced as Art Fund Museum of the Year 2021 last night (21 September 2021), with Director, Sally Shaw MBE presented with the £100,000 prize – the largest museum prize in the world – by broadcaster Edith…

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Festive Opening Hours

22nd December 2021

  We look forward to welcoming you over the coming weeks – however please be aware that we will be closing our building early on some days and closing fully on selected days during December and January. During these closures our phone…

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Social posts

Welcome area at Firstsite. 'Big Hello' (2018) Peter Liversidge. Photo by Jayne Lloyd.

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