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Theatres Mag
ISSUE #21 Autumn 09
Showcase: Theatre Royal,
Newcastle Upon Tyne
A new theatre for the Royal Welsh College
More pearls on a string
Protecting the Palace: Nelson’s hidden treasure
Hull’s new Truck
Protecting theatres for everyone
2 6
12 14
A new theatre for the Royal Welsh College 2–5
More pearls on a string: The Channel Route of theatres 6-9
Protecting the Palace: Nelson’s hidden treasure 10-11
Showcase: Theatre Royal, Newcastle Upon Tyne 12–13
Hull’s new Truck 14–17
Theatres Round-up 18–19
Current Casework 20–21
Reading Matter 22-23
Friends and Corporate Supporters news 24
Dates for your diary 24
Trust news 24
Front cover: Theatre Royal, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Photo: Ian Grundy
Theatres Magazine is edited by Paul Connolly. © 2009
The Theatres Trust Charitable Fund. All unsigned or
otherwise uncredited articles are the work of the Editor.
The views expressed editorially or by correspondents
in this magazine are not necessarily those of the Trust.
Notes, queries and letters are always welcome.
ISSN: 1759-7668
Designed by Damian Le Sueur
Printed by Purple Results Ltd
" !
! European Regional
Development Fund
Investing in your future
Sustainable Theatres
I’m honoured that John Godber has written about his new
Hull Truck Theatre for this issue of TM. His journey is an
inspiration to us all. Not only has he created a new platform
for theatre in Hull and their 350 strong youth theatre, it is one
of the most environmentally sustainable theatres in Europe!
in future issues of TM.
Also making their mark in Europe
Mhora Samuel
are the UK theatres participating
in the new Channel Route of
the European Route of Historic
Theatres. Championed and led by
PERSPECTIV, Carsten Jung takes
us through the historic UK and
This green ambition is matched
Benelux theatres that can be visited
by Hilary Boulding, who shares
on the tour. Whilst not quite in the
plans for new BREEAM ‘excellent’
‘Route’ the Grade I Theatre Royal in
theatre and concert facilities at the
Newcastle can date its Royal Licence
Royal Welsh College of Music &
back to 1788. Philip Bernays gives
Drama in Cardiff. Nurturing new
an update on £3.5 million restoration
talent in excellent theatre facilities
plans for its 1837 exterior and
will be one of the central themes
Matcham interior in our Showcase.
of the Trust’s ‘Designing School
Well worth a visit if your journey
Theatres’ Conference 2010 in
starts a little further north.
Leeds on 26 April next year; after
The Trust will be giving a
‘Experiencing Theatres’ highlighted
presentation at PERSPECTIV’s
the importance of achieving the best
conference in Bayreuth in October on
theatres in the many new school
how the UK planning system works in
and college buildings springing up
practice to protect theatres. So finally,
around the country. The Report from
Mark Price, the Trust’s own Planning
Conference 09 is now available.
and Architecture Adviser gives us an
More Trust news. Our green
insight into this in the recent case
theatres work has received a boost.
of Nelson Palace Theatre, where
On the 14 September at Plasa 09, one
we worked with local champions
year on from the launch of the Mayor
and harnessed the support of many
of London’s Green Theatre Plan, we
who came forward to make the case
announce a grant of £450,000 to the
for protecting this theatre and its
Trust from the European Regional
beautiful interior.
Development Fund to deliver a new
three year environmental advisory
project in London for small scale
theatres. There will be more on this
A new theatre for the
Royal Welsh College
View from Bute Park
Development overview
16 SPRING 2008 Theatres Magazine
As work commences at the
Royal Welsh College of Music
& Drama, Principal Hilary
Boulding, offers an overview
of this exciting new project.
central contribution to the cultural life of
Wales and, through our graduates, to the
international arts industry. To achieve this
and continue to attract the most dynamic
young artists from across the world, there
is an urgent need to complement our firstclass teaching with the very best facilities.
While the last 18 months has focused
On August 17th this year, the contractors
on the combined details of architectural and
moved onto our site. Hoardings have
business planning, the next year and half
gone up, portakabins have arrived, holes
will be about transforming these ambitious
are being dug; the work to transform the
plans into working models. Bringing artistic
campus of the Royal Welsh College of
and academic life to concrete, steel, glass
Music & Drama is well and truly underway.
and a significant volume of Portland stone
The plans - to include a new theatre and
is the challenge that lies before us.
concert hall - have been a long time in
Our facilities will include:
development during which the College has
a 450 capacity world-class Concert Hall
seen many changes. Shortly, and before our
for rehearsals, public recitals and mastervery eyes, we will see the realisation of our
long held ambition to update and improve
a 160 seat state-of-the-art Theatre with a
the facilities we offer our students and the
dress circle and teaching gallery.
wider public.
an Exhibition Arcade to display our
Last summer, the College
award-winning theatre and costume
submitted plans to Cardiff Council for a
redevelopment of part of our existing site
four full-sized, double height Acting
on Cardiff’s North Road, to create a suite
and Movement Studios with the same
of world class training and performance
‘footprint’ as the Theatre.
facilities for musicians, actors, theatre
a new ‘Front Door’ to the College
designers and stage managers.
opening onto a central Foyer and
The development will complement the
performance spaces.
College’s existing high quality, small-scale
a Café Bar and Terrace overlooking
performance and rehearsal spaces with an
historic Bute Park.
acoustically excellent 450-capacity recital
a renovated and upgraded Bute Theatre
hall, a 160-seat theatre and four purpose(capacity 150-200) doubling as a
built double-height acting and movement
television studio.
studios. In future these spaces will host
our students as well as visiting companies
Building a training theatre
and professional artists of international
Preparing the actors, theatre designers
stature. In addition, a handsome new
and stage managers of tomorrow also
arcade taking its inspiration from Cardiff’s
requires that they gain experience of
historic city centre arcades will exhibit the
College’s award-winning design activity and working in a wide range of performance
spaces and theatres. The College’s existing
will complete this 21st century addition to
Bute Theatre and Caird Studio provide
Cardiff’s cultural facilities.
contrasting environments and a range of
It’s an ambitious, exciting and visually
technical and creative challenges. Both
impressive development and will form a
dramatic new northern gateway to Cardiff’s are flexible, black box studio spaces. Our
students regularly perform in other theatre
city centre. It is also another significant
spaces in Cardiff, including the Sherman
milestone in the evolution of Cardiff’s
Cymru and Chapter Arts Centre. Neither
cultural sector coinciding with the fifth
of these theatres has a circle, both being
anniversary of Wales Millennium Centre.
based on single raked seating areas. It was
At the same time, Chapter and Sherman
Cymru are undergoing their own significant an ambition from the outset of this project
to create a theatre space that complements
re-developments. It’s an exciting time for
our own existing spaces as well as those of
theatre in Cardiff.
the venues we visit regularly.
The Royal Welsh College is first and
To this end, we will be creating a 160foremost a training organisation. We are
seat proscenium theatre with approximately
one of the UK’s leading drama schools
120 seats in the stalls and 40 in the circle.
as well as the National Conservatoire of
Above the circle will be a technical balcony
Wales. Day-to-day life at the College is
where tutors will assess performances and
geared to intensive, high quality education
and training for performers and technicians above that, a wire tension grid to enable
front-of-house rigging. The proscenium
in music and drama.
opening itself will be seven metres with
Our ambition is to make an ever more
three metre wings either side, and an
overall stage depth of ten metres. Above
the stage are 30 counterweight bars. At
the rear of the circle is the control room,
equipped with 160 channels of dimming.
A sound control room will be located at
the rear of the stalls with the option of an
additional control position in the stalls.
Significantly, we were also seeking to
develop four brand new rehearsal spaces
that mirror the space available on the new
theatre’s stage, so that productions could be
rehearsed in their final layout and not have to
endure a reworking between rehearsal and
production. These rehearsal spaces form a
key part of the College’s plan.
At present, our actors rehearse two
miles off-site in a converted building in
Cardiff Bay, a situation that is far from ideal.
These new rehearsal spaces will reunite the
full range of music and drama activities on
our central Cardiff campus. Our actors will
once again be based at the main College
site. They bring their own, unique energy to
the College and the prospect of their return
is generating excitement.
Extending the training provision
Despite current constraints, our students
continue to flourish. That much is
testimony to the great skill, dedication
and experience of our staff. As one of the
UK’s leading drama schools the College
is justifiably proud of the successes of
our graduates, but equally of the role our
staff play in keeping them grounded and
prepared for a career in the creative and
performing industries.
The opportunities offered by the new
capital development lay at the heart of a
recent extensive review of the College’s
academic provision. In direct response
to the new facilities being developed an
extensive range of new training is in the
process of being rolled out. Central to this
is a raft of new Masters courses in Jazz,
Musical Theatre, Opera Performance,
Acting for Stage, Screen and Radio,
Event Production, and Scenic Arts and
Construction for Stage and Screen. Each
one is tailored to build on our existing
track record of excellence in course
delivery but constructed to benefit from
the enhanced facilities.
Building new relationships
The opportunity to shape a new physical
environment is not one an organisation
gets every day. From the outset, we
were determined that the new buildings
would help us to achieve our wider
ambitions, rather than dictate or proscribe
them. Before design work began, we took
Theatres Magazine AUTUMN 2009 3
The expansive
foyer space
View from North Road
Courtyard Theatre
Concert Hall
the opportunity to revisit, re-imagine and
confirm the nature of our conservatoire
training for the 21st century. We’ve given much thought to what it
means to be the National Conservatoire in
a devolved Wales: how we might benefit
a wider community of artists, teachers and
practitioners; how to get the most out of
our physical resources 52 weeks of the
year rather than 33; how we achieve the
greatest impact within our local community;
how to ensure that our students are not
only ready for work in industry, but have
something distinctive to offer.
In the process we strengthened our
links with key industry partners - including
BBC Wales and Welsh National Opera and canvassed leading arts organisations
about their own training needs. That in turn
informed an extended portfolio of training.
At the same time, we embarked on
an extensive development of our preconservatoire programmes. Our training
programmes for Young Actors (15-19
years old) and for Young Musicians (4-18
years old) occupy much of the estate at
weekends, creating their own distinct
energy and fostering new connections and
relationships with a wider public.
A key part of our business plan
will ensure that the new facilities are
made available beyond our core College
community for a third of their available
hours. This in turn will create significant
opportunities for our students to expand
their educational experience.
These relationships with the arts
industry and wider groups have all informed
the design and operation of the new build
and will be significant factors in ensuring
its success. Today, as construction begins,
we’re getting to grips with the mechanics
and operation of this new physical canvas:
access, insight, box office, catering,
cafe bar, marketing, cloakrooms, wayfinding, and the all important routes to the
toilets. All are essential pieces in making
our new buildings work.
But in the end, they’re all there to
underpin a unique theatre experience
and world-class training of some of
the most gifted artists of the rising
generation. Quality is our watchword creative, academic, architectural and in the
quality of the audience experience.
A sensitive environment
The College occupies a prime location
sandwiched between Cardiff’s historic
civic centre of Cathays Park and the
Grade I listed Bute Park. We lie within
the grounds of Cardiff Castle. Mapping
out a development in such an exciting but
sensitive context brings its own challenges
and significant civic responsibilities. These
lie at the heart of the architectural proposal.
The College has a long-standing
relationship with the Park and with Cardiff
Castle. When the College was first founded
60 years ago, it was housed in the Castle
itself. In the 1990s the Royal Welsh
College managed the award-winning,
sympathetic restoration of the old stables
building to create the Anthony Hopkins
Centre, now the home of extensive music
teaching and performance facilities.
The College borders one of the
major gateways to Bute Park and the
development will improve this key access
point with better lighting and security and
a new footpath to the park. The new public
foyer will create a stunning vista onto
the park with an external viewing terrace
looking out onto the historic arboretum.
The architects for the new development,
Hamiltons, are led by Jason Flanagan who
has a wealth of experience of creating
performing arts venues. Formerly Project
Director for Foster & Partners for the iconic
Sage Gateshead, Jason was also part of the
design team for the winning submissions for
the Dallas Opera House and the conversion
of the Avery Fisher Concert Hall at the
Lincoln Centre in New York.
Hamiltons have been inspirational
and creative partners, committed from
the outset to achieving the dual challenge
of creating world-class performance and
rehearsal space for the College whilst, at
the same time, improving and responding
to a significant and sensitive site. The new
development was designed from the inside
out for acoustic excellence and theatrical
intimacy. Arup have been engaged as
acousticians and have designed a flexible
acoustic to enable the theatre to stage both
the spoken word and small-scale musical
theatre, while Theatre Projects Consultants
have designed the fit-out. The new
buildings will also significantly improve the
environment for local residents and visitors
to the city.
The existing Bute Theatre, the new
drama wing and the Concert Hall are
conceived as three separate buildings
linked by new public spaces beneath a
single unifying roof. The Concert Hall and
Theatre frame a dramatic new entrance
to the College from North Road, leading
directly to a public foyer which opens out to
spectacular views over Bute Park. The foyer
itself is linked to the existing campus along
a new arcade, which forms the principal
spine for movement within the College. This
also functions as a gallery to showcase
students’ set and costume design work.
The new development is designed to
be fully accessible and inclusive. It will seek
to attain the very highest environmental
standards - including our aim of achieving
BREEAM Excellent rating.1
We’ve also sought to consult widely
on the proposals with public meetings,
online presentations and exhibitions. The
Design Commission for Wales’ Design
Review Panel commended the excellent
presentation of the College’s planning
proposals and looked forward to a ‘high
quality development’ on the site.
Along the way these were all significant
markers and a useful check that our
progress was also closely matched and
understood by a wider public.
The good news is that almost 90% of the
funding for this £22.5 million development
is already secured, including a grant of
£10 million from the Welsh Assembly
Government that was awarded following a
strategic alliance between the College and
the University of Glamorgan.
A dedicated fundraising programme
was launched in November 2008 with
opera star Bryn Terfel as Patron and a
target of raising the final £3.5 million. The
campaign has already attracted significant
grants and donations, including £100,000
from our own students (they’re clearly an
enterprising lot!). In today’s challenging
economic environment this is a great
achievement and reflects the strength of
the scheme. We are now targeting the final
£1.6 million.
Over the next few months, as our appointed
contractors Willmott Dixon move on site,
we will have to live alongside diggers, piledrivers, scaffold structures and the concrete
pourers. Part of our campus will swarm with
fluorescent-jacketed construction workers,
but by the middle of next year the building
will be taking shape and early in 2011, we’ll
be moving in. It will be a new experience
for us, for our students and our audiences.
This new theatre will sit at the heart of
our training provision for nurturing and
developing new talent to sustain the theatre
industry in years to come. It is also a new
resource for the industry itself and we look
forward to welcoming theatre partners to
a brand new venue, which we hope will
establish its own place on the national
touring circuit.
BREEAM, or BRE Environmental Assessment
Method, is the leading and most widely used
environmental assessment method for buildings.
Theatres Magazine AUTUMN 2009 5
More pearls on a string:
The Channel Route of theatres
Ghent Opera House
Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds
Photo: Dennis Gilbert
A new tourist route is
spreading across Europe. Now
the Channel Route of the
European Route of Historic
Theatres has been opened, as
PERSPECTIV Co-ordinator
Carsten Jung reports
Regular readers of Theatres Magazine will
remember the first article on the European
Route of Historic Theatres, describing
the German Route (TM Spring 2008).
Meanwhile, the European Route has been
growing and now also connects selected
historic theatres in Denmark, Norway
and Sweden on the Nordic Route, as
well as historic theatres in Belgium, the
Netherlands and the UK on the Channel
Route. Later this year, the Italian Route of
theatres from the Renaissance to the late
19th century will follow, and an Emperor
Route of great theatres in the Czech
Republic and Austria will complete the
European Route next year.
The driving force behind the
construction of the European Route of
Historic Theatres is PERSPECTIV, the
Association of Historic Theatres in Europe.
Together with its partners, the Theatre Royal
in Bury St Edmunds, the Vadstena Academy
in Sweden and the Renaissance city of
Sabbioneta in Italy, it has been uniting and
promoting historic theatres in this way for
the past two years, supported by the Culture
Programme of the European Union.
Each part route of the European Route
consists of up to twelve theatres, offering
an enjoyable trip of about ten days (if you
want to see them all in one go). The new
Channel Route is a good example for this.
It starts in the North, in Britain’s oldest
preserved theatre, the Georgian Theatre in
Richmond, North Yorkshire. It opened on
2nd September 1788 as part of a theatre
circuit run by actor-manager Samuel Butler,
presenting his production of Inkle & Yarico,
a comic opera by George Colman, and
The Midnight Hour, a comedy by Elisabeth
Inchbald. In 1830, the theatre closed but
occasional performances took place till
1848. Subsequently it was used as a
wine store, auction house and for other
purposes. In the 1950s Richard Southern
Theatres Magazine AUTUMN 2009 7
Photo: National Monuments Record
© English Heritage by Derek Kendall
The Leidse Schouwberg
rediscovered the theatre and started a first
restoration campaign. On 5 May 1963
the restored theatre reopened. Since then
it has served as a community theatre,
offering a wide range of productions
as well as special events highlighting
its history. A second restoration and
refurbishment was undertaken in 2002/03,
adding a twin building to the existing
Georgian playhouse. Also part of the
complex is a theatre museum that presents
Britain’s oldest stage set, a “Woodland
Scene”, and much more.
Heading southward on the Channel
Route we come across another form of
commercial theatrical enterprise: the music
hall. A small but beautiful example can be
found in Nottingham, next to the market
square. The Malt Cross, dating from 1877,
still operates as a pub today and as a music
venue – the classic combination since the
age of Queen Victoria when the music
Georgian Theatre, Richmond
8 AUTUMN 2008 Theatres Magazine
hall was invented. It is full of architectural
delights, including the original domed glass
roof. Stop here for lunch and then continue
into Wales, to Craig-Y-Nos Castle.
A theatre in a castle? Yes, since
this castle was constructed only in the
early 19th century and later became the
property of a theatre woman, the famous
soprano Adelina Patti (1843–1919).
Brought up by her Italian parents mostly
in New York, she gave her London debut
in 1861 and went on to become the
primadonna assoluta of her time. She
made England her home and Covent
Garden her harbour from where she
embarked to the opera houses of the
world. In 1878 she bought Craig-Y-Nos
in the hilly woodlands near Swansea,
and in 1891, when she was thinking
of retirement, the architects Bucknall &
Jennings added a private theatre to the
castle where she continued to perform
for her guests. The theatre has been
preserved almost entirely, including the
stage, stage machinery, scenery, and a
painted front curtain, showing Patti in
her role as Semiramide. The floor of the
auditorium can be raised to stage level to
form a ballroom. The castle itself is now a
hotel, surrounded by 40 acres of country
park - a great retreat for theatre lovers.
Via London with its abundance of
theatres and shows, the Channel Route
leads to the Theatre Royal in Bury St
Edmunds. Built in 1819 by the eminent
neo-classical architect William Wilkins,
the Theatre Royal is the only surviving
Regency theatre in the UK. It has recently
been restored to its original appearance,
including a thrust stage, a prerequisite
for performances of the almost forgotten
English drama repertoire from around
1800 that have become the hallmark of
this theatre by now. As in Richmond, this
theatre was originally built as part of a
theatre circuit, testifying to the motor of
British theatre life from Shakespeare’s
time onward: the entrepreneur, the actormanager of commercial theatre.
Sailing across the Channel from
nearby Harwich and arriving in Leiden,
we find yet another example of theatrical
entrepreneurship: the Leidse Schouwburg,
the oldest still-working theatre in the
Netherlands (elsewhere the aristocracy
or the bourgeoisie served as the motor
of theatre development, as we shall soon
see). In the picturesque city centre of
Leiden, only 20 minutes from Amsterdam,
the actor Jacob van Rijndorp received
permission to construct the first public
theatre in Holland in 1705. Architect Jan
Willem Schaap enlarged the building in
1865. His new facade still indicates that
The Patti Theatre at Craig-Y-Nos
he joined three building for the purpose:
the old theatre building in the centre, and
one house on each side with apartments
which he turned into foyers, offices and
more space around his horseshoe-shaped
auditorium. Like so many theatres, this
one was threatened by demolition in the
1970s, but saved by a public outcry, to
be restored only 20 years later. Today
it seats 526 and offers more than 230
performances all year round.
Although the Dutch have a long
theatre tradition, more than half of the
theatre buildings in the Netherlands
date from after 1945, and the older
ones have been remodelled again and
again, like the one in Leiden. In search of
historic theatres, we therefore cross the
border to Belgium where the history of
the Théâtre Royal du Parc in Brussels,
founded in 1782, mirrors the history of
this bilingual country. It is also interesting
to see that this theatre was originally
part of a Vauxhall, a concept that was
imported from London - where the first
pleasure garden of this type opened
already in 1660. In Brussels. the Bultos
brothers commissioned such a Vauxhall
in 1780 in a new park in the city centre.
Two years later, the theatre building by
the architect Louis Montoyer was added
for indoor performances. The Bultos
Brothers also ran the Théâtre de la
Monnaie at the time and were hoping to
foster young actors and singers for it in
the Vauxhall theatre, where they trained
child actors for this purpose. But it seems
that this strategy never worked out. The
programme definitely changed from light
entertainment to serious drama in 1879,
performed exclusively in French from the
1930s onward. Surprisingly, much of the
Vauxhall ensemble has been preserved,
although only the theatre and the adjoining
ballrooms are in operation today. The
intimate “bonbonnière” style auditorium
seats 550, who can enjoy performances
in French every day except Mondays from
September to May.
In nearby Ghent, a unique example
of a Flemish opera house can be found.
It is an L-shaped building with a suite
of three stately halls stretching for 90
metres, leading to an equally magnificent
auditorium. It was commissioned by rich
Ghent industrialists as a showcase for
their considerable, newly acquired wealth.
Inaugurated in 1841 and redecorated in
1887, the opulent, harmonious interplay
of architecture, painting and sculpture
was carefully restored 1991-93, with the
enfilade still featuring the later colour
scheme. Today the theatre is one of two
venues for the Antwerp-based Flemish
opera company (Vlaamse Opera).
A couple of hours to the south, the
private theatre in the palace of Chimay
illustrates the connections between this
part of the country and France. Joseph II,
16th Prince of Chimay, commissioned the
theatre in 1861. As architect of the new
theatre he chose the French architect and
stage designer Charles-Antoine Cambon
(1802–1875) who brought with him the
plans of the first theatre at Fontainebleau
that had burned down in 1856. Now
Cambon created a new version of this
French theatre in Chimay: a jewel in the
crown of Belgian theatres. Inaugurated
in 1863, it seats 200 and is used
occasionally for concerts.
The palace theatre in Chimay is a
link to France, where the King and the
aristocracy played such an important
Bury St Edmunds
Craig -Y-Nos
part as supporters of the theatre, or to
Germany, where this support multiplied in
an abundance of little and larger Kingdoms,
Dukedoms, Margravial realms etc., as
can be seen on the German Route of the
European Route of Historic Theatres.
For further information on the Channel
and other historic routes through Europe
do visit the PERSPECTIV website, As well as information
about each of the theatres along the three
Routes available currently you will find
the route maps. There are also plans to
provide updated performance schedules
for the theatres, so allowing the keenist of
travellers to book shows along the way,
as well as offering other suggestions for
sights and activities on your journey.
Theatres Magazine AUTUMN 2009 9
Protecting the Palace:
Nelson’s hidden treasure
The Courtyard Theatre,
Photo: Mark Price
The Trust’s Planning and
Architecture Adviser,
Mark Price, reports on the
temporary reprieve offered
to the Nelson Palace
10 AUTUMN 2009 Theatres Magazine
Nestled in the eastern part of the
Lancashire Dales lies the pretty town
of Nelson, a mill town named after the
famous Admiral Lord Nelson. The town
grew rapidly in the Victorian period in
response to the rapidly expanding cotton
industry. Like many Victorian theatres
the Nelson Palace was built to serve the
growing community bought about by the
industrial revolution.
The Palace was designed by the
architectural practice of Matthew,
Watson, Landless and Pearse that had
offices in both Liverpool and locally
in Burnley. The theatre opened on 13
December 1909 and had a seating
capacity of 1,730. It was renovated in
1926 and improvements were carried
out to the foyer in 1937. Unfortunately, in
1979 the whole building was scheduled
for demolition for the Scotland Road Link
Scheme: a new highway being promoted
by the Lancashire County Council. But
after consideration, the County felt that
it was only the foyer and entrance tower
that needed to be demolished, leaving
the auditorium and fly tower which still
stand today. The unassuming brick
elevations and rendered walls are very
visible as part of the streetscape as they
align with the two roads, concealing
the beauty of the theatre within, albeit a
somewhat faded beauty that is showing
the signs of neglect.
Nevertheless, The Theatres Trust’s
view is that the auditorium of the
theatre is architecturally and historically
significant. The interior, designed and
decorated by plasterwork specialists A R
Dean & Co, has slightly curved balconies
whose fronts divide into panels with
fine plasterwork cartouches. The upper
balcony directly abuts the sidewalls,
with the decorative treatment of the front
continuing along the walls as panels and
cartouches. The first balcony has short
slips running into the principal visual
feature of the auditorium: a single box
on each side set between giant ionic
columns supporting an open-topped
segmental pediment, all richly decorated.
It has a rectangular proscenium with an
enriched frame and a flat ceiling with
an enriched circular central panel and
plasterwork bolection mouldings.
The Theatres Trust has always been
aware of the architectural significance of
the Palace and included it on its Theatre
Building at Risk (TBAR) register in 2007.
At that time it was identified as being at
low risk. As far as we were aware it had a
good alternative ‘soft’ use and we had no
reason to believe that the bingo operator
was imminently looking to vacate and sell
the freehold. Furthermore, although the
level of the stalls floor has been altered
and a false ceiling inserted in the stage,
the auditorium and stage could easily be
restored to theatre or alternative uses. It
has a proscenium width of 9.75m (32ft)
and a good-sized fly tower with full back
stage facilities.
In August 2009 the Trust heard the
news that the Palace was threatened with
immediate demolition. Unfortunately, there
is no protection for theatres within the
planning system (or indeed any building
other than residential properties) from
demolition when they are not statutory
listed nor fall within conservation area,
and therefore there is no requirement
to consult the Trust on proposals for
The theatre had been included within
the Nelson Town Centre Masterplan and
demolition was proposed for a leisure
development opportunity on the site, and
in the short-term as a car park for the
Wavelengths swimming pool. The town
centre Masterplan was developed and
launched by Pendle Borough Council
in September 2006 to encourage
Nelson’s regeneration. It was proposed
that work would be carried out over a
three-year period to make access to the
town easier and improve its image. The
improvements would act as a catalyst
for additional private sector investment
and included the construction of the Arts,
Photo: Ian Grundy
Community and Enterprise Centre that
opened in June 2009 and has a 150-seat
studio theatre.
As The Theatres Trust had already
identified the Palace as architecturally
significant, we immediately put the
building forward for spot listing to English
Heritage, the only possible action at this
time. Within four days, and to its credit,
an Inspector from English Heritage visited
the theatre and made a recommendation
to the Secretary of State on whether
to list the building. Over 150 people
wrote to English Heritage in support of
the listing application and these were
forwarded to the Secretary of State.
Commendably, Pendle Borough Council
(PBC) also stated that they would not
demolish the building until the Secretary
of State had made a decision over
the listing, something that it had no
obligation to do. At the time of writing
we await the decision.
However, as there is no way of
knowing whether the Palace will be
statutory listed, and as listing does not
guarantee the protection of a building,
the Trust requested a meeting with
Pendle Borough Council to discuss
the situation. At the end of August,
a meeting of interested parties was
convened bringing together: Dr David
Wilmore of Theatresearch; David Eve
from the Plaza Stockport Trust; from
Pendle Borough, Stephen Barnes,
the Chief Executive; Brian Cookson,
Executive Director for Regeneration;
and Councillor Allan Buck with the
responsibility for Economic Development
and Tourism within the Borough; and
myself for The Theatres Trust.
We wanted the Borough to look
at options for the theatre – other than
immediate demolition. Speaking for
the Borough, Stephen Barnes had
not appreciated the importance of the
building and was happy to enter into
discussions surrounding possible uses
and ways forward to develop a Trust to
look after the theatre, but as far as they
were concerned that there was little
local support for the building. All agreed
that this was because few people had
been inside and there was no current
plan of action. In addition, the Council
pointed out that it did not have the funds
or capacity to operate and run another
historic building as part of its portfolio.
It was suggested that in order to move
forward, a short paper was required to
convince Council Members that theatres
of this nature (even if unlisted) can and
do attract funding and sustainable uses.
A paper will go to the PBC Executive
Committee in September 2009. This
report will summarise the significance of
the theatre, make a case for its retention,
and propose the establishment of a
Trust to take forward future proposals
for the building. The new Trust would
then undertake a feasibility and options
study to identify a productive future use
for the theatre, future ownership and
management arrangements.
Spot listing is often the only savour
of theatre buildings to prevent demolition
but the preservation of a theatre by
listing does not stop there. There needs
to be a sustainable end use, and users,
and certainly in the case of the Nelson
Palace, The Theatres Trust will continue
to explore all avenues and support those
who are fighting to secure the future of
one of Pendle’s theatrical gems.
Theatres Magazine AUTUMN 2009 11
Following the announcement
of its £3.5 million restoration
project Chief Executive, Philip
Bernays, provides a history of
the theatre and reveals their
plans for the future.
Theatre Royal,
Newcastle Upon Tyne
The majestic Theatre Royal in Newcastle
is often referred to as ‘the greatest
building on Britain’s greatest street’, and it
is undoubtedly one of the finest theatres
in the UK. Granted its Royal Licence by
King George III in 1788, it occupied a
modest site before being reconstructed
as the flagship building in Grainger and
Dobson’s famous city plan in 1837. Today,
its impressive colonnades still stand as
the crowning glory of Grey Street.
The interior is no less imposing. After
a fire tore through much of it in 1899, it
was treated to an entirely new auditorium
courtesy of the eminent theatre architect,
Frank Matcham. With its rococo panels,
opulent fabrics, and excellent sightlines, the
Theatre Royal’s 20th century interior came
to be as celebrated as its famous façade.
The Grade I listed theatre today is
both neo-classical monument and cultural
engine, with an annual audience of 337,000
and over 380 performances each year.
The third home of the Royal Shakespeare
Company, alongside Stratford-uponAvon and London, its programme is rich
and varied featuring world-class drama,
including National Theatre productions, an
Opera North season, and a rich array of
contemporary dance, musicals and comedy.
The survival of the Theatre Royal
depends on conscientious stewardship,
sensitive restoration, charitable support
and perhaps most significantly, continued
Photos: Ian Grundy
commercial success. With 91% of income
coming from ticket sales, consistently
supportive audiences are vital. In the
summer this year, a major £3.5 million
restoration project was launched. The aims
of this ambitious three-year scheme are
perfectly in line with the needs described
above - to conserve the building and
to create an improved theatre-going
experience for the public. A further aim is
to ensure the theatre is looking its very best
for its 175th birthday in 2012.
The conservation programme has
now begun, with a comprehensive survey
complete and some of the more timeconsuming restoration techniques (such as
paint analysis) well underway. The work will
also include a series of measures to protect
the external fabric of the building including
the famous portico that has been subject
to rainwater damage. In the auditorium new
seating will be installed at all levels, new
lighting and ventilation systems introduced
and major renovations will be made to all
fabrics, with new carpeting and paintwork
and reinstatement of extensive gold leaf
work present in the Victorian era.
As the theatre is an independent
charitable trust, a Heritage Fund has
been set up to enable members of the
public and businesses to contribute to
the refurbishment. A limited number of
patron packages are available, offering seat
dedications, invitations to exclusive patron
events and various other benefits. The
cost of every theatre ticket purchased also
includes a contribution to the fund.
The Theatre Royal is not only one of
the most impressive buildings in Britain, but
it is also a major monument of civic pride.
It has a place in the hearts and minds of
every person in the North East and also
many further afield. For this reason alone,
its restoration is of vital importance for our
present customers and also for the future
generations who will inherit this much-loved
theatre. We also know far more about the
famous theatre designer Frank Matcham
than ever before, and there has never been
a better time to re-instate some of the
magnificent features and details he intended.
For more information about the theatre and
its restoration visit
Theatres Magazine AUTUMN 2009 13
Hull’s new Truck
1 Foyer
2 Hull Truck theatre
3 Studio theatre
4 Dressing rooms
5 Workshop
6 Box office
7 Bar / Servery
14 AUTUMN 2009 Theatres Magazine
1 Foyer
2 Hull Truck theatre
3 Studio theatre
4 Dressing rooms
5 Workshop
6 Education
7 Bar / Servery
1 Administration offices
2 Gantries
3 Green room
4 Rehearsal room
5 Production and design
6 Directors
7 Terraces
8 Artwork
Hull Truck’s new purposebuilt home has received
critical acclaim. Creative
Director, John Godber,
reflects on the development
process and on getting his
own office after 25 years!
I think it’s perhaps best to admit from the
start that whilst I’m putting these thoughts
together about being involved with the
delivery, design and the running of the brand
new £15 million theatre for Hull Truck that
I am still more than a little bit in shock. It is
not so much the fact that the theatre has
been built, more or less on budget, nor the
fact that it has been received with great
warmth and praise, nor that the main 440seat auditorium has large comfortable seats,
nor even that the studio is likeable and
adaptable but essentially a theatre space at
135 seats; but perhaps because I actually
have an office; for the first time in the twenty
five years I have been associated with the
Granted I share this new prize with the
Company’s Artistic Director Gareth Price,
but I have my own desk now and my new
title Creative Director above the door. Well it
was above the door, but it fell off last week!
I have a phone and a computer. It’s like all
my birthdays have come at once. One might
ponder what to do with a new theatre I’m
wondering what to do with my new office.
Up until now I had been working from
various offices at home or from a lap top in
the foyer or green room; or variously from a
caravan or my car, or other theatre’s I have
visited over time on tour… but an office?
So if this article is full of ramblings and
Photo: Ian Grundy
euphoria it’s probably because the dizzying
reality that I have somewhere to go in the
theatre to call my own for the first time in
a quarter of a century hasn’t quiet sunk
in; I still find myself sat in the bar with my
computer primed; what was it that David
Mamet said about writing in restaurants…
I think the actual reality of having an
office built especially must have been lost
on me over the last eight years, and maybe
it’s easy to see why when you consider
the gestation period of the project and
the plethora of meetings, consultations
and discussions which were initially about
spaces and theatres and structure and rig
heights and sight lines and workshops and
dressing rooms, rehearsals rooms, youth
theatre spaces, foyer ergonomics, roof
terraces and the all important green room
and its location and facilities, to mention just
a few topics we debated over.
Later on I was surprised when the
discussion took on a more domestic hue;
variously about flatbread, soup and toilet tile
colours. Indeed the more the theatre became
a reality the more the detailed discussion was
not about the core reason for being involved;
it was about those all important ancillary
activities which have proved to be so much
a part of our theatre going experience.
There were times I can tell you when I
thought I was working for Ikea. For what
felt like years we seemed to be caught up
in a discussion about anything but theatre.
Maybe its function, role and purpose was a
given but for a while it did seem strange.
I’m not sure it ever struck anyone that
this was not the reason that I became
involved with the theatre world but I was
happy to put my point forward when asked
what colour worktops might be best in
the wardrobe department. Indeed I may
be speaking for the whole production
department, the artistic team and the
management staff when I make this point,
because all of them had ownership of the
project, and all of us seemed happy to sit
for hours discussing the nature of the bar
stool. Of course after the bar stool we had
to consider the various tables for use in
the upper foyer and thereafter the colour of
the sofas. Again we all threw ourselves into
these discussions with a verve and passion
that would have made even Terence Conran
Theatres Magazine AUTUMN 2009 15
jealous. It was another example of theatre
professionals possessing transferable skills.
If ever Hull Truck was to come off the road
I am sure that we could all get jobs with as
interior designers.
I suppose, joking apart, that we were
blessed with a team of architects –Wright
and Wright of Camden - who encouraged
discussion and involvement and who
very much wanted us to feel ownership
of the project as the “client”. They were
right to do this of course. We have a
reputation as both a home base theatre
and a touring theatre company. Over time
we have perhaps toured to every venue
in the country though I suspect like many
other theatre professionals we had hardly
stopped for a moment to think of ourselves
as experts in the world of building theatres.
We were too busy making theatres work.
I do wonder though whether or not the
manner of these projects doesn’t place the
client in an odd position at times. Though
it could be argued that it was our money
we were spending; i.e. essentially public,
as a theatre outfit we were not geared up
to deal with such large figures. Indeed
up until the project came online, if we
made a mistake, with a bad production or
serving a poor pint or a casting error, the
consequences were relatively minor. Now
we were somewhat all equally responsible
for building a large theatre that couldn’t be
hidden, right in the middle of the city where
most of us have chosen to live. You could
almost feel the weight of responsibility
at times. Of course, we had project
managers and consultants, but the truth
was they didn’t know how “this” theatre
was going to work - nobody did, and that’s
what became clear after a while; theatre
projects are so unique that experience on
a previous project is almost meaningless.
Like the act of making theatre, when you
build a theatre sometimes you’re not quite
sure where you are going since every one
is different, and what may work for one
client may be anathema to another. That’s
not to disrespect either the consultants,
nor the project manager by the way, all
involved were sensitive, communicative
and supportive, but in my view we were all
moving towards a no man’s land that we
couldn’t actually be sure of; it was as you
might imagine exciting and frightening in
equal measure.
As I reflect, now it’s clearer for me to
see that it was very wise of Wright and
Wright to actively encourage everyone
on the staff to become involved with the
move and to express a view about their
department and the brave new world they
16 AUTUMN 2009 Theatres Magazine
Photo: Hull Truck
would be entering. I certainly feel that they
have a relationship with the building which
is deep and personal; in short they care; it’s
an essential ingredient for making anything
work, no less the case for a new theatre.
It is also interesting how you can quickly
forgive the past. Those eight years wrestling
with the project, the short falls in funding; the
contractors delays; the slippage; whatever
that means and sundry other building speak
parlance are forgotten and forgiven with the
first full house. And since I’m in reflective
mood it also seems that the building of a
new theatre plays in directly the opposite
direction to what my impulse to make theatre
is - you have an idea - you find a space - you
put the show on!
For me theatre is about the “now”, it’s
not about what will happen in eight years
time when the building is open. I wanted
it to be open already, maybe I had been
waiting too long, and maybe we had been
promised much before. Maybe I thought
that they just would never build it?
But they/we did and there it is; and
I have to admit that I do get a ripple
of excitement when I see the theatre
standing proudly on Hull’s Ferensway, a
city centre site beside the new Albermarle
Music Centre, the new Holiday Inn and St
Stephen’s the new £250 million shopping
complex; a mere eighty yards from the bus
station and the railway station.
Yes you could get a train to Hull, stay at
the Holiday Inn, eat in the theatre take in a
play at Hull Truck, shop till you drop, and be
Photo: Ian Grundy
on the next train again the next morning. It’s
almost as if it’s all been designed; and did I
mention the extensive parking in the car park
nearby, with a nominal charge of one pound
after four o’clock should you wish to drive?
Who would have ever thought that
Hull would have such facilities working in
harmony? There were times when I had
doubts that a single brick would ever be laid,
how easy it is now to dismiss those worries
as merely phantom, but after a twenty five
year struggle the shock of the new is still
very much with me.
Of course, anyone in this position would
be biased, it would be crazy not to admit
to that, but like a new Dad I catch myself
telling people that Hull Truck have delivered
a new theatre in the centre of Hull; currently
the greenest theatre in Europe at a snip of a
price; less than many overspends and that
we boast a Youth Theatre 320 strong, a new
writing policy, a purpose-built educational
suite - Interact - an in-house rehearsal room,
three roof terraces, state of the art dressing
rooms, meetings spaces, good bar stools,
comfortable sofas, iconic design and very
good food on offer - don’t believe me, try the
soup!...and she’s only three months old.
So buoyed by the new arrival I informed
Alan Plater of this when he came to see his
tribute to Hull City A.F.C., Confessions of a
City Supporter. I even went further explaining
how delighted I was that the theatre was
complete; that it didn’t look like an excuse of
a building, that it looked robust and muscular
just as we’d wanted in those discussions a
millions years ago, so effusive was I that I
mentioned that it would be in Hull forever
and that they would have to bomb it to get
rid of it. Alan dryly remarked that it wouldn’t
be the first time they’d done that to Hull; so
I’d not to hold my breath! And then he said
“Maybe they wouldn’t have ever built the
theatre if you hadn’t come to Hull twenty
five years ago?”
And do you know what: that that may
be the biggest shock of all.
The new Hull Truck Theatre opened on
April 23rd 2009 as planned with a new
play with music; Funny Turns, which
John Godber wrote to accommodate six
professional actors and a youth theatre
ensemble of 16.
Theatres Magazine AUTUMN 2009 17
From left to right: The new Greenock Arts Guild
Hoxton Hall Photo: Ian Grundy
Neptune Theatre, Liverpool Photo: Ian Grundy
Theatres Round-up
News on theatres
and theatre projects
from around
the country
Demolitions and new designs for
Despite a strong local campaign
to save the Doncaster Odeon,
permission was granted for its
demolition in July. The local authority
planning committee voted five
to three in favour of a scheme
submitted by Lazarus Properties that
will see the cinema torn down and
replaced with a four-storey, mixeduse leisure and retail complex. The
Theatres Trust voiced its objection
to planning and conservation area
consent applications, arguing that
the building had particular merit as
a ‘building of its time’ and could
easily be repaired and preserved
as part of the street scene. News
of the decision came as a blow to
the Friends of Doncaster Odeon
campaign group who had tried
unsuccessfully to have the building
listed. A Facebook group set up
online to fight the redevelopment
plans had also attracted nearly
2,000 members.
Meanwhile, proposals for a new
arts centre in the town have moved a
step closer after a £300 million civic
and cultural quarter development
was given the go ahead. Doncaster
Metropolitan Borough Council has
now signed a contract with Muse
Developments so allowing work to
begin on the major redevelopment
scheme to transform the centre of
the town. The current scheme will
see the creation of a new theatre and
arts centre designed by architects
RHWL. Initial plans provide for a
600-seat main auditorium, together
with an adaptable studio space,
and drama and dance studios. It
is hoped that the building will be
completed by 2012.
18 AUTUMN 2009 Theatres Magazine
Glasgow Coliseum demolished
Following the disastrous fire that
engulfed the Glasgow Coliseum
in May, what remained of the
Frank Matcham designed theatre
was quickly demolished. Although
inspectors had deemed the building
to be unsafe, supporters of the
theatre expressed disappointment
about the speed at which the
decision was taken. Dr Gordon Barr,
of the project
said, “We feel demolition was very
quickly being talked about as the
only option. We would have liked
to have seen a decent investigation
taking place into the option of
retaining the foyer block and tower
at least.” It is not known what will
happen as far as the redevelopment
of the site is concerned at this time.
The Guild has now settled on a
site on the waterfront in Greenock,
alongside to the Customs House,
the area now being referred to the
harbours. In finalising plans, the
location of the new building has
been rotated through 90 degrees
and moved in a northerly direction
so that it will be situated closer to
the river. The Guild’s new home
is being supported by a grant of
£2.7 million from Scottish Arts
Council and £2.5 million from
Inverclyde Council. The new facility
will provide a 500-seat main
auditorium, 130-seat studio space,
together with a multi-purpose
rehearsal room, conference room,
and waterfront café/bar and bistro.
It is anticipated that construction
work will commence early in 2010.
The Greek theatre at Bradfield
We are grateful to Peter Ruthven
Hall for alerting us to an incorrect
report in the last issue of Theatres
Magazine concerning the demolition
of the Greek theatre at Bradfield
College. Despite our earlier report,
the demolition has extended only to
the wooden temple building, which
was rotten and posed a health and
safety issue. The theatre itself –
the tiered seating and the ‘sacred
grove’ are in adequate condition
and have been retained and there
are plans to return it to its original
state in the future.
Scotland’s thematic study of
Following a thematic study
undertaken by Historic Scotland,
into which The Theatres Trust fed
its views, a number of theatres
are being recommended for either
listing or re-grading. New listings are
being proposed in respect of Haddo
House Hall in Aberdeen at Category
B, and Abroath’s Webster Theatre,
the Brigend Theatre in Dumfries
and the ABC Cinema in Sauchiehall
Street, Glasgow, all at Category
C(S). Two theatres have also
been proposed for re-grading from
Category B to A – Dundee’s Caird
Hall and Glasgow’s Pavilion Theatre.
Greenock plans move a step closer
The redevelopment of Inverclyde’s
theatre and arts centre - the
Greenock Arts Guild - moved a
step closer at the end of June
when their planning application was
submitted to the local authority.
The latest from Derby Hippodrome
As The Theatres Trust continues
to press for a long-term strategy
for the conservation and future
use of Derby Hippodrome, the
partially demolished theatre once
again featured on the Trust’s Top
Ten Theatre Buildings at Risk
(TBAR) register. Meanwhile, a trial
date has now been fixed for 22
February 2010 at Derby Crown
Court after the two defendants,
owner Christopher Anthony and
demolition contractor, Mr Watson,
formally entered not guilty pleas at
the committal hearing in June. The
trial is estimated to last two weeks.
Edinburgh Odeon wins reprieve
Plans to demolish the former
Odeon Cinema in Clerk Street,
Edinburgh have been halted
temporarily following the decision
by the Scottish Government to
‘call-in’ the listed building consent
application. The resultant public
inquiry will now decide the future
of the Grade B listed cinema. Local
councillors agreed the plans for a
boutique hotel, bar-restaurant and
art gallery after just one hearing,
despite protests from Historic
Scotland. Under existing proposals,
only the Art Deco façade of the
would be retained as part of the
£20 million redevelopment scheme.
Theatres in the round, a non-profit
website designed as a showcase
of the commercial company’s virtual
tour photography, has captured
a number of the North East’s
theatres using their high definition
photography system. Performing
arts venues currently available to
view online are the Theatre Royal
and the Tyne Theatre in Newcastle
Upon Tyne, The Sage in Gateshead
and The Customs House in South
Shields. Visit for
further information and click on the
’Music Venues & Theatres’ link.
Live Nation theatres for sale
News that Live Nation is looking
to sell its UK theatres is of
particular interest to The Theatres
Trust as it is the freeholder of
London’s Lyceum Theatre. The live
entertainment group, which sold its
US theatres back in 2007 in a $90
million deal is seeking bids for its
portfolio of 17 UK venues.
Stanford Hall plans under threat
Chek Whyte, owner of Stanford
Hall, is fighting bankruptcy after
amassing debts estimated at
£30 million. Having fallen victim
to the ‘credit crunch’ and the fall
in property values, his financial
problems are likely to threaten the
redevelopment and restoration
of the Grade II* Stanford Hall in
Leicestershire. The Theatres Trust
had previously supported a scheme
that would have protected the future
use of the theatre within the Hall.
Liverpool’s Neptune may reopen
Liverpool’s Neptune Theatre, which
has been closed for over four
years after a long-running dispute
between the city council and the
building’s owners, Hanover Estate
Management, has been resolved.
The owners of the theatre put
the annual rent up in 2005 from
£6,000 to £60,000, forcing the
closure of the venue. The Grade II
listed Neptune on Hanover Street
in the city centre opened as a
concert hall, Crane Hall, in 1911
but was soon brought into regular
theatre use. It is expected that the
theatre will undergo a programme
of refurbishment with the hope of
it reopening in summer 2010. The
local authority is now seeking an
external partner to run the theatre.
information contact Tony Layton, 12
Loampit Hill, London, SE13 7SW,
telephone (020) 8691 6361, or
email [email protected]
Hoxton Hall celebrates its 99th
London’s Hoxton Hall celebrated
the 99th anniversary of the laying of
the foundation stone of the Quaker
funded extension and “Mission
Centre” on 18 June. The guest
of honor was Allan Noel–Baker
whose forebears laid the foundation
stone of the extension. Anthony
Burton gave a fascinating speech
summarising the history of the
Hall and the Quaker involvement. Hayley White, Hoxton Hall
Director, spoke of the exciting new
developments that had taken place
recently, including the securing over
£1 million from the National Lotterybacked ‘My Place’ scheme to
continue to develop the buildings.
Live theatre returns to the Alhambra
Following its re-opening in 2008
as a music and entertainment
venue, live theatre is to return to
Dunfermline Alhambra in October
2009 when the National Theatre
of Scotland present Fredrica
Garcia Lorca’s The House of
Bernarda Alba. Simon Fletcher, the
theatre’s manager, said: “It was
always the aim of the Alhambra
Trust to bring live theatre back to
the venue and there is no better
way of doing this than with the
NTS. We are delighted.”
Frank Matcham Society seminar
The Frank Matcham Society, in
conjunction with the Ambassador
Theatre Group, is holding a
one-day seminar at Richmond
Theatre on Friday 23 October
2009. Victorian and Edwardian
Theatre: The Matcham Legacy,
will be chaired by former Theatres
Trust Director, John Earl, and topics
covered will include, Matcham’s
experience in restoration and
improvement of theatres, an
illustrated review of decoration and
furnishings of the period, a Matcham
theatre at work in the 21st century,
and an actors appreciation of period
theatres special qualities. There will
also be a chance to see Richmond
Theatre’s Matcham Room. For further
Dunfermline Opera House DVD
After much delay, the documentary
DVD about the demolition and
resurrection of the Dunfermline
Opera House, as mentioned in the
Winter 2008 issue of Theatres
Magazine, is now available to buy
from Talisman Films. Dunfermline
Opera House – From Fife to
Florida began life as a stills
photography project but was
expanded into a film containing
comments from many notable local
personalities and contains the only
moving image of the Opera House
being demolished. It charts the
history of the theatre, which was
torn down to make way for the
Kingsgate Centre and bus station
in 1982 before being ‘cut up’,
saved and stored and eventually
shipped to the USA, where it was
rebuilt in Sarasota, Florida. The
DVD is available to buy online at
Rosehill celebrates 50 years
Whitehaven’s Rosehill Theatre
celebrated its half-century at the
beginning of September with
a series of Hungarian-themed
events. The Rosehill was the
creation of Sir Nicholas Sekers,
who emigrated from Hungary
(hence the themed celebrations) in
1937 and opened a silk mill in the
Cumbrian town. He engaged one
of the leading theatrical designers
of the day, Oliver Messel, to
produce a design for a theatre
interior in a converted barn in the
grounds of his home at Rosehill.
Today, the theatre retains its
original atmosphere, acclaimed
at its opening as a, “rose-red silk
lined jewel box”.
Wallsend Borough listing request
Acting on the advice of English
Heritage, the Secretary of State
has turned down a Theatres Trust
request to list the Borough Theatre
in Wallsend. The Trust had been
concerned about the threat faced
by the theatre and had included
it on its Theatre Buildings at Risk
(TBAR) register. After bingo use
ceased its owners placed it on the
property market as a ‘development
opportunity’. In rejecting the
Borough for listing English
Heritage argued that the theatre
had suffered from significant levels
of external alteration which have
severely compromised its original
design, and were also unconvinced
by the quality of its interior.
For regularly updated information
on theatres visit the news section of
our website.
Theatres Magazine AUTUMN 2009 19
From left to right: Key Theatre, Peterborough Photo: Ian Grundy
former Old Nick Gainsborough Photo: Ian Grundy
The new Maltings Arts Centre
Current Casework
Update on
current theatre
planning cases
Fortune Theatre, Bristol
Bristol City Council
Unlisted (in Conservation Area)
Ref: 09/01154/FB and 09/01155/LC
DECISION: Conditional Approval
The Trust initially objected to planning
and conservation area consent
applications to erect a replacement
theatre at Bristol Cathedral Choir
School on the basis that limited
information was submitted regarding
the proposed replacement theatre.
Following receipt of revised plans,
the Trust was happy to support
the application, in principle. The
proposed new facility, replacing the
original theatre that was housed
in a converted garage seating just
100, and with limited facilities,
will provide a 220-seat multi-use
drama and dance studio. The Trust
recommended that the applicants
undertake an independent peer
review exercise regarding the
internal technical design and spatial
configuration of the scheme and
offered to attend a Design User
Group meeting.
compromised both as a functioning
auditorium, and architecturally, by
a succession of alterations over
the years. Despite welcoming the
proposals, the Trust’s view is that
there are areas that will need further
attention and revision that it hopes
will form part of a later phase. There
are also some concerns about the
limited get-in, however with the
current configuration of the theatre
and its listed status it is considered
something that cannot be improved.
Adelphi Theatre, London
London City of Westminster
Listed Grade II*
Ref: 09/02373/LBC
The Trust has supported a listed
building consent application to
redecorate the auditorium at the
Adelphi Theatre. The works will,
in the Trust’s view, improve the
appearance of the auditorium and
are de minimis in nature, as they will
replicate the existing colour scheme
within the theatre.
Paxton Suite, Buxton
High Peak Borough Council
Listed Grade II*
Ref: 2009/0264
DECISION: Approved
Maltings Arts Centre, Dorchester
West Dorset District Council
Listed Grade II
Ref: 09/000283
The Trust has supported a listed
building consent application that
will see the Paxton Suite in Buxton’s
Pavilion Gardens transformed into a
new performance venue to be known
as the Pavilion Arts Centre. A 100seat studio theatre is to be created
within the existing stage area and
the existing auditorium refurbished.
The Paxton Suite has been
The Trust gave its principled support
to an application for alterations and
extensions to the former Eldridge
Pope’s Brewery to create a new
arts centre. The application provides
for revisions to an earlier scheme
that was approved previously. The
Trust supported the concept of a
450-seat theatre, particularly as
there has been a business planning
20 AUTUMN 2009 Theatres Magazine
exercise (effectively a Needs and
Impact Assessment) carried out by
the applicants, which established
that there was demand for a medium
scale repertory theatre in the town.
In terms of external design the fly
tower has been carefully considered
and the design concept does not,
in the Trust’s view, adversely harm
the character of the Maltings or the
appearance of the surrounding area.
Old Nick Theatre, Gainsborough
West Lindsey District Council
Listed Grade II
Refs: 123836 and 123835
The Trust has supported planning
and listed building consent
applications to refurbish and
extend this venue, housed in a
converted Victorian courtroom in the
Lincolnshire town of Gainsborough.
Under current proposals, a creative
business centre is to be incorporated
within a new building to the rear of
the site. The Trust’s decision has
been informed by its understanding
that the theatre company’s overall
strategy is to enliven the area and
engage with the larger cultural
audience that exists in and around
the county. Together the alterations
and additions proposed should
provide a sustainable business
model for the venue.
Royal Hall, Harrogate
Harrogate Borough Council
Listed Grade II*
Ref: 09/02036/SOSLB
DECISION: Approved
The Trust has given its principled
supported a listed building
application to install handrails to the
internal stairs at Harrogate’s Royal
Hall. The plans were accompanied
by a Planning and Access
Statement which stated that ‘the
special character of the building will
be unaffected by his proposal’, and
from the Trust’s interpretation of the
plans the work would appear to be
lightweight and reversible in nature
and therefore agrees that they will
not adversely harm the special
architectural interest or character of
the listed building.
Barbican Theatre, London
Corporation of London
Listed Grade
Ref: 09/00253/LBC
DECISION: Approved
The Trust has supported a listed
building consent application for
the removal of existing windlass
systems from the theatre’s grid
area. The application provides for
the retention of one windlass so
as to allow the theatre to function
effectively whilst also preserving
the historic technical interest of the
listed building.
Almeida Theatre, London
London Borough of Islington
Listed Grade II
Ref: P090774
After initially objecting to a planning
application to demolish the former
Royal Mail sorting office and
redevelop land to the rear of the
Almeida Theatre, the submission of
more detailed plans together with
discussions with representatives
from the theatre encouraged the
Trust revise its position and offer its
support to the scheme. The mixed
use retail/residential redevelopment
plans now also provide for additional
accommodation for the Almeida,
so allowing the theatre’s operation
to be housed on one purpose-built
‘campus’. The Trust did, however,
recommend that a Construction
Management Plan be submitted
as part of the planning application
in consultation with the theatre
management, which should address
issues of noise and vibration around
the theatre during construction.
New Westminster Theatre, London
London City of Westminster
Ref: 09/00996/FULL
DECISION: Approved (Subject to
S106 agreement)
The Theatres Trust has supported a
planning application for alterations to
an earlier approved scheme in respect
of the new Westminster Theatre.
The new scheme requires the
existing terraced roof level extensions
(currently under construction) to be
reconfigured providing 36 residential
units in total, as well as some
redesign of the external cladding.
In terms of the theatre’s internal
integral design, this has been carefully
redesigned. The applicants have also
agreed to secure an occupier for the
theatre who has experience in running
arts venues, and the lease for the
theatre will be signed and attached
to the Section 106 Agreement. The
Trust was concerned, however, that
the plans did not adequately show
the proposed signage – both the
large letter ‘THEATRE’ signage and
the necessary advertising panels
and fascias are at the lower levels.
The building has also been designed
without a canopy and for clarity it was
suggested that these elements be a
requirement to any consent.
Apollo Victoria, London
London City of Westminster
Listed Grade II*
Ref: 09/03893/LBC
DECISION: Approved
The Trust has supported a listed
building consent application for
the display of 11 non-illuminated
show display boards and three
internally illuminated signs at
ground level at the Apollo Victoria.
The light boxes proposed are to
be slender in section, and as they
will be located at low street level
they will not adversely harm the
character of the listed building or
the surrounding streetscape. The
design concept also follows advice
and positions endorsed within the
City of Westminster’s Theatreland
Lighting and Signage informal guide
published in November 2008 and
recent precedents on other West
End theatres.
London Hippodrome
London City of Westminster
Listed Grade II
Ref: 09/00372/ADLBC
DECISION: Approved
The Trust has supported a listed
building consent application
for the strip-out of the London
Hippodrome auditorium prior to
the commencement of demolition
works in respect of the earlier
consent granted for casino use.
The application was accompanied
by a detailed schedule of work
and plans indicating the full extent
of demolition. All of the works
proposed relate to the removal of
later additions to the venue that
have no special interest, and are in
preparation for the conversion for
casino use and the restoration of
the theatre auditorium.
for the installation of ventilation
extracts in the studio extension at
the Key Theatre. In the absence
of clear plans and supplementary
information regarding the
installations it was suggested that
the Council request revised plans
and more detailed statements from
the applicant.
Pegasus Theatre, Oxford
Oxford City Council
Ref: 09/00880/FUL
DECISION: Approved
King’s Theatre, Southsea
Portsmouth City Council
Listed Grade II*
Ref: 09/00654/FUL
DECISION: Conditional Approval
The Trust has supported a planning
application relating to the installation
of photovoltaic panels to the
pitched roof elements of the theatre.
The benefits of solar electricity
are obvious: it will help save the
theatre money, with electrical
energy produced is either used
directly in the building or sold back
to the electricity supplier, as well
as enabling the theatre to reduce
its carbon footprint. The additional
benefit of installing photovoltaic
panels is that they generate
electricity using daylight as opposed
to direct sunlight, so producing
energy on cloudy or overcast days.
The Trust has supported an
application for the formation of
a surface car park for public use
(after demolition of existing garages)
in Exmouth Road, Southsea. The
King’s draws its audience from wide
area and the Trust is conscious
of the conflicting interests of ‘out
of town’ theatre visitors requiring
parking places and those of local
residents, whose roads become
congested. As the theatre expands
its programme this scheme should
address previous difficulties.
Key Theatre, Peterborough
Peterborough City Council
Listed Grade II
Ref: 09/00322/FUL
DECISION: Approved
Whilst the Trust would have
expected there to be a report
showing that the efficiency of the
proposed units and equipment, it
nevertheless offered its principled
support for a planning application
Parr Hall, Warrington
Warrington Borough Council
Listed Grade II
Ref: 2009/14386
DECISION: Conditional Approval
The Trust has supported a listed
building consent application to
upgrade, refurbish and renew
technical installations within
the auditorium and roof space
at Warrington’s Parr Hall. The
works will improve the technical
facilities and provide better safety
conditions for users.
Theatres Magazine AUTUMN 2009 21
Reading Matter
Reviews of recent
publications on
Theatreland: A Journey Through the
Heart of London’s Theatre
Paul Ibell
£25.00 Continuum Books
Hardback, 240pp
ISBN 9781847250032
If theatre reflects everyday life then
Paul Ibell has certainly made an
exhaustive study of that area of
London we call Theatreland, and of
those who work and play there.
This remarkable book provides
a series of snapshots of such
a wide variety of activities and
people that it has to be read to
be fully appreciated. This brief
review can only give a flavour of
the disparate information that Paul
Ibell covers, some of which is also
to be found in the regular columns
of the theatre sections of the
press. His chapter on “audience”
reflects upon their behaviour, good
and bad, and he advances the
interesting view that the increase
in standing ovations is because
people want to stand up as a
result of the cramped legroom in
many theatres.
The book contains
information about the major
organisations which support
the theatre, like the SOLT (The
Society of London Theatre) and
The Theatres Trust, as well as
looking at the way that theatre
supports the economic well being
of the local community, particularly
the restaurants and bars.
There are many minibiographies of performers,
playwrights, and administrators,
either as independent chapters
or contained within a review of a
particular theatre or organisation.
22 AUTUMN 2009 Theatres Magazine
It is not surprising that Paul
Ibell also includes comment
upon the poverty of many of the
dressing rooms in the capital’s
theatres and the shortage of
women playwrights, a criticism he
counter balances by welcoming
the significant increase in
the number of female theatre
administrators and theatre
publicists. These are all interesting
and useful contributions.
As far as promoting an
interest in theatre is concerned,
the author comments upon the
recent history of the Theatre
Museum and also draws attention
to the Mander and Mitchenson
collection, which is housed at
Greenwich University. In both of
these major collections there are
significant numbers of theatre
programmes, which he points out,
are an important social record.
If I have any small niggles
about this book it is the lack of
firm information on the theatres
themselves. We are not told, for
example, that the Prince of Wales
Theatre was a total rebuild, and he
makes no connection between “The
New” and “The Coward” although
this singular theatre, renamed, is
mentioned on successive pages.
The most glaring mis-statement
is that Andrew Lloyd Webber
“purchased” the Lyceum before its
reopening in 1996 – but he has not
done so – yet!
Nevertheless, this is a very
readable volume, part history,
part criticism, part biography, and
part explanation of the existing
situation and with a few pointers
to the future.
Piers of Sussex
Martin Easdown
£12.99 The History Press
Paperback 160pp
ISBN 9780752448848
It is with the greatest pleasure
that I am reviewing this book
by Martin Easdown. Having
grown up in Worthing, these
structures provide me with
many fond childhood memories.
As with Martin’s other books
on piers, it is meticulously
illustrated with a combination
of old photographs, postcards
and examples of posters and
programmes. Together with text,
the book provides an interesting
insight into each individual pier
within the County of Sussex,
and a chronological history of
the alterations that have been
undertaken over the years as well
as a host of curiosities about
the people that were involved or
enjoyed these seaside pleasure
structures. The book also gives
examples of all the pier crazes
and entertainments associated
with such structures. Some are
obvious such as tea dances, rollerskating, parading, diving, Punch
and Judy shows, angling, bowling,
and concerts. But some of the
more obscure include a rifle range
at Eastbourne; an exhibition of
embroidery by the Royal National
School of Needlework featuring
twenty-seven panels of English
history since 1066, housed in
the purpose built ‘Triodome’ at
Hastings; and at St Leonards,
performing fleas where there was
even a funeral laid on and the flea
cast into the sea!
With my Theatres Trust hat on,
it is interesting to note that many
of the piers illustrated in the book
include pier theatres, and the old
photographs included show what
these opulent theatres used to look
like. Sadly, almost all of them are
now lost or in other uses. Of course
my favourite is Worthing Pier. Partly
because I spent my early years
running up and down it and in later
years clubbing and courting, but
also because of its architecture.
Worthing is essentially 20th century
with the Pier Pavilion being added in
1926 and the rest of the pier dating
from the 1930s. I have always
admired the ‘Jazz’ style appearance
of the later seaward structures,
which are funky and well maintained,
enlivening Worthing’s Edwardian
seafront architecture.
Eastbourne Pier, however, to
my mind is the most architecturally
significant as a survivor of what
these Victorian pleasure piers
looked like, particularly now that
others have been altered or
destroyed. Eastbourne was in fact
upgraded recently and given a
Grade II* statutory listing to reflect
this importance. Certainly it is the
most complete Victorian example
with its seats, windbreaks, kiosks,
lights and enriched architectural
seaside paraphernalia you would
expect for a pier of this date. It
also had a pier theatre dating from
1901 and a music room/dance floor
added in 1925.
However, one pier I was
not aware of was the Brighton &
Rottingdean Seashore Electric
Railway – known as the ‘Daddylong-legs’. This bizarre structure
had pier landing stages at Brighton
and Rottingdean and a platform car
(on long metal legs), known as the
‘Pioneer’, which was powered by
electricity and ran on railway tracks
between the two stages through
the sea. I am not going to dwell
on the Brighton piers as I was too
young to ever experience the finest
pier in the UK, the West Pier, now
sadly destroyed, and the much
altered Palace Pier that lost its fine
1500-seat oriental-style theatre
in the early 1980s. Other piers
featured in the book include those
at Littlehampton amd Bognor Regis
together with the Brighton Royal
Chain, the Selsey Lifeboat Pier and
piers that never were.
Piers of Sussex is available online
Coventry Picture Palaces
Gil Robottom
£14.50 Mercia Cinema Society
Paperback, 188pp
ISBN 9780946406647
This book, the result of its author’s
life time interest in the cinema in
his native Coventry, begins with the
surmise that “moving pictures” were
probably first shown in Coventry
as part of a variety programme at
the Sydenham Palace Music Hall in
1896. His researches then account
for the conversion of an auction
room as the Star Cinema in 1910,
the development of five purpose
built cinemas in 1911 and the
arrival of three “super cinemas” in
the 1930s.The devastating effects
of the air raids on Coventry during
the Second World War included
the destruction of three cinemas
and severe damage to a number of
others. Much credit in this volume
is also given to a number of local
men who invested in and developed
cinemas before the arrival of the
likes of the ABC and Odeon chains.
As is usual with this society’s
publications, much diligent search
has provided a wealth of illustration
from local sources and private
collections. A gazetteer lists more
than thirty cinemas in the city at one
time or another. Also listed, with
technical details, are Coventry’s
dozen or more cinema organs.
Sadly Gil Robottom, the author
of this comprehensive work, died
before it was ready for publication.
However, the addition of an
afterpiece by Ian Meyrick brings
the story up to date and the book,
designed, edited and indexed by
Mervyn Gould in exemplary fashion,
will remain a lasting memorial to one
man’s dedication.
Coventry Picture Palaces is
available (£14.50 p+p free) from:
Mercia Sales, 23 Thrice Fold,
Cote Farm, Thackley, Bradford,
BD10 8WW, or online at
Cinemas of North Tyneside
Frank Manders
£12.95 Mercia Cinema Society
Paperback 140pp
ISBN 9780946406654
It is always a delight to read the
work of Frank Manders – his wellresearched books have become
standard texts for the cinemas of
the North East. This new offering
is no exception with plenty for both
cinema and theatre lovers alike.
I was particularly interested
to see a significant entry for the
Borough Theatre in Wallsend –
currently under threat – unoccupied
and unlisted and unfortunately
turned down for listing by English
Heritage at the end of August,
so depriving the theatre of
the protection that it so richly
deserves. Not only does
it contain one of the best
decorative sunburners that
I’ve ever seen, it clearly has an
architectural pedigree obtained
from the North East architectural
practice of Hope and Maxwell.
Given their prodigious output it
is sad to report that only their
Swansea Grand remains. The
Borough Theatre is by their
architectural pupils J. Fleming
Davidson and Charles D. James
The book takes the form
of a gazetteer, charting the rise
and fall of cinema dynasties. It is
both an architectural and social
record of an almost forgotten
time when entertainment was
the primary focus of our leisure
time. The photographs also
include images of the Spanish
City, Whitley Bay – currently
under partial restoration,
as well as the Whitley Bay
Playhouse (before its current
reconstruction). The book is
also a salutary tale of loss. I first
came to the North East in 1975
and 34 years later this book
serves as a stark and personal
reminder of the losses that have
been incurred. Nevertheless, life
would be much poorer without
this book – and I heartily
recommend it to one and all.
Cinemas of North Tyneside is
available (£12.95 + £1.20 p+p)
from: Mercia Sales, 23 Thrice
Fold, Cote Farm, Thackley,
Bradford, BD10 8WW, or online
Theatres Magazine AUTUMN 2009 23
Friends &
New Friends
The absence of this column from
the last couple of issues means
that we must belated welcome
a long list of new Friends, as
well as offering our apologies for
the delayed acknowledgement.
We are pleased to welcome the
following individual Friends: Eric
Mountain, Keith Hutton, Colin
Winslow, Simon Hardy, Rev.
Simon Grigg, Fiona Blackett,
Andrea Bennett, Alan Rennie,
Richard King, Mitchel Lewis, Ian
Johnson, Stanley Smithson, Brian
Loudon, Dr Andrew Filmer, Rick
Bond, Liz Wilson, John E Clarke,
Simon Erridge, John Murphy,
Martin Moore, Roxy Daniells,
Caroline Noteboom, Richard Bunn,
David Fearns, Gillian Shaw, Gayle
Jeffery and Keith Evans. We would
also like to welcome as new Life
Friends Tom Healey and Gillian
McCutcheon, and extend our
thanks to the Octagon Theatre,
Bolton, Arup NY, and the Everyman
Theatre, Cheltenham who have
joined us as Corporate Supporters.
Trust news
Two Trustees retire
The Trust has lost two long-serving
Trustees following the retirement
of Dr Phyllis Starkey MP and Pat
Thomas OBE. Both Phyllis and
Pat joined the board of Trustees in
2000 and had served the maximum
three terms of office allowed by the
DCMS. The Chairman, Director and
fellow Trustees are grateful for the
dedication and commitment, as well
as invaluable expertise, they have
provided over the last nine years. The
Trust is now three Trustees short of
its full complement of 15, although all
three vacant posts have recently been
advertised. Under current timetabling
laid down by the Department for
Culture, Media and Sport we would
hope to be able to announce the
names of newly appointed Trustees in
the next issue of Theatres Magazine.
Conference 2010:
The Trust is in the intial planning
stages for its 2010 conference,
‘Designing School Theatres’, which
will take place on 26 April 2010 in
Leeds. It will focus on the design of
theatres co-located or within schools,
colleges and higher education
institutions, looking at the particular
design challenges of creating spaces
that feel and work like theatres whilst
also serving a range of educational,
learning and community needs.
Further details will be published in the
next issue.
Trust publishes its Annual Report
The Trust publishes its 32nd Annual
on 15 September. In recording what
was a year of change for the Trust,
the illustrated Report covering the
year to 31st March 2009 includes an
introduction from our new Chairman,
together with the Director’s review,
summaries of some of the key theatre
cases, as well as providing complete
casework listings. A pdf version of
the Annual Report will be available to
download from the Trust’s website.
Copies are also avalable by post.
Please send a large (99p) SAE.
Dates for
your diary
26 - 27 September 2009
Music Hall Memories
1.00pm & 3.00pm
Britannia Music Hall, Glasgow
Join the Britannia Panopticon
Company for an old fashioned vareity
show with music, magic, songs, singa-longs, comedy sketches, novelties
and exhibition of artefacts found in
this historic music hall. For further
details visit
24 AUTUMN 2009 Theatres Magazine
General & contact information
Rob Dickins CBE (Chairman), Jason Barnes, Dr Phil Clark,
Marilyn Cutts, Venu Dhupa, Tim Foster, Baroness McIntosh of
Hudnall, Penelope Keith CBE, DL, Dr Pauleen Lane CBE,
Chris Shepley CBE, Sam Shrouder, Ben Twist
John Earl, Jonathan Lane
Mhora Samuel Director
Mark Price Planning and Architecture Adviser
Paul Connolly Administrator
Suzanne McDougall Assistant to the Director
Rose Freeman Planning Assistant
Kate Carmichael Resources Officer
Fran Birch Records Officer
Damian Le Sueur Design and Web Creative
The Theatres Trust is the National Advisory
Public Body for Theatres. The Trust provides
leadership in the planning and protection
of theatres, safeguarding existing theatres
and improving the planning environment for
theatres across England, Scotland, Wales
and Northern Ireland. It is sponsored by the
Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
The Theatres Trust
22 Charing Cross Road,
London WC2H 0QL
Tel: (020) 7836 8591
Fax: (020) 7836 3302
[email protected]
The Frank Matcham Society, in conjunction with the Ambassador Theatre
Group presents: Victorian and Edwardian Theatre: The Matcham Legacy
Richmond Theatre, Richmond Upon Thames
Friday 23 October 2009
For further information contact Tony Layton, 12 Loampit Hill, London, SE13 7SW,
T: (020) 8691 6361 E: [email protected]
While the Prague Quadrennial celebrates
the best theatre scenery and costume
designs, there is another international
four-yearly event which focuses on the
buildings that house this scenery – and the
associated performers, audiences and
technicians – the Theatre Engineering and
Architecture Conferences.
The first was organised in 2002 in order
to provide a forum for the dissemination
of good planning and design information
on auditoria and stage engineering. The
success both of that and of the 2006
Conference led to the event being replicated
in New York in 2008. The next London date
is June 2010 when designers, architects,
consultants, engineers, directors, managers
and others interested in ensuring the creation
and maintenance of good theatres will come
together for three days of professional
papers and debate.
Details of the programme and booking
information will appear on the theatreevent website in the autumn and will be
updated as the Conference develops.
Anyone interested in contributing
should contact Richard Brett, the
Conference Director on +44 20 8549
6535 or [email protected]
This unique Conference runs from Sunday
13 June to Tuesday 15 June in three venues
at the Central Hall Westminster. Over the
three days there will be 30 sessions as well as
13-15 June 2010
plenary addresses, design master classes,
and debates on topics as wide-ranging as Central Hall Westminster
sustainability, electro-acoustics, seating and
the role of live theatre in the modern world.
Join Us
Become a part of theatres future
By becoming a Friend or Corporate Supporter of The Theatres
Trust you are showing support and playing an important role in
our work. All donations and subscriptions go directly towards
helping promote and protect theatres for future generations to
enjoy. Members benefit from being well informed of important
developments through Theatres Magazine and our monthly
News Digest.
For details on becoming a Friend
please call the office on 020 7836 8591
or email [email protected]
For details on becoming a Corporate Supporter
please call the office on 020 7836 8591
or email [email protected]
UK_Ad_Theatres_Mag:UK_Ad_Theatres_Mag 8/3/09
19 – 20 September
Open House London
Celebrate the
Capital's Architecture
Your chance to explore hundreds of inspiring
buildings including theatres, cinemas and music halls
for FREE. Discover how great buildings shape our lives.
See for details
Media partner
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Award winning lighting.
See us at PLASA 2009,
Earls Court, London,
13-16 September,
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+44 (0)845 218 6024
London, UK
ETC Ltd, 26-28 Victoria Road Ind. Estate,
Victoria Road, London, W3 6UU
Tel +44 (0)20 8896 1000