Business as usual at theatre
Posted: 30 January 2013
In order to guarantee the work will be completed in time for the opening night of the first ever tour of the world acclaimed War Horse in September, some earlier work on the redevelopment of the Theatre Royal will now start on site in mid February. It will however be business as usual at the theatre with a full programme running on the Theatre Royal and Drum stages until early April when the theatre will then be closed for 6 months.
The working being undertaken by BAM, the appointed contractor of the Regeneration Project, will see hoardings erected around the ‘piazza’ area at the entrance to the theatre. This will mean there will be no access to the main entrance of the theatre but there will still be access for patrons via the Drum Theatre entrance. Wheelchair patrons will have access to the disabled ramp up to the Drum Theatre entrance as usual. As well as hoardings outside, inside the building there will be hoardings across the main entrance to enable the contractors to begin work on extending the front area of the building.
Behind the theatre, in the theatre’s car park, will be the contractor’s site offices consisting of a number of portacabins. There will be no pedestrian access across the Theatre Royal car park but the theatre’s Stage Door will be fully operational.
Patrons using Plymouth City Council’s car park at the rear of the theatre are advised that the quickest route to the front of the theatre, while this work is taking place, is to follow the building around in the direction of Bella Italia. There will be signage advising this is the case.
The Theatre Royal wishes to assure the public that all facilities, including the coffee and stalls bar, mezz restaurant and box office will be fully operational during this time. Theatre bookers for all shows up to the closure of the theatre in April, are being notified of the work taking place.
The Regeneration Project is a £7 million project to redevelop the Theatre Royal. The project has received the backing of Arts Council England which has committed £5 million and the theatre has launched a major fundraising campaign to raise the additional £2 million with £1.2 million raised to date. The theatre is cautiously optimistic it can reach its target and fundraising is now even more important to ensure every aspect of the development plans can be delivered.