Thursday, July 27, 2006


The RSC's temporary theatre, built on the TOP car park site and with its services provided in the old TOP, opened for the paying public with a performance of Henry VI Part I on Monday night. It was built in a year for the relatively modest budget of £6 million.Designed by architect Ian Ritchie, who is an RSC Governor, with theatre consultant Charcoalblue and considerable RSC input led by Flip Tanner, it is the perfect template for what we hope to achieve in the RST.

On the try-out night the previous week Tim Piggot-Smith spoke Prospero's words,

" The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind."

Well, it is a temporary theatre, but "gorgeous palace" might be going it a bit, [although gorgeous was Michael Boyd's immediate adjective], and the cloud-capp'd tower is still to come in the new RST. Nevertheless, it is a really exciting space, and actors and audiences have warmed to it immediately. I sat in the furthest seat from the stage and could see and hear well , although the acoustics still need some work. No longer will our companies have to act "from Dover to Calais" once we have built a similar auditorium in the RST.


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