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News from our Theatres

A planning application has been submitted by the People’s Theatre, Newcastle for alterations to the entrance, reconfiguration of the foyer and bar, and erection of a new studio theatre. If approved, does this mean that improvements are imminent?

Meanwhile, Cheshire East Council is considering a planning application for a two storey extension at the rear of Wilmslow’s Green Room Theatre to provide a first floor rehearsal room with storage areas at ground floor. Some neighbours are not happy, we hear!

At City Theatre, Durham major work is about to start on re-configuring the public areas, including the entrance to the theatre and the old cobbles outside, as well as the heating.

Plaza Theatre, Romsey has been awarded £25,000 from the Community Asset Fund of Test Valley Borough Council. This money will assist in the funding of the new fire alarm system, renovation of toilet facilities and restoration of the front doors.

At Chesil Theatre, Winchester the theatre development plans have taken a step further forward. Final agreement has been reached on the extent of the land to be purchased, and the shape of the development to be undertaken, with revised plans and estimates. There is optimism that the local council will approve the revised plans.

Meanwhile at South London Theatre there have been technical delays to the start of the massive refurbishment programme, so that members now can look forward to four more months of playing time before they have to move out of their old fire station. The Heritage Lottery Fund has officially promised £1.6M for the restoration of the old Fire Station Building. Plans are announced for a complete re-organisation of the wardrobe before the building is taken over by the contractors; for a Guide Book to be produced showing the history of the old fire station; for an oral history project, and a schools visit project for when the building is re-opened; and for a ceramic tile installation to be created by a local youth group with professional artists and craftsmen assisting.

Players Theatre, Thame’s ‘Building A Better Theatre’ project receives £5,000 from the Theatres Trust small grants scheme to install a flexible and moveable stage wall system to improve the size and flexibility of its stage and enable it to complete its stage refurbishment.

The auditorium at Oast Theatre, Tonbridge was completely refurbished over the summer ‘break’ – re-painting, new electricals, seats and carpet.

Station Theatre, Hayling Island, home to HIADS, have announced plans to build an extension to the theatre foyer.

In October Summerseat Players, Ramsbottom opened their newly equipped Studio Theatre upstairs. They have just installed a £10k lighting rig in the studio space as a first step to it becoming a Studio Theatre, to complement the main stage.

Workington Playgoers at the Theatre Royal Workington have come one step closer to realising their £0.5m vision for re-development of the Theatre Royal. A stage 2 application to the BIG Lottery for £357,161 has been approved, and an interim award of £21,585 has been made to enable them to prepare more detailed plans and to make a final submission at the end of the year. The alterations will include a much improved and extended foyer for community use, a youth venue and a number of cummunity/training rooms. The whole building will be designed to allow disabled access.

Richmond Shakespeare Society have announced ambitious plans for the Mary Wallace Theatre in Twickenham. They intend in the summer to completely rebuild the stage, “incorporate various useful elements, such as under-floor electrics and the possibility of opening a trap at any of numerous positions rather than just one. We also hope to take the stage level out into the workshop area, to do away with the awkward stairs and instead create storage space under the floor. All this will be expensive – we are still awaiting quotations – and so will necessitate a special fund-raising effort. It is hoped that with such a definite object in mind, it will be possible to raise the money required.”

Plans are moving ahead to refurbish Theatr Fach, Llangefni; already the new toilets are installed, and plans to refurbish the Fisher Room are gathering pace, thanks to some funding from the council.