Questions about TOP
What do we want to do?
We would like to keep the existing structure of the current Courtyard Theatre and remodel its internal space to create a vibrant, new mixed-use building, The Other Place (TOP), which could also provide opportunities for community, amateur and educational use.
What would be in it?
- A 200-300 seat studio theatre with a much larger, more flexible auditorium than the old TOP (which was 170 seats)
- Two new rehearsal rooms suspended from the roof, bringing the actors back from the edge of town location and creating a hub of activity close to our main theatres
- The relocation of our extensive costume store, opening up this rich resource of over 30,000 of the RSC costumes to the public for the first time through our theatre tours.
- We would be able to keep the many positive elements of the fully-accessible current theatre, including the lift, bar and improved toilet facilities.
What would it cost?
The cost to remodel and re-use the existing structure to create the new style TOP is £4m, (build cost £2.4m). To demolish and reinstate TOP and the car park the cost is £2.4m.
We have some reserves we could call on for capital projects and we will bid to ACE for a capital contribution from their lottery funds. We have already received significant commitment from several donors for the project.
What's going to happen next?
Following a period of consultation in the spring, we submitted a planning application to Stratford District Council to keep the current Courtyard Theatre structure. In September we were granted planning permission to do this.
This is an important first step. We will now plan a sustainable future for a new The Other Place (TOP), that creates real benefits for us, our audiences and the town.
We have already made good progress in securing funding to meet the capital costs of conversion and we are working hard to create an operating model with a mix of uses for the space. Once this is in place we can identify when work on the project will begin.