Phase 1 - The Courtyard Theatre
'The Royal Shakespeare Company’s magnificent new Courtyard theatre'
'The Courtyard Theatre...at once more loved than most theatres are after decades'
As the RSC develops it plans to transform its flagship theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, a new, temporary home is now open on the site of The Other Place studio theatre. The RSC’s intention has always been to perform in Stratford during the work on the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in order to safeguard the £58 million the Company contributes to the regional economy each year.
The new building, designed by Ian Ritchie Architects, incorporates a new 1,048 seat auditorium, while the existing Other Place auditorium houses the theatres foyer space, cloakroom, bar areas, dressing room and rehearsal space. Ian Ritchie's most recent projects include The Spire in Dublin and the new production centre at the Plymouth Theatre Royal.
The Courtyard Theatre’s walls are built in ‘Corten A’ steel sheets creating a soundproof auditorium to meet the RSC’s high acoustic requirements. This recyclable material was chosen so that its red colour blends with the surrounding buildings.
The thrust stage auditorium, where the audience are seated on three sides of the action, will form the basis of the new auditorium for the transformed Royal Shakespeare Theatre. In the new configuration 86% of the audience will sit within 10 meters of the stage compared to the original Royal Shakespeare Theatre which has only 26% of its seats within 10 metres of the stage.
The exciting new space opened in July 2006 with a major staging of the rarely seen Henry VI trilogy directed by Michael Boyd.
To find out what's on at The Courtyard, click here.
The Courtyard Theatre will be an exciting theatrical space. The name reflects our ambition to create an auditorium that mirrors the intimacy of the courtyard theatres Shakespeare wrote for. We’ve always been committed to continuing to perform in Stratford while we transform the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. It’s important for the RSC and also for the economic health of the region. Although temporary, the Courtyard Theatre will have all the facilities audiences and artists expect from the RSC.
— Michael Boyd, Artistic Director
Once the work on the Royal Shakespeare Theatre is complete the Courtyard Theatre will close and The Other Place will return to its earlier role as the RSC’s flexible studio theatre for new and experimental work.