The transformed Royal Shakespeare Theatre
The new theatre will transform the existing 1932 Royal Shakespeare Theatre, retaining the key Art Deco and Victorian elements of the building. The theatre will give artists and audiences the best environment in which to perform and enjoy Shakespeare.
Improved public spaces both inside and surrounding the theatre will create a more welcoming place for both visitors and local people. A new theatre tower with viewing platform, theatre square for outdoor performances, a linking foyer to join the Royal Shakespeare and Swan theatres and improved cafe, restaurant and toilet facilities are central to the project. The gardens, pathways and riverside walk are all part of the scheme.
At the heart of the project will be a new auditorium. Seating around 1,000 people the stage thrusts into the audience with theatregoers seated on three sides. The aim is to improve the relationship between the audience and the actor by bringing them closer together and creating a more intimate theatre experience. The furthest seat will be reduced from 27 - 15 metres.
As someone who has played all the RSC theatres, it seems to me that what the Company has now found is a brilliant way of retaining the original building while constructing a new theatre which will work wonderfully for actors and audiences alike. It’s a spectacular idea which has my full support.
— RSC Honorary Associate Artist, Dame Judi Dench