With the Swan staying closed until 2023, find out about the work we're doing to prepare the space for reopening.

We know that audiences hold our Swan Theatre in deep affection and we are eager for it to reopen, but we cannot do that right now. While it's closed, we are taking the opportunity to undertake some small capital works to stabilise the theatre's ceiling, which is also the floor of our major rehearsal space, the Ashcroft Room. 

What work are you doing?

The Swan Theatre will undergo essential construction and maintenance work to improve the experience of the auditorium for audiences, with new seats and improved access.

We are replacing the old bench seating with individual seats for greater comfort and refurbishing the wooden structure that encases the audience. The work will create a more inclusive theatre with 11 wheelchair spaces and a new induction loop for those with hearing impairments.

Image looking down into the Swan Theatre, where all the seating has been removed.
The seats have been removed from the Swan Theatre as capital works start in earnest.

We are stripping back the inside of the Swan Theatre to its wooden frame, and installing a new structural grid to take the weight off the ceiling, as well as cleaning and repairing the wood and brickwork.

Currently the roof trusses support all that we hang, plus the weight of the Ashcroft Room - the rehearsal room which sits directly above the Swan Theatre. This plan will separate the two spaces and improve the environmental impact and the sustainability of the theatre with new technical systems for lighting, sound and video that are energy efficient and futureproof.

When will this work take place?

Initial work has now started, with the seating already removed, and we hope to be ready to reopen in early 2023.

A man taking up floorboards in the Ashcroft Room.
Floorboards being taken up in the Ashcroft Room, which is used for rehearsals.

What is open in the meantime?

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre is now open with Henry VI: Rebellion and Wars of the Roses. The Tower is open for public access, providing panoramic views across Stratford-upon-Avon. Access is free, with visitors instead able to make a voluntary donation to support our work. Our theatre tours have also restarted, running daily throughout the year, with every tour including an element of the building that is not otherwise accessible to the public.

The Other Place will remain closed for the time being.