London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane (below) is currently unrecognisable – it is shrouded in scaffolding and portacabins as it undergoes major work in all parts of the theatre. It is due to reopen late 2020 with Disney’s FROZEN.
On the exterior, the hoardings had been attractively decorated with panels about the theatre itself. Here are a few photographs I managed to grab back in April, so that you can enjoy in case you can’t get there.
Kingston’s Rose Theatre was opened in 2008. Founded by Sir Peter Hall (rather a pet project), and modelled on the original Elizabethan Rose Theatre on London’s Bankside, Rose Theatre Kingston is the largest producing theatre in South West London. It has been in the news this last week, as the local council have announced that the theatre’s grant will be withdrawn fully by 2022, citing unhappiness at the theatres “uncommercial” programme of events. Personally, I am always one to support theatre subsidy. In this case, though, I have never understood the construction of this theatre whereby sitting in the uncomfortable stalls (way behind the pit with bum-numbing concrete floor) can make you feel like you are sitting practically out in the foyer. Personally when I go to see a show I would like to do so in the 21st Century, not the 16th! As for the programming I cannot comment having only been there once, to see Northern Broadsides’ excellent FOR LOVE OR MONEY, in 2018, this venue serving as the southern outpost of its all-too-short tour. In all likelihood, I probably won’t be going there again, but I wish them success in surviving and serving the people of Kingston.
Nick Hytner and Nick Starr, creators of the successful Bridge Theatre by Tower Bridge, have announced that they are building a new 600-seat theatre in Kings Cross due to open in 2021. Let’s wish them success with it, as every addition to London’s theatre scene is positive. Let us also hope that the auditorium of the new theatre has better access than the Bridge. Although very good on things like ladies loos, for which a well-earned “thanks”, The Bridge’s only flaw is the inordinate amount of time it takes to get in and out of the auditorium- rather like getting porridge into a funnel. Not good for those eager for those tasty interval madeleine cakes, and detrimental also to those important interval bar sales! I do hope that the Bridge’s Front of House team are trained in having to deal with outbreaks of “madeleine rage”. Lets make incoming and outgoing easier and faster for your next venture please, gentlemen!