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You are in: Leicester > Entertainment > Theatre and Arts > Performing Arts Centre > PAC Name Unveiled

Purple Curve logo - By Richard Brine

PAC Name Unveiled

The waiting is over! The name of Leicester's state-of-the-art new theatre in the city centre is unveiled. Cllr Ross Willmott, leader of Leicester City Council, announced the name at a ceremony on the Rutland Street site on 28 January 2008.

So far we have all been calling it the 'Performing Arts Centre', but now Leicester's new multi-million theatre will be called... Curve.

A number of key people were invited to a special naming ceremony at the Rutland Street site on Monday where Cllr Ross Willmott, leader of Leicester City Council, announced the name.

Listen: Armitage Interview

BBC Leicester's Tony Wadsworth was present at the announcement and among the first to give his reaction to the name was Leicester-born actor Richard Armitage.

Curve - Ross Willmott outside Leicester's Curve

Willmott on Curve

"We have a marvellous and unique new building for the performing arts in Leicester.

"We have chosen Curve because we believe this is the right name for a building that aims to bring a new dimension to producing theatre.

"The name works well with Rafael Viñoly's architectural design of a building that has been the catalyst and the symbol that has driven the regeneration of Leicester.

"Building work is progressing well. It looks stunning from the outside and the interior is really taking shape.

"In the next few weeks contractors will start to install the 750 seats in the large auditorium."

"It stands for the scope of the exciting performances people will see on the two stages and in the community."

Anthony Lawton, Chairman of LTT


Working collaboratively with both Leicester City Council and Leicester Theatre Trust (LTT), an independent brand agency carried out research in Leicester across a diverse community audience and in London among theatre goers.

This was then used to gain feedback on a short-list of potential names to help the City Council and LTT make an informed decision about the name.

Research identified Curve as the most credible, compelling and inspiring name. The name refers both to the physical nature of the building and LTT's ambition to stretch the boundaries of theatre making.

Anthony Lawton, Chairman of LTT said; "I love this name. It represents the shape of the extraordinary building.

"It stands for the scope of the exciting performances people will see on the two stages and in the community.

"The fresh, vital label reflects the fact that our theatre will be one of the best equipped and most up-to-date in Europe.

"It also reflects our ambition at Leicester Theatre Trust to stretch the boundaries of theatre and performance so that we delight more and more people in the city, the county and beyond."

Curve theatre - photo by Richard Brine

Opening Soon

Curve, which will be run by LTT, is due to open to the public later this year. The large auditorium will seat 750 people, while a 350-seat auditorium will provide a versatile smaller space.

The stage is placed at street level between the two auditoria. In its most unique configuration, both auditoria will share the full stage creating an exciting performance space with audiences on either side of the stage.

The stunning glass façade encloses a magnificent open plan foyer with views onto the café, bars, backstage area, and across the stage.

Curve embraces many different theatrical styles and cultures, including musicals, drama, comedy, dance, shows for children, community performances, participatory workshops and much more.

In the spring, LTT will announce its first production at Curve, a spectacular, family Christmas show.

In early Autumn, the first season of the theatre's own produced work will be announced, alongside a programme of visiting company work from some of the industry's leading national and international companies.

Curve exterior - photo by Richard Brine

Your Views

What do YOU think of the name of Leicester's new performing arts centre? Is it fresh and unique? If you had the choice what would you have called it?

last updated: 29/01/2008 at 12:47
created: 01/05/2007

Have Your Say

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

David Thomas
Curve - unique, different and modern! I like it!The Curve will make Leicester a hot spot for theatre goers! The modern art theatre, along with some of the best performing arts training in Leicester i.e. LCPA will put Leicester on the map in the entertainment industry nationally! Fabulous!

The curve is a bland name, needs to be more exciting and appealing to the people it intends to atract.

wow i hope i get an oppentiny to perform herei really do want perform at curve

the curve is an amazing name, and its inspirational for the youth of tomorrow. I really love you "The Curve..."

Jill B
Fresh and unique? I don't think so when we already have Barbican The Curve Ground Floor Level O at the Barbican Centre London!

lerisse johnstone
I think it's very bland and boring... I'm going to "curve" sounds more live a heathy eating group.

The name is fine - it's typical of Leicester people to complain. Get with the times guys.

Brian Millard
Looks exciting? Would appreciate a programme of events/productions as soon as possible please.

Mick from Leicester
I think since we paid for it out of our council tax, we should have had a say with the name. I think it should have a local conection, I would have chose The Merrick Theatre, after John Merrick.

Simon Sykes
Totally ludicrous to have spent so long and so much on finding such a bland name. This will not appeal to he people whose bums will be needed on seats, but only to the sort of people who killed the Haymarket with productions which went over people's heads.

James, Stoneygate
I think an appropriate name for the new theatre would be 'The White Elephant'. The Haymarket was plagued with financial difficulty because not enough people bothered to go, what makes LCC think that this astronomically priced project will be such a success? The wrong name for the wrong facility, at the wrong price in the wrong part of the city!

I think it is an imaginative choice. As well as shape and new dimensions in theatre "Curve" also suggests curved space-time and links to Leicester's National Space Centre.

Mike, Leicester
It takes absolutely no account of the great and lovely people that Leicester has produced over many years. How about "The Attenborough" for example. When one considers that it took a whole table discussion to come up with "curve" a schoolchild of 5 would have come up with it in seconds! What with this and the Conservative Tree Motto, I am definitely working too hard, in the wrong job.

Mike Dunmore
Oh no! While Curve is certainly a good name did anyone show Rafael Vinoly the Curve Logo first for his comments! I would like to think something more typographically sophisticated could have been produced for this iconic building and all future publicity and promotion. You do have to question the visual intellect behind those who worked and chose this logo.

S Dhami
If the group responsible for naming the building care enough to absorb this feedback then please change the name, why would you carry out research with London theatre-goers. Ask the people of Leicester! Ask local people that attend local art events at places like The New Walk Museum, The City Gallery, De Montfort Hall, The Y Theatre, The Little Theatre etc. If the council is doing this for Leicester and for the people of Leicester then all this feedback absolutely has to be taken into consideration. Show US the shortlist of potenetial names that were considered, let US decide what we want it to be named. The 'Your Views' heading on this page says 'What do YOU think of the name of Leicester's new performing arts centre? Is it fresh and unique? If you had the choice what would you have called it?' - Why weren't WE asked this before. If they're too lazy to change the name at this point, then just scrap 'Curve' altogether and stick with 'Leicester PAC: Performing Arts Centre.'

Do people always have to have something to complain about?! The name is unique and memorable and we should remember how lucky we are to have something this fantastic in Leicester. We should also focus on what's going to be happening inside the building and all the fab shows and events that will be available to see, that's what it's about, not just the name!!

I think the theatre is brilliant but the name isn't. It's very this Council though, so we know the sort of standard to expect from the City Council rebranding Ross Willmott now thinks is essential.

Joseph Ross-Williams
Why on earth did they call it 'The Drill Hall'? Does it sell Black and Deckers?Curve isn't a great name, but it's a recognisable name. It'll stick in time.'Attenborough'... as many people have pointed out, there is already an Attenborough Centre. Interesting so many impassioned and outraged are so immersed in the arts they don't even know this!Curve is a name that looks forward, not backward. That's what's key to Leicester's role in the performing arts.

Consultancy fees were actually paid in identifying this name? Another scandalous waste of public money. 'Curve'- noticed C.Wilmott calling it THE Curve - it's bland, has no identity...sounds like a seedy nightclub. Pityful.

Lesley Field
I am very disappointed by the name of the new performing arts centre.I cannot understand what curve has to do with leicester. It sounds like an adult nightclub. If you found the name curve in Leicester on a website you would not know what it is.Leicester Performing Arts Centre would have been a better name for it at least you would know what it is about.

S Dhami
If they insist on Curve they should at least change it to The Curve Theatre. Still not great but they obviously can't be bothered which is also relflected in the boring logo which you can see at The logo absolutely has to be changed!Like someone said earlier 'Curve' itself sounds more like a club or bar. For those who said 'people in Leicester do nothing but complain', I'm actually looking forward to all the developments happening including the theatre so that comment doesn't apply to me. I'm saying Curve is boring because it's boring. Like other people mention before me, naming it with regional reference (St Georges etc) wouldn't work either.I'd suggest coming up with a new name or if they really insist on Curve then at least alter it to 'The Curve Theatre' or something along those lines. If this many people are complaining about it so early after the name has been announced, surely we can overturn the decision. Start a petition or something if we care enough which I know I do.

Wake up guys, the council didn't pay for the name, LTT did. Attenborough wasnt even born here. People of Leicester are so single minded, they do not deserve it. Any other City would be very happy to have the Curve. When will people stop putting down what they have here?

Fantastic name. Congratulations to the council for giving Leicester something to be proud of for once.

The name isnt great, but i can understand the thought put behind it. I really hope that Curve is going to be the beginning of putting leicester on the map!

what has this name got to do with London theatre goers?and yes , how much did it cost?

Joseph Betts
What a load of rubbish.How much was spent on all this research just to name if after the shape of the building.What a total farce!!This development is an absolute joke and I dont speak as someone who does not embrace the arts I just speak as someone who has worked in the area for many years and knows that this development is a waste of time and money.Curve. What a load of rubbish.

Disapointing name. Why won't Ross Willmott tell us how much it cost to come up with this. Not only are there the consultant costs but also the costs of the council officers time.

I think it's an upmarket and catchy name. It's innovative and a change from the previously standard, boring names Leicester people are accustomed to. Perhaps that's one of the reasons why they criticise it readily; their negative outlook and lack of acceptance to change. Memories around the name of the now Walker's Stadium come to mind..... As an outsider living in Leicester, I find that people here "moan" a lot. It doesn't matter what you do for them, they are never happy. If you didn't give them a new, fabulous theatre they'd moan, so we give them a new, state of the art fabulous theatre with a good name and they still moan.If we think about it, the Haymarket theatre wasn't really a "haymarket" but because it was probably based on what might have been the real, old haymarket, it was named that. The Haymarket as a name did not conjure up images of theatre and artistry! At least the Curve will not only symbolise the architecture but also the types of artistic products that will flow out it. It's now up to Curve to show everyone what they're made of and to arrange to put fantastic shows on for when they open that will draw people in who will help to make it a success - Marketing, you've got a lot of work to do now!

I hope Curve's future will be exciting and rewarding to all for this massive investment by the city of Leicester for the cultural benefit of not just the city, but put this fantastic theatre complex on both the European and World theatrical tour circuit maps. The city's income potential through accomodation bookings and eating house reservations will return Leicester to a vibrant place to visit and everyone will gain.The name Curve is ok but its a shame that the web name is of some defunct pop group..... my humble opinion is that Kurve would have greater impact in marketing messages, However it is the quality and diversity of the shows the Trust brings for all members of the community to enjoy at affordable prices that will make Curve successful or not.

As usual the people of Leicester can only come up with negative comments. This is a national theatre naming it after a local area such as st georges has no meaning to those outside Leicester. For once the peolple of Leicester should be proud we have such a ground breaking venue in our city.

Simon Rees-Jones , Dadlington
Great name for what will be a fantastic venue - critics should take a look at this inspired building and THEN consider whether or not CURVE embraces both the architecture and the open artistic aspirations of our wonderful new venue. I am convinced it does. Many people from the area WERE consulted about the name, including myself, and in years to come we will be proud of CURVE.

R Singh
Whether we agree with 'Curve' or not (name and building), it's here to stay. It's a modern building with a modern name.Perhaps rather than complaining we should actually support it an visit it when it's open and then judge the building.

I think the theatre and it's name will become great for our city. Much criticism about how much is spent on the theatre versus what the theatre will achieve is not balanced. I think the theatre will provide our city a great opportunity for cultural learning. With the training facilities it will enable our children to become creative leaders. I think Leicester deserves a world class facility, and I think the people who have taken the risks have done well to create one. Criticism is very easy, but offering alternatives is what we need. Over the years I've read many comments like - we should have put the money into education and health - I'm not so sure. A theatre is about telling stories and putting life into things. I very much hope more people in Leicester spend more time in the theatre than going to the cinema - we will learn so much more. The name Curve - it's short and snappy and works well- and I think once the work starts people will forget that we had such a big debate about the name.

Sam Varnam
The name is very now, but it does make me think more of a bar or club. Will the name last!


Eddie Procinski
It's not a brilliant name, but at least it's different. I'm sure people will get used to it. I suppose it could have been named after a local famous actor - the Bill Maynard Theatre !

Fantastic building, great space - so why go for such a bland name?

Angela Farmer
I think the name is terrific. Let's hope it will be supported by the people of Leicester and Leicestershire. Hopefully it will be a 'learning curve' for new theatre goers. Great choice!!

Typical "Ross Willmott" response...."Don't know...Don't know...Don't know... There should be an enquiry about the miss-management of Leicester peoples money, and make these people accountable. Absolutely absurd name and we should stand fast to get this name overturned like we did with the "Walkers Bowl"

mrs m andrews
typical Leicester farce. The Glasshouse would have been so much better

CURVE; Council's Unloved Rubbish, Very Expensive

john manning
I am of the opinion what matters most is the quality of shows that are due to put on, the theatre will live or die by this.........I am not overkeen on the name but I may grow to like it.

chris & angie
post office, airport now theatre - when will these people learn!

How unimaganative, what a bore! we really do let ourselves down in this city!

Sanjay Singh
Like the Globe, Sage and Tate, the Curve sounds really cool and is esay to remember. It gives just the right tone for our really modern new theatre. Those who keep on refering to Attenborough - who is he to Leicester? I thought it was a village near Nottingham. Also isn't there already an Attenborough Centre in Leicester?

In my opinion this building is esteticly fantastic and worth all the pennies in it's price tag. The county of Leicestershire bursts with culture & creativity, other established counties around the country would love to reap the benifits of. The city has been starved of a centre of this calibre for too many years, now the area's enthusiasts can view local and world talent right on their doorstep once again. The architects, construction crew and the city council have done a grade A job with this facility, that is untill it came to naming the place, with respect, I cannot understand why this structure, for it's sweeping facade and progressive planning has been named with a word, that would immediately give this building a shelf life. One usually associated with tabloid jargon, 90's nighclubs or pop culture. Very uncomplimentary to the new centre for prize world, european and local arts.Please reconsider, and if a more contemporary name, that will fit the project and stay it's time for more than two years, cannot be found, then consider using more of a traditional name, as it was, Leicester PAC.

Dr S. Mehta, Evington, Leicester
The name Curve is very related to theatre building. Why doesn’t it include to some extent a more multicultural name? Leicester is the home land for new arrivals and a European community. The name CURVE is a very dry name. Curve Theatre or Curve Hall will be good for a simple understanding. As far as the Minority population is concerned, not a Single LCC building represents Multicultural richness. I hope that the new Curve Theatre will produce programs which will attract EVERYONE in the city (Not only the white community).

As usual, people in Leicester can't appreciate a bit of originality and are negative from the outset. Stop moaning! I think it sounds fresh and exciting - but I do wonder how much it cost to 'brainstorm'...

D.C.Gardner, Beaumountleys
Clearly a problem. Why is it not a straight name!Hello LTT think about local company too. National and int National company comes and go....

name not good at all,what about showcase?

Richard Hanson
Looking at the picture, it sounds like great name and I'm sure it can have lots of meanings. I think we should give it a chance.

To all those who think it should be called the Attenborough Theatre - there is already one of those in Leicester! At Leicester Uni. How about we all get behind the name and remain positive? Oh, I forgot. This is Leicester....

It is about as bad as the Walkers Bowl and we know what happened to that!!IT should mention theatre

Who thought of this one? Doesn't really make you think of Leicester or the performing arts. As someone who lives outside Leicester I don't fancy coming into the city centre at night anyway - regardless of what is on show at the 'Curve'.

Bernard Pepper
The Curve may describe the outer building but as was said on the program "Will it be remembered?"No! Not in my opinion! There is nothing at all tenuous about "THE LORD ATTENBOROUGH" a memorable name with strong associations to Leicester, a name to be remembered and revered!

Miss J Brown
Curve is completely inappropriate - it is theatrically irrelevant and totally meaningless! It is however the name of a chain of weight-loss centres in North America. Draw your own conclusions!

Stanley frith
whoever decided to name the new performing art centre "curve" needs a lesson in straight thinking!

Chloe Hampson
I Love the new name. It is really modern and I think it sends the perfect message to the rest of the country that Leicester is fast becoming a city famous for it's arts. I can't wait to see a show there!

I believe this to be a good inspiring name.

Peter Harrison
The name is so unimaginative.It doesn't do a single thing for me and certainly wouldn't give me any inspiration to visit.

They should have called it the GRANBY THEATRE and raised like the pheonix from the ashes the demise of the GRANBY HALL.

David Cartwright
Curve. Completly round the bend. surely 'leicester' could have been included. or even Ratae. For this fine city. But then I am not a very Trendy person and these wizz kid names do not go down with me.

I quite like the name, but I think that it will take a while for people to get used to it. At least it has some sort of branding and isn't named after anybody, which is a bit naff.

David Parry
The name is a completely missed opportunity.It doesn't say anything about Leicester or the performing arts centre.What a waste of taxpayers' money.

Oh Dear

Helen Taverner
I think the new name is fantastic. It links with the shape of the theatre and is a name that people will easily remember. I'm really pleased they named it something modern and punchy rather than a stereotyped name linked to a tenious link to a past well-known Leicester resident. I hope everyone supports this great new project.

Len wood
Why not RATAE-Rutland Arts Theatre And Entertainment ?

Carl clifton
Curve will sound dated eventually, Attenborough will never date. Just a thought for the forward thinking brigade.

Donna Gamble
Very impressive looking building, but "Curve"? What were they thinking of? After all this waiting & anticipation as to what its to be called, I feel its a disappointment. Mind you, as the logo looks more like a toilet, I suppose we should be thankful they didn't call it U-Bend!

Nice name but will still be where the odeon used to be.

Ricchard Smith, Syston
CURVE seems like a cop out to me. It's almost too safe so as not to offend any ethnic majority or minority group. It's going to take a good deal of marketing to get that name out and recognised as a Perfming Arts Centre. I would have like the name to honor a famous son/daughter from the county.

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