Theatre & Dance
Norwich Theatre Royal
Virtual tour: Norwich Theatre Royal
The Norwich Theatre Royal steps into the spotlight as the theatre's £10m make-over reaches completion. Take a video tour of the new look premises before it officially opens to the public.
The Norwich Theatre Royal re-opens its doors to the public on Tuesday, 13 November, 2007 following a £10m modernisation project.
The seven-and-a-half month refurbishment has concentrated on the auditorium and front of house areas, with the aim to provide theatre goers better access and increased comfort.
Changes include increased leg room in the circle, better disabled access and more toilets.
"The audience comfort has to come first when you do a renovation of this kind and one of the continual complaints we've always had is that we never had enough loos," said Peter Wilson, the theatre's chief executive.
"So apart from doubling the number of loos, it's a case of putting them in the right place - so now we have loos on both side of the auditorium on both floors," he added.
A new look to the theatre's box office
The new look Theatre Royal
Following the theatre's make-over, the building now has access from both Theatre Street and Chapelfield, features a first-floor balcony along the length of the building, a new long bar in what was the Dick Condon gallery and improved disabled access.
The cool blue of the old auditorium has been replaced with an opulent claret-based colour scheme.
Warms tones that are reflected in the paintwork, carpets and new seating. The circle has also moved nearer the stage.
"The circle has gone forward about four or five feet, so from the front row you feel you can reach out and touch the stage," said Peter Wilson.
"We've got rid of the boxes, so the front of the circle now reaches out and embraces the stage.
"Not only will the audience find the focus on the stage is hugely improved, but the artists will now find the auditorium leans in towards the stage.
"The deep red is a very comforting colour for performers, I like it."
The new auditorium also includes better access for wheelchair users.
Peter Wilson in theatre's new auditorium
"They've moved around the auditorium, there are now some in the circle and we're now able to get wheelchair spaces in every single price band which we didn't have before," said Peter Wilson.
"In addition – and we have to be honest about this - people with high-backed wheelchairs knew in the old theatre that the height of the back of the wheelchair was presenting a site line problem for the people behind them.
"So what we've done in the new Theatre Royal is there's an area at the back of the stalls where high-backed wheel chairs can be accommodated without any embarrassment on either side in terms of the site lines and that's a huge step forward for us."
The Theatre Royal reopens on Tuesday, 13 November, 2007 with Glyndebourne on Tour's production of Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore.
last updated: 20/11/07