Royal Court Theatre – The Next Stage
I was invited to the viewing of the first stage of the £10.6 million pounds refurbishment of the Royal Court Theatre. This was the £1.2 million phase and looking at the theatre from the stage, it was looking magnificent. This was achieved through being awarded one of the biggest Heritage Lottery North West grants and also from more than £200,000 raised by theatre goers in the form of a £1 ticket levy and generous donations and grants. Many organisations and people have supported with donations, support-in-kind and advice to help achieve this.
The renovation has been sympathetic to the theatre’s 1938 Art Deco design with the original features repaired and highlighted throughout the auditorium. The completed works includes new seating throughout and a complete refitting of the toilets in the stalls area. Ladies you will now see the start of the second half!! The stalls are an improved version of the cabaret seating that has been in place since 2005 and the balcony still in its traditional theatre rows.
Gillian Miller, Chief Executive and Found of the Royal Court Trust stated that this was not simply a renovation contract but also a labour of love to help breathe new life into the Royal Court and re-establish it at the heart of Liverpool’s cultural life.
The Trust is committed to engaging local communities and the programmes include, Access All Areas for young people to gain understanding of theatre production, Royal Court Variety Lunch Clubs for the older members to come in the day to be entertained and socialise, Volunteer programme for those interested in giving their time, Heritage Tours for visitors to the City and local communities and Youth Programmes for young people to get involved with drama, dance and musical theatre workshops and the renovation of the theatre.
Reopening to the public on the 29 June with the musical Reds and Blues, is the first of the next steps that Gillian Miller has outlined for the Trust. They will also continue with the extensive HLF funding activity plan to January 2013 and continue to seek support from public and private sectors for the next phase of work.
This theatre has given so much to us in the past that it is such good news that it is being supported to be there in our Cultural future.
For more details on the scheme go to www.royalcourttrust.org