Page: 1

Theatre Royal Newcastle Gets Massive Matcham Make Over

MamasDoin'Fine Profile PhotoMamasDoin'Fine Profile Photo
MamasDoin'Fine
Broadway Legend
joined:9/28/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/28/08
Theatre Royal Newcastle Gets Massive Matcham Make Over
Newcastle's stunningly beautiful Theatre Royal has unveiled detailed plans for a 4.75M restoration of the venue's amazing Frank Matcham auditorium, which will reopen in time for the theatres 175th birthday in 2012.

The theatre was built in 1837, designed by John and Benjamin Green, but fire destroyed the interior of the building in 1899 and the auditorium was redesigned by Matcham in 1901.
The renovation project, which is being funded in large part by a 1.75 restoration levy on tickets, will see the auditorium fitted with new seating, as well as improved lighting and ventilation systems. All fabrics, from carpets to curtains, will also be replaced in the style of the Matcham 1901 design, while extensive gold leaf decoration will be restored to the theatre, along with renovation of the theatre's plaster work.
Theatre Royal Newcastle Gets Massive Matcham Make Over
Theatre conservationist and Matcham expert Dr David Wilmore, who has researched the original decor of the venue, is helping to oversee the project. Theatre consultancy Charcoalblue is involved in overseeing the technical modifications to the auditorium.
Philip Bernays, Theatre Royal chief executive says the scheme was about 'putting the theatre back to Matcham's original intentions, but at the same time addressing some comfort issues'.
'There are really three reasons why we're doing this. The first is that the auditorium was last renovated about 25 years ago and it's wearing out, the seating, in fact, is about 50 years old. The decor is all a bit chipped and grubby and it needs to be refreshed. Also, it's a Grade I-listed building and it should be restored, appropriately, to the way Matcham left it in 1901. We know a lot more about his work now than we did 25 years ago. So, it will be very much a restoration, rather than a refurbishment. The third reason is that it's all about the audience. Box office and related sales form 90% of our income. We have to look after the audience, we have to make them comfortable and excited by the experience of coming to the Theatre Royal. So, this is working to secure our income for the next 25 to 50 years'.

Huge amounts of work will also take place to renovate the public areas, improve toilets etc.
Major repairs will take place on the historic frontage of the building which is looking rather shabby of late.
It is hoped that the restoration levy will raise 4M, with further money coming from the Heritage Lottery Fund and other trusts and foundations, as well as public donations.

The theatre close in March 2011 and remain dark until September 2011 (or possibly untill the panto season December 20011).

Theatre Royal Newcastle Gets Massive Matcham Make Over


Updated On: 2/25/10 at 08:21 AM
Mark_E Profile PhotoMark_E Profile Photo
Mark_E
Broadway Legend
joined:1/26/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
1/26/06
This is great news! I love the Theatre Royal in Newcastle and the renovation they did awhile back with the new box office is really great!

Have seen so much there - Evita, Elaine Paige in Concert, West Side Story, Beauty and the Beast, Fame, High School Musical, Brief Encounter... So much!!!

Will be a shame to see it closed for the summer but hopefully will mean it has many more years to come.

MamasDoin'Fine Profile PhotoMamasDoin'Fine Profile Photo
MamasDoin'Fine
Broadway Legend
joined:9/28/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/28/08
Didn't they take over Barclays Bank on the left corner and made it the daytime box office?
Mark_E Profile PhotoMark_E Profile Photo
Mark_E
Broadway Legend
joined:1/26/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
1/26/06
Something like that ye. The new box office area is lovely and they have a restaurant attached to it.