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Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford, United Kingdom

Thursday 15 Jun 2006

Bennetts Associates unveil Royal Shakespeare Theatre design

Royal Shakespeare Theatre by Bennetts Associates Architects in Stratford, United Kingdom
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I have viewed the completed exterior of the revamped theatre this afternoon and it has come as a very great shock . I find the new tower concept quite ghastly and utterly out of place here in the riverside context of Stratford. Frankly I consider it ill conceived resembling a poor cross between a fire station and a crematorium, admittedly as yet without smoke. The traditional and historic view from the approach from under Clopton bridge has always been the relatively low rise and softening mpact of the balcony outside the theatre restaurant at first floor level with the swans beneath, set against the impressive and peaceful overriding background feature of the tower and lovely setting of Holy Trinity Church, indeed the only tower that should be permitted to continue to feature in this beautiful and historic setting. Henceforth this timeless view will be hideously dominated by the incongruous intrusion of this wholly inappropriate "crematorium tower". Just what our American visitors will make of it beggars belief. A step very much too far in my opinion So out of place is it that upon considered reflection it may well be that we will have not to wait long for the demolition squads to arrive to dispose of it in short order. All in all an extremely retrograde and expensive mistake along with the removal of the beautiful weeping willows and the general despoiliation of the riverside gardens. Indeed I believe that this aspect of the project is so awful that it needs urgently to be entirely reconsidered.before the coming of next summer makes its presence appear even more grotesque. Sorry to be so blunt but there is obviously no point in responding to this invitation to comment without being subjectively frank and honest, and of course I entirely accept that others may take a contrary view.
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A much needed major revamp of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, UK has been announced. Unveiling the £100 million scheme for the Stratford theatre, project architects Bennetts Associates’ plans will restore the key Art Deco elements of the Grade II* listed theatre. At the heart of the proposals is a new main stage for the Company, designed with theatre consultants Charcoalblue which will be repositioned, thrusting into the audience in the tradition of renaissance theatres, rather than being tucked into a "second room" behind the proscenium arch. The new Royal Shakespeare Theatre will replace the 1932 auditorium which owes more to cinema than theatre design and separates the audience from the actors and have only two galleries, reducing the distance between audience and actors.

Key Facts

Status design
Value 0(m€)
Bennetts Associates Architects

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