The entire building is having an electrical rewire including new fuse boards, electrical sockets and lighting.
Over the years the theatre has had various work carried out on its electrics but the rewire will make the building work much more efficient for staff and stakeholders, as well as being part of our dedication to reduce our Carbon Footprint as part of our Climate Change policy. Work on the rewire has already started and we hope to update you further as the electrical work continues.
The current, two backstage dressing rooms are being divided up into four newly decorated dressing rooms. This will include new mirrors (with lights for makeup application) and a new toilet for the two new downstairs dressing room spaces. Our reasoning for doing this is two fold. Firstly, in a new COVID world, it’s going to be safer to have as many spaces to keep people separated backstage as much as possible. COVID is with us forever and as a theatre we have had to adapt to the new normal. Secondly, as great as the two dressing room spaces were, in reality they are too big and not efficiently using the space we have. The theatre has a lot of ‘one nighter’ performances with minimal performers and cast. Having two large spaces is useful for larger scale productions but not ideal when cast numbers aren’t particularly big. The dividing up of the spaces also makes the building more versatile in regards to having multiple spaces for possible hire and changing facilities for our other performance spaces in the building.
Finally, (but most important of all), a new air ventilation system is being installed in our main auditorium and studio spaces. Obviously, this is to make the theatre COVID compliant as having adequate ventilation and air movement is essential to indoor spaces. We are also hoping that this will help to keep the temperature down in the theatre during the summer months. As some of you who have visited us during the summer may be aware, the main house can get very hot indeed. We are hoping that the new ventilation system may help with this.
The installation of this new ventilation system is possibly the biggest project we are undertaking and has taken significant time and research to get us to this point. Even things such as noise pollution and climate impact have had to be taken into consideration as the plant equipment for the new systems will be installed on the theatre roof.
Planning work for the new ventilation system is still ongoing and we hope to update you further as we start to undertake this huge project.
As you can see, the works being carried out are significant and very exciting for the theatre going forward.
Work is continuing
All the dividing walls are now up in the dressing rooms and you can now get a real sense of how big each space in the four new dressing rooms will be. It looks as if there is plenty of room in each dressing room and this includes a new corridor space in the downstairs dressing rooms for the new toilet with access from both of the new dressing rooms. We are now starting to look at what type of mirrors and lighting we need as well as planning room layouts.
The rewire is moving on really quickly. Backstage, all the new cable trays are installed and new sockets have also been fitted. There’s still quite a bit to do but we’ll update you on any further developments.
The new ventilation system has now been ordered. This, as we’ve previously mentioned in other posts, is possibly the biggest project out of the changes that we’re making. We’re hoping it won’t be long now until engineering work on this can begin. And again, we’ll keep you posted on any further updates. (06/07/21)
It is all very exciting as the ventilation system has begun arriving at the theatre in the shape of some very large pipes! You may not believe that we would get so excited about some pipes but we are.
As you are aware the main auditorium was built in 1850 originally as a baptist church and most of our original external walls of the church are extremely thick. Therefore, trying to work out how to upgrade the theatre to accommodate these pipes without compromising the building has been a real headscratcher. However, they are being installed and now it is just a plan needed to work out how to get everything onto the roof, but we will leave that for another day! (Thank goodness for experts!).
Unfortunately, we do not have a re-opening date as yet but will update you as soon as we do. (24/08/21)
We are Nearly There!
As you may have heard yesterday, we now have a re-opening plan (please see our updates here) and so that means we are nearly there with our building work.
Since our last update, we have had our new House Lighting system installed in the Main House and the ceiling above the stage has been removed to be able to be able to get our ventilation pipes out onto the roof of the building. We have also had internal access hatches made to be able to access our ventilation system on the roof!
The decorators are booked for next week for our Theatre Bar and Dressing Rooms to start their decoration. The Courtyard has been decked with an accessible ramp and new doors are being hung in our dressing rooms.
Hopefully we will start getting some more prettier pictures to show you over the coming months. (01/10/21)
New Courtyard Decking
New entrance into Dressing Room 4
Dressing Room 2
Internal Roof Access
Last few days left…
As you know we have now officially announced our re-opening plans and we are on track to re-opening in January 2022. However after the contractors move out the staff will be back in the building working behind closed doors, to get your theatre looking amazing and ready to re-open.
Staff are hoping to be back in the building from next Monday and although decorating will continue in December, the staff will be working hard to get the theatre back ready for re-opening in January 2022. As we put things back together we will continue to bring you pictures of our progress here. (22/11/21)