This project makes use of an existing 1960s sports hall to create a new flexible studio theatre. It demonstrates that exciting theatre facilities, particularly for educational and community use, can be created on a very modest budget.
The new space is formed by the insertion of a suspended steel balcony around three sides of the room, with integral access stairs and a technical control room. Seating consists of a single row of seats around the balcony and a retractable bleacher seating unit, giving a capacity of 216 in the end stage layout. Moveable seating units on the flat floor will allow three and four sided layouts to be achieved with a capacity of up to 300. The motorised bleacher can be retracted to allow the entire floor area to be used for teaching, workshops and other events. Technical installations are extremely simple but provide a basic infrastructure to which additional equipment can be added later, as funds allow. All steelwork is galvanised with the use of bright colour to create a ‘studio’ feel and a sense of animation to the new theatre.