Dramatic extension to city theatre

FROM the outside it looks like a relatively modest addition to what claims to be Scotland's oldest working theatre.

Loading Comments
Share
Print
The improvements at the Theatre Royal are already evident
The improvements at the Theatre Royal are already evident

But inside, the extension to Glasgow's Theatre Royal is a massive space, soaring up four levels.

It is still a building site but the Evening Times was invited behind the scaffolding to see how work is progressing.

And with months to go before it opens, the space already gives a dramatic glimpse of how it will look when complete.

A theatre has stood on the Hope Street site for nearly 150 years, though two previous incarn-ations burned down in the 19th century due to the hazard of gas lighting.

Scottish Opera bought the building 30 years ago and during that time it has been used by many theatre companies.

However, the theatre foyer was cramped and the layout not ideal for a modern-day venue.

But fate was to lend a hand, thanks to land becoming vacant and the Commonwealth Games.

Scottish Opera general director Alex Reedijk said: "We spotted the opportunity to buy a bit of land next to the theatre at almost the same time Glasgow won the right to host the Commonwealth Games."

The company boss insists the £12.5million extension would have gone ahead without the Games but the sporting event presented a useful early deadline.

As a result, the stunn-ing new addition to the theatre will be finished and open to the public by the time the athletes arrive in the city.

The extension will create a new theatre foyer, which will house a dramatic spiral staircase constructed of polished concrete and then clad in wood and leather.

The circular foyer is four times the size of the original foyer in the theatre next door.

A new ticket office will be created on the ground floor and there will be a bar and cafe, which will be open throughout the day.

As well as two stair-cases, there will be two large lifts to take theatre goers to the dress circle, upper circle and balcony levels.

A total of 39 window bays, which have been sponsored by individuals keen to support the development of the historic building, have been created allowing people to gather to enjoy a drink or coffee.

Two dedicated education rooms will be created at the upper circle level.

And to top off the extension, a roof top cafe/bar will be available for people to enjoy an open-air drink, while taking in stunning views across the city.

The Theatre Royal is believed to be the only building in Glasgow which will offer patrons the chance to drink al fresco, while seated more than 60ft above ground.

Mr Reedijk said: "This new extension means we can give our audience a significantly better experience."

The company boss has been actively involved in the design of the new extension from the start.

He said: "I wanted to represent what I thought was important to the audience and to do something that was amazing for Glasgow."

vivienne.nicoll@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Arts and Entertainment

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

154721

Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email news@eveningtimes.co.uk
Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Sussed in the City

The sun always shines in Glasgow in July...honest

Times Out

Lifestyle

TV Advert
Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You couldn’t make up half the stuff that happens to PA Janice Bell- some of the jams she gets herself into are worth a story or two.

Games news:

Putting the world to rights

Gail's Gab

Wish you were here reader, I’m lapping up with sun with me in my bikini and Tommy in his 1980s style trunks

Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat Cubie’s job is to find and share with you the fabulous things the city has to offer, from gigs to gastro.