Re-building the auditorium

We went into the construction site yesterday with a (heavily pregnant!) Natalie Hale from Bristol Evening Post to see how the redevelopment is progressing. While we were touring the site we took some quick snaps on an iPhone. You can see some more professional photos taken by the Bristol Evening Post photographer in the paper in the next few days.

As you can see, work has moved on considerably in the auditorium and the contractors are now building the seating banks in the stalls area.  We also went up into the gallery, where new seating banks and a new entrance have also been installed.




4 thoughts on “Re-building the auditorium

  1. inkleandyarico says:

    Wow! The new seating levels for the middle tier look remarkably similar to the benches (with supports) that once filled the gallery here. (Take a look, for example, at the photos of the Truro Theatre-Room’s 1787 gallery benches, and you’ll see it compares well.) Amazing. All of the floors look like they’re going to be higher than the 1766 pit floor, but that’s perfectly acceptable in making this a modern theatre, in accordance with the Trustees’ aims. With these floor levels raised The only other thing seriously needed to make it a modern theatre is a stage front with spectators sitting on the sides.

  2. inkleandyarico says:

    Mmmm… have the nineteenth-century plaster doorways been demolished? They need to be replaced.. or there’s gonna be a horrible gap between the safety curtain and the stage boxes that will need filling….

  3. inkleandyarico says:

    Pit shot. Excellent restoration of the 1766 pit entrances, exactly where I said they were back in 1986. This gives a good impression of the relationship between the 1766 stage front and the pit and boxes. That proximity is marvellous, as is the encircling feeling from the perfectly circular auditorium – exactly the same as, if not a close comparison to the performer-spectator relationship at Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre in 1587. That theatre saw the first performances of plays including Romeo & Juliet. What a peculiar coincidence that Tom’s first production here was the wonderfully imaginative "Romeo and her Juliet".

  4. inkleandyarico says:

    Stage box shot. Great to see these 1766 Corinthian columns (or "pilasters" to be precise) echoing, as they do, the Corinthian columns Johannes de Witt and Aarend van Buchel sketched on the stage front of the Swan Theatre in London c.1596. This is more evidence of very close links between Bristol’s playhouse and theatres built in Shakespeare’s time. Specifically, these stage columns/pilasters stand very close to the position of the permanent stage columns on the stage front of the second Rose Theatre from 1592. (See: Julian Bowsher and Pat Miller. The Rose and the Globe Playhouses of Shakespeare’s Bankside: Excavations 1989-1991. London: Museum of London Archaeology, 2009 and Mark Howell, "Acting Spaces and Carpenters Tools" Around the Globe, Dec. 2010, 35-36.

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