Throughout the past two years the Nottingham New Theatre has gone through a serious remodelling programme. The snug little foyer has been expanded into a bright, open space; two studios, one wide corridor and a square costume cupboard have been added and the whole outside has been given a thick lick of white and orange paint.
Impact Arts had an exclusive tour of the new building conducted by Nick Stevenson (President 2013/14). Around £100,000 has been spent on the revamping plan – money which is hoping to increase the technical quality and artistic freedom of future productions.
So what exactly has been done? Besides the grand building work on the body of the theatre.
New auditorium seating, complete with shiny row numbers, have been put in. The studio spaces have been kitted out with a rehearsal mirror, lighting rig, theatrical black curtains and new floors. More storage space which means using the workshop will be more effective, the back corridor will be safer and the costume cupboard will be easier to access. There’s a new lighting desk – the old one might be transferred into a studio. The theatre now has its own staging blocks which means there’s no need to hire them externally and plays can be staged in-the-round or traverse and different levels can be fitted into the performance space.
Those old hands will be pleased to hear that the poster-wall is back! A colourful collage of all the previous year’s shows is splayed across the back wall creating a vibe of an arty student theatre. This year the theatre will still be maintaining its professional standards but with a focus on remembering to factor in its enthusiastic, eccentric, student charm.
But it’s not just the physical theatre which has changed. The website – http://newtheatre.org.uk/ – has also been redesigned, rewritten and been given a jolly good tidy up. Not only is the site clearer to those who want to get involved but it now offers audience members an easy way to book tickets online (instead of emailing in) not only for the coming show but for the shows weeks in advance. The mastermind of design behind the website’s rebirth is Will Pimblett (technical manager 2013/14).
And there have been a couple of changes to what goes on in the theatre. The ‘Uncut Season’ of last year is now ‘Fringe’ – a name which captures the essence of what this season hopes to achieve: site-specific theatre, new writing and devised plays. The, previously named ‘Main Season’ is now the ‘In-House Season’ – a new name which will help dissolve any feeling of hierarchy between this and the Fringe Season
‘We’re incredibly excited to be starting a new year at The Nottingham New Theatre,’ says Nick Stevenson. ‘Over the summer break we’ve had a great deal of investment in the theatre and the building is looking better than ever. We hope this year our productions will once again reach new heights. Now is definitely the time to get involved if you haven’t already!’
The Nottingham New Theatre AGM will be held on Wednesday 2nd Oct at 1pm and 3pm in the theatre Auditorium
Eve Wersocki Morris