We are proud to announce that the first phase of our Dramatic Transformation project is complete!
Our limited run of THE ILLUSIONISTS opens previews this Saturday – and our audience will be welcomed into a new and improved Theatre, with the following features to be enjoyed:
• Improved air conditioning in the auditorium.
• A new open and easily understood staircase to all levels to ease congestion in the Foyer.
• The intimacy of our new seating reconfiguration in the Stalls, resulting in two less rows of seats, and a new rear corridor with proper lobbies to reduce the distraction of movement during the performance.
• A brand new Accessible Toilet, better situated near our accessible seats.
• A new gents Toilet in the Royal Circle.
Sadly, our work on new toilets elsewhere is taking a little longer, so we ask for your patience. Soon, we will have more toilets on all levels than ever before but, for now, you may find yourself queuing a little longer than usual.
There is still lots of work to be done on this project. One day soon, we will be adding a brand new bar at the rear of the Stalls. This will be treble the size of the Stalls bar and will be available for hire as well as interval drinks!
Dates have been agreed with Camden for the final two crane lifts that are needed for our Front of House refurbishment project.
Lift 1: Monday 6th May 2019. 11:59pm – 5:00am on Tuesday 7th May.
Due to matters outside of our control we have no option but to work within the permitted period. We will be lifting two 20metre roof trusses into place which requires a large space with exceptional road closure. Aside from the crane, the delivery and positioning of the trusses on the roof will be demanding work. We are confident that our contractors will do everything to minimise disruption, limiting noisy work as best as possible.
Lift 2: Sunday 12th May 2019. 8:00am – 6:00pm
Smaller items will be lifted to the Theatre’s roof which means less space will be required on the road. They will still be complicated in their nature and again carried out to minimise disruption, limiting noisy work as best as possible.
As always, contact us if you have concerns, but please understand that the Theatre has to work within schedules defined by others and is unable to alter the allocated dates/times. We will continue to do all that is possible to keep disturbance to a minimum.
From Wednesday 3rd April there will be intermittent noise from the stairwell adjacent to Sovereign House. This is work being carried out on internal walls to install new steel supports, not our party wall. It will mean cutting and knocking out of sections followed by careful installation of the steel. Acoustic shields will be used as before. Work of this nature will be taking place over the next few weeks
From next week scaffolding will start to appear on the High Holborn side of the Theatre. This will allow us access to the roof to commence the process of replacing the roof covering. This should stop leaks, which we have to spend time managing in order to preserve our fine plaster ceilings.
To facilitate the roof work all the current air-conditioning system will be removed and two long beams placed across the roof to support platforms for the new system and walkways for staff. Two more crane lifts are anticipated, the first in late April for the long beams and second in late May to install the new air conditioning units. They will be similar in nature to the lift on Sunday 31st March in respect of road closures and timings.
As always, do contact us should our work create undue difficulty.
We would like to thank all of our neighbours for their patience and understanding while we work on improving the Shaftesbury Theatre.
The following changes have been made to the schedule found below:
The scaffolding due to be erected on March 18th will now go up on April 1st.
The trial pits scheduled for the 25th March have been deferred due to Camden’s pavement works. This will likely now take place in late April.
The crane operation on 31st March is still scheduled to go ahead. The crane will be on site between the hours of 8am and 4pm. It will take approximately one hour to set the crane up so lifting will not commence until at least 9am.
Work at the Shaftesbury will continue throughout the next few months. An approximate schedule of these works can be found below. This will be updated according to any major plan changes to keep our neighbours as informed as possible.
18th March: Scaffolding and gantry erected on High Holborn side of theatre.
Approx. 25th March (specific date TBC): Start of roof repairs. Trial pits for locating the gas main in Bloomsbury Street. The latter operation will take approximately 16 days and may involve lane closures.
31st March: Removal of chiller on theatre roof by crane from High Holborn side. This will take place provisionally between 10am and 10pm and will involve lane closures during that time.
23rd April: Demolition of Staircase 3, on High Holborn side of theatre.
Approx. 29th April: Roof trusses will be delivered and lifted by crane to the roof of the theatre.
12th June: Start of construction of walkways along the roof of the theatre.
24th June: The process of loading in THE ILLUSIONISTS will take place for approximately two weeks. This will involve several large-scale deliveries to the theatre.
1st September: THE ILLUSIONISTS closes. There will be several removal vehicles around the theatre for the following week.
7th October: The process of loading in for &JULIET will take place for approximately three weeks. This will involve several large-scale deliveries to the theatre.
As the work on the Theatre gets underway hoardings have been erected to keep the works contained and ensure safety. These are now in place and the next phase of work will commence.
In the coming months we will be concentrating our efforts demolishing and rebuilding one of our main staircases on the Shaftesbury Avenue side of the Theatre, alongside our fire exits. This will all be carried out within the building but may result in some noise. Our contractors, Sir Robert McAlpine, will be doing all that is possible to regulate the noise so that disturbance is kept to a minimum. However, should you have any issues, please contact us. The working hours will be Monday – Wednesday and Friday 8.00am – 6.00pm; Thursday and Saturday 8.00am – 1.00pm.
Now that our building works are underway, we will be starting to install hoarding on both Bloomsbury Street and High Holborn. This is to ensure that we can make our building works as unobtrusive as possible.
1 lane will be closed on High Holborn and 1 lane on Bloomsbury Street will be closed from the 19th of November 2019 as we do investigative works prior to the excavation of our basement box.
Whilst encapsulating the beauty and elegance of the Edwardian era we will be creating a new feature staircase, doubling toilet facilities, upgrading air conditioning, creating better access for people with disabilities and enhancing our foyer and bar areas, all to give our audiences a better experience.
A new entrance will be created opening the Theatre on to Princes Circus, a piazza that will be created alongside Shaftesbury Avenue by Camden Council’s West End Project, and the Theatre’s façade and signage will be upgraded. The final phase of work will see the interior of the Theatre totally redecorated with new carpets and seats throughout, still in an Edwardian style, but providing more space and greater comfort.
This work is the final phase of a £15 million investment, paid for in part by our Restoration Levy, making the Shaftesbury Theatre welcoming and enjoyable to visit and work at; we hope the best in London’s West End!