With the back-of-house areas progressing nicely, work in the auditorium itself has now got under way!
The back of house areas are fully boarded, plastered and we can even switch the lights on! The toilets are nearly completed and a central heating system goes in at the beginning of July. We’re now starting to think about all the fun stuff – paint colours, dressing room tables, mirrors…
At the same time, work has finally begun in the auditorium.
In May our two lighting grids were assembled, hoisted up and attached to the ceiling. The space instantly became more like a theatre, and we could finally rig up some working light and illuminate the space for the first time. It was quite a moment.
Since then, the pace has been relentless.
We’ve made some crucial adjustments to ensure the space is accessible for everyone. Then came some specialist fire-resistant paint to keep things safe. And cables, hundreds of metres of cables! As you can imagine, a theatre needs all sorts of power, lighting, sound and data cables buried in the walls, and this was done by other competent professionals and some very willing volunteers.
Getting the cables in meant we could finally put in all the soundproofing, plasterboard and plaster finish required. The demands of keeping sound out, and sound in, are significant – and not easy when we’re neighbours to a particularly popular pub! So we’re going belt and braces and thinking about some testing to see where our leaky bits are (so to speak) and improving them.
We’ve selected our contractors for the raked seating bank and the huge sprung timber floor, and these two massive pieces of the puzzle will be completed by the end of August (all things being equal).
So, when might the theatre be open?
In summary, your future theatre has come a long way in recent weeks, and it’s a question of WHEN we’ll be ready to open now, not if. So when might that be? We have a couple more funding bids in the pipeline and hope to hear in the autumn. It’s hard to be more definite with so many variables – funding, contractor waiting times, supply chain issues etc – but the official line at the moment is: “Maybe this year, definitely next year!”