The Other Place (theatre)

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Site of the 1990 The Other Place (blue building) now acts as the entrance to the Courtyard Theatre, whose stage, back-stage and auditorium are in the brown corrugated box to the right.

The Other Place was a black box theatre on Southern Lane, near to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. It was owned and operated by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

History[edit]

In 1974 the RSC acquired its first studio theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, The Other Place. Converted from a rehearsal room, and directed initially by Buzz Goodbody,[1] this corrugated ‘tin hut’ became home to some of the company's most exciting small-scale and experimental work both in classical productions and in productions of work from contemporary writers such as David Edgar, Edward Bond and Peter Flannery.[2] It was an intimate studio theatre space and in such close confines, it was not unknown for actors to interact with the audience by sitting amongst them or rushing onto the stage through the theatre’s main entrance.

The Other Place was closed in 1989 for two years of rebuilding and was replaced with a more modern building, opening in 1991 and remaining true to the spirit of the original building, housing some of the company's most exciting productions as well as hosting overseas companies, workshops, teaching courses and conferences on all aspects of theatre, including the annual Prince of Wales Shakespeare School.

The new building later closed and was transformed into a foyer for the RSC’s temporary Courtyard Theatre which was built on the adjacent car-park to house performances in Stratford-upon-Avon whilst the RSC’s main houses, the Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres, were redeveloped as part of the Transformation project.

The Other Place's fifteen-year history represented "a brief, shining moment in the long history of the Royal Shakespeare Company".[3]

The new TOP[edit]

The Royal Shakespeare Company has plans to bring back The Other Place,[4] keeping the existing structure of the current Courtyard Theatre. It wants to:

  • Retain the existing structure of the current Courtyard Theatre
  • Remodel its internal space to create a new-style, mixed use TOP
  • Make over 30,000 costumes available to the public for the first time through theatre tours
  • Create an attractive space which could provide opportunities for community, amateur and educational use
  • Use the space for small conferences and meetings and occasional commercial hire
  • The building would look very similar with the rehearsal rooms lit from above via skylights, and slim reveals inserted into the steel to light the rest of building

This would be the final phase of the Transformation project, to redevelop the entire theatre complex in Stratford-upon-Avon.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Aston, Elaine (2004). "Goodbody, Mary Ann [Buzz] (1946–1975)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/60678. 
  2. ^ Smith-Howard, Alycia (2006). Studio Shakespeare: the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Other Place. Aldershot, England: Ashgate. p. 2. ISBN 0-7546-0786-0. 
  3. ^ Smith-Howard (2006: 4)
  4. ^ Whyman, Erica (November 2013). "Exploring the creation of new work at the RSC and beyond". Radical Mischief (Royal Shakespeare Company) (1): 2–3. "...we think it is time for a new The Other Place...on the site of the old The Other Place" 
  5. ^ Royal Shakespeare Company. 'Transforming our Theatres' http://www.rsc.org.uk/about-us/transforming-our-theatres.aspx

Further reading[edit]

  • Trowbridge, Simon. The Company: A Biographical Dictionary of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Oxford, England: Editions Albert Creed, 2010. ISBN 978-0-9559830-2-3.

Coordinates: 52°11′21″N 1°42′24″W / 52.1891°N 1.7067°W / 52.1891; -1.7067