The Other Place (theatre)

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

The Other Place is a black box theatre currently under construction on Southern Lane, near to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. It is owned and operated by the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 2006, an earlier version of the theatre closed and reopened as the temporary and larger Courtyard Theatre while the Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres were redeveloped. Work is currently taking place to reinstate The Other Place as a 200-seat studio theatre.

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 RSC had anticipated the extension for the Courtyard Theatre would be a temporary building.[4] However, plans were made to bring back The Other Place,[5] keeping the existing structure of the current Courtyard Theatre.[4] In 2012, planning permission was granted by Stratford District Council to reinstate The Other Place within the extended building.[6]

The Other Place will be a 200-seat studio theatre with a remodelled internal space to create a new-style, mixed use TOP which will provide opportunities for community, amateur and educational use. Over 30,000 costumes will be made available to the public for the first time through theatre tours. There will also be space for small conferences and meetings and occasional commercial hire.[7]

The redevelopment began in February 2015 and will be complete by 23 April 2016, in time for the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death.[8]

Funding for the new theatre came from a £3 million grant from the Arts Council England raised through the National Lottery. Funding was also received from the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, The Backstage Trust and from public donations.[7]

This is the final phase of the Transformation project, to redevelop the entire theatre complex in Stratford-upon-Avon.[9]

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. ^ a b Witts, Preston. "RSC want to convert Courtyard Theatre into a permanent structure". stratford-herald.com. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  5. ^ 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 
  6. ^ "RSC’s Courtyard Theatre staying in Stratford". stratfordobserver.co.uk. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  7. ^ a b "Royal Shakespeare Company's 'The Other Place' to return in 2016". artscouncil.org.uk. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  8. ^ "Shakespeare's The Other Place in Stratford begind revamp". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  9. ^ 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