Ruth Slavid talks architecture

Thespian delights

Posted in theatre by ruthslavid on February 27, 2011

What a delight it was to spend a day at the new Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford. Obviously a lot has been written already about the new building by Bennetts Associates and Buro Happold, but my particular pleasure came from experiencing it myself and spending time with two very different users.

I saw the first full Shakespearean performance in the new auditorium, a wonderful performance of King Lear. The theatre was buzzing before the performance, and again the next day, when I first walked round the building with theatre enthusiast Rosie Keep, and then met James Tucker, the actor who had played Oswald. Photographer Stewart Hemley took this picture of them both in the auditorium.

Then we photographed James in his dressing room, and he took me to the staff canteen and told me how much better the new theatre is for an actor. Everything from proper showers, to not having to crawl underneath the stage. And the acoustics are great as well.

I am writing about this for the next issue of Patterns, Buro Happold’s magazine that it is publishing twice a year.