Another very successful feasibility study
Royal Shakespeare Theatre – RSC
In 2004 Anne Minors Performance Consultants (AMPC) was asked to develop the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) early feasibility study into a new auditorium form. The AMPC study was carried out in collaboration with the RSC’s associate designer, Tom Piper and project coordinator, Flip Tanner. It included a review of thrust stage theatres and their relationship with an audience; early Elizabethan stage dimensions and requirements for Shakespeare’s plays and fight scenes; sightlines; widths between side balconies; and, acoustic and visual connections between solid and partially open balconies.
The second part of the study went on to look at maximising the seat count within the existing theatre. AMPC evaluated and modified the RSC plans into a three dimensional, 1000-seat thrust stage design that could be contained within the existing Royal Shakespeare Theatre (RST) whilst retaining the parts of the existing building that were of value in the conservation plan.
The conclusions of both studies were mocked up at full scale in the side stage of the Royal Opera House using scaffolding sheets and balloons as audience heads to confirm its validity to the RSC artistic and executive team.
A further AMPC study was carried out to establish whether the theatre template arrived at in the first study could be built on the carpark alongside The Other Place.
From these initial concepts, the Courtyard Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre were developed by Ian Richie Architects and Bennetts Associates respectively.
Royal Shakespeare Theatre – 02
I was constantly referring to the work you did Anne during the development of the RST and the Courtyard.
Royal Shakespeare Theatre – 01
Your hand is very much in the space, Anne!