Cheltenham's Everyman Theatre Restoration – Well under way!
Explore Gloucestershire were kindly invited down to the Everyman Theatre to see what exactly was happening with the £3m refurbishment.
Already 5 weeks into the project, the Everyman Theatre’s restoration is well underway and going according to plan, on budget and although very hard to see - ahead of schedule too!
Donning hard hats and hi-viz jackets we were taken for a guided tour of the Everyman Theatre and were even lucky enough to see the artists and crafts folk decorating the ornate ceiling. With the new sky scene complete with swallows and house martins soaring above us - in our eyes a refreshing improvement on the previous décor dating back to the 1980’s.
The builders also found an old ticket dating back to May 1939 under a seat in the auditorium, for a 6.30pm performance - we're wondering which performace it could have been - anyone know?. See photo's below.
Gradually, Frank Matcham’s 1891 auditorium (the oldest surviving Matcham interior) is being restored to its former glory, ready for the theatre’s 120th anniversary later this year on 2nd October.
Gloucester-based building company Speller Metcalfe is carrying out the work, which will also include new and more comfortable seating, new carpets and refurbished front of house and foyer areas. The builders plan to leave on 5th September, giving the Everyman nearly 3 weeks to take down hoardings, set up catering areas and prepare for the public to return to the building.
The first full week of performances will be the award-winning play, 'The Madness of George III' on September 26 with David Haig but the very first performer to tread the boards in the newly restored auditorium, will be legendary comedian, Ken Dodd, on Friday 23 September.
Says Geoffrey Rowe, Chief Executive: “It’s all very exciting and we’re delighted that things are progressing well. I’m also thrilled that Ken Dodd, creator of the legendary Diddymen, will be the first to play in the restored auditorium. I cannot think of a more suitable artist to re-open the Everyman. He is the last of the traditional variety comics and has played here on many occasions and to great success over the years.”
For more information on the Everyman’s restoration and grand re-opening season, visit www.everymantheatre.org.uk
27 June 2011
A long lost ticket found
Workers on the dress circle
The new ceiling illustrations
Before and after decor
Working on the grand ceiling
For further information.