MAINTENANCE work at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s theatres will see the curtains come down for an extended period of time before the next season commences.
The Tempest ended its run last weekend and now the RST auditorium will be reconfigured for the Rome season of plays, the first of which is Julius Caesar previews at the RST from 3rd March.
Meanwhile the Swan Theatre will be closed one week and five days, from 12th February. Snow in Midsummer previews at The Swan from 23rd February.
The theatre building itself will be open as normal throughout.
An RSC spokesperson confirmed that while normally a new production to the RST or Swan meant the relevant auditorium would be closed for one and a half weeks to get the show ready for the public, the creation of the Rome season environment in the RST auditorium, alongside all of the other essential maintenance around the building, means that this time the auditorium will be closed — ‘dark’ in theatre parlance — for six weeks.
The Herald has been told told the new configuration will include the removal of the centre aisle, additional rows at the front and rear of the centre stalls block, and a shortening of the stage by one metre. The adaptable seating for the area designated for wheelchair users will be renewed.
A number of other improvements will be undertaken, including a shop-refit, sanding and re-finishing the Rooftop Restaurant floor, a general deep clean, and decoration works.