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Curtain up for Surrey as new Royal Holloway theatre opens

Posted on 08/11/2013

A new £3.5 million theatre at Royal Holloway will help raise the cultural provision in Surrey and allow drama scholars and performers to reach out to the wider community, according to Professor Dan Rebellato, the Head of the Department of Drama and Theatre.

The Katharine Worth Building will be officially opened during a special ceremony on Wednesday 13 November, when guests will, for the first time, be able to take a closer look at the spacious auditorium of the new Caryl Churchill Theatre, which seats almost 200 people over two levels.

Designed by the renowned Foster Wilson Architects, the venue will allow the University to invite professional theatre companies to stage public performances on campus, as well as provide students with a well-equipped space for lectures, seminars and practical study.

“With one of the best university theatres in the country, Royal Holloway will be able to provide a real boost to the cultural provision in this part of Surrey”, said Professor Rebellato. “Some of the excellent work our students produce will be open to a wider audience, and we look forward to inviting the public to come and see their vibrant and inspirational performances.”

Named after Professor Katharine Worth, Britain’s first female Professor of Theatre and the founder of Royal Holloway’s Department of Drama and Theatre, the new complex houses two large rehearsal studios, a workshop for set and prop construction that backs onto the stage, dressing rooms and a front-of-house area.

Professor Worth said: “When I was told the new building would be named after me, I was overwhelmed and delighted by the honour. I am looking forward to visiting the complex and seeing just how valuable these new facilities will be in supporting creativity and professional standards for students both now and in the future.”

The Caryl Churchill Theatre has been built alongside the Grade II listed Regency building Sutherland House and is linked by a glazed foyer. Tall shuttered windows flood the theatre with natural light and a control room for technical operation is housed in the top gallery.

Guests at the inauguration ceremony will get to see the theatre in action with a performance of Tim Crouch’s acclaimed play My Arm, which tells the story of a boy who holds his arm in the air for 30 years.



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