Campaigners have long been telling Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC) that their new theatre is already out of date, and theatre professionals say the future of theatre is in flexible spaces.
Illustrating this, multi-millionaire impresario and theatre owner, Andrew Lloyd Webber has decided to close his most famous theatre, the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and spend £45m converting it to a flexible space. Does our council really know more than Lloyd Webber?
Producers will be able to choose between a proscenium arch or in-the-round configuration and a new restaurant will be built as part of the restoration.
In a statement the owner, LW Theatres, said the plans would also enable the venue to
accommodate the demands of the “modern musical” and help it attract new audiences. In addition, front-of-house facilities will be open to the public all day, which they hope will make Theatre Royal Drury Lane a destination venue in its own right.
Westminster Council, meanwhile, said the revamp heralded a new era for the venue, creating a modern space for performers and audiences.
The proposed theatre in Tunbridge Wells lacks all of these facilities so sadly it seems the £93m Calverley Square development, comprising a new theatre and new council offices, will be out of date before it is out of the ground.