Originally opened in 1968, the Bloomsbury Theatre has re-opened following its extensive £12m refurbishment.
Owned and run by University College London (UCL), the theatre provides a unique resource for students to run extra-curricular student productions and it has gained a reputation in a number of fields, from student opera to innovative stand-up comedy. The theatre also offers a rich professional programme of west-end music, drama, and dance all year round, although time for dedicated university use is being increased from 12 to 28 weeks a year following the refurbishment.
Work had to be carried out while all of the building's other facilities continued to operate as normal: a complex challenge as the auditorium sits sandwiched between the student gym above it and part of the main UCL student refectory beneath it, with other University and student facilities all around it.
The refurbishment has created a 500-seat state of the art theatre, with technical facilities to rival the very best. As well as the re-instatement of the auditorium, the scope of the project included improving accessibility for the audience and to back-stage technical areas, works to the stage and fly-tower including replacement of the proscenium stage’s motorised thrust, which can be removed to expose an orchestra pit to accommodate up to 60 musicians.
Click here to see a short film about the theatre and its refurbishment.