A new London Theatre
No, not THE New London Theatre, A new London theatre. The news is that a brand new
theatre has started being built in London. This new theatre is being constructed in order to work in conjunction with the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. The Globe is an open air theatre or partially so, which means it isn’t open all the year round so the new one will have a roof. It’s named after the man who was instrumental in getting the Shakespeare’s Globe project built, and always intended there to be two theatres. Sam Wanamaker was his name (he died in 1993). The London fire department finally agreed that it can be possible to use naked flames on stage in a wooden theatre so now the work has begun to recreate a Jacobean pit theatre according to some plans which are believed to portray the oldest known illustration of a theatre in England.
The Sam Wanamaker Theatre
The Sam Wanamaker theatre is due to be open to visitors as early as January 2014 and is sure to be sold out as are nearly all plays especially Shakspeare plays put on at the Globe theatre which only runs for the summer season due to the nature of being open to the elements. Will most of the recreated jacobean theatregoers be required to stand up and eat acorns though, or will there be adequate seating? Well the Sam Wanamaker Theatre will reportedly seat 340 people with two tiers of galleried seating and a pit seating area. They will be able to watch candlelit performances of plays running from October to April each year, with other events over the summer months, such as early chamber music and period opera while the plays are on at the Shakespeare’s Globe theatre as happens now.
The shell of what will become the Sam Wanamaker Theatre was built in the early 1990s but has been in use up until recently only as a rehearsal and education space. Now that the fire regulations and most of the finance have been sorted out, the final construction phase for the interior can begin.
Artistic director Dominic Dromgoole said:
The Sam Wanamaker Theatre will allow the Globe to continue its experimental vision of going back to the future. Just as with the Globe itself, these unique playing conditions offer an opportunity to refresh our understanding of Jacobean theatre, and to provoke new visions for the future of how theatre can be made.
That’s not really the future though, is it Dom. It’s the past. It would make a good title for a movie or two though!