The doors of Theatre Royal Glasgow's new foyers have opened to the public after a major project, led by owners Scottish Opera, to transform the 19th-century theatre.
The work to dramatically improve the theatre’s public spaces has involved the building of spacious foyers housing facilities including a new box office, better bars, more toilets and a roof terrace. And new lifts have opened up access, meaning that for the first time in the theatre's 147 year history all audience members can reach all levels.
Purpose-built education rooms, supported by The Robertson Trust, have been created and will provide much-needed space for education and outreach activity run by Scottish Opera and managers of the theatre The Ambassador Theatre Group.
The new foyer building, designed by Glasgow architects Page \ Park and cost managed by Capita, stands on the corner of Hope Street and Cowcaddens Road, and makes a new landmark of the previously unremarkable facade of the theatre.
Alongside the building work, a heritage project - supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund - aims to share the theatre's rich architectural and performance history which has helped shape the face of popular entertainment in Glasgow. Interactive touchscreens tell the story of the theatre from its early days staging variety shows, to life as the home of Howard and Wyndham (fathers of modern pantomime), the birthplace of Scottish Television, and its transformation from TV studio back to a theatre, becoming the performance home of Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet. A heritage exhibition will also open in the theatre's previous foyers on Hope Street.
The project was funded by the Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund and Glasgow City Council, as well as a host of trusts and foundations, corporate supporters and donations from private individuals.
Scottish Opera’s General Director, Alex Reedijk said: “I’m tremendously proud of the newly transformed Theatre Royal. We wanted to create 21st century facilities fit for the next 100 years of Glasgow theatre-goers and also to deliver a great new addition to the city’s social and cultural life.
“It was past time to bring the Victorian public spaces up to the standards that today’s audiences expect and I know audience members will enjoy the facilities and access that the new foyers provide. But it's also a great new space that is open all day now, as well as for performances, and I hope as many people as possible will take the opportunity to pop in and spend some time there."
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