The West End welcomes its first new theatre in 50 years

Nimax Theatres will operate this state-of-the-art venue, featuring a 602-seat auditorium apart from a large offer of leisure activities. Developed by one of the most respected architects in the world, the building includes many key quality elements, like a complete avoidance of obscured views and extreme proximity between the actors and every member of the audience.

We’re often told that, for everything we like, there comes a time when we maybe had enough… Well, it’s a scientific fact that this rule does not apply to theatre lovers and their unfulfilling crave… for this genre, that is! And producers have taken good notice of their needs, as London’s stagiest district is about to say hello to a new member in their large, large family. Today, producer Nica Burns has announced the opening of The Soho Place, a state-of-the-art building featuring a 602-seat auditorium, apart from many other amenities such as a restaurant, a bar, a terrace, rehearsal and green rooms… and a double-sided 17m by 3m digital screen front of house sign on Charing Cross Road and a large screen in the centre of its front façade.

“I asked our greatest theatre creatives two questions: If we could build a new theatre in the heart of the West End, what would you like it to be? What additional facilities would be on your wish list? They dreamt of a flexible auditorium, perfect acoustics and audience / stage intimacy.  An ability to create on-site with the dream of a rehearsal room, a Green Room and a bar all in the same building.  So that’s what we built – with a few extras including an outside terrace”, explains owner Nica Burns. “The incredible team of engineers pulled off the greatest of structural feats, building over a major underground transport hub – a challenging place to build a theatre – achieving perfect acoustics and no vibrations”.

Though completely modern, the inspiration for the design actually came from a visit by Burns to Ancient Greek theatres. ““I was standing on the stage of this great ancient theatre at 8 o’clock – show time – as the last rays of a golden sun were coming through the trees and the stars were starting to twinkle in an indigo sky. It was magic”, comments Burns.  “Epidaurus is one of the greatest theatres in the world and the plays of ancient Greece are still part of our theatre heritage today”.

Developed by internationally renowned architect Simon Alford, its construction has also implemented several key quality elements, such as perfect acoustics, the avoidance of any obscured views from any seat, extreme proximity between actors and audiences (with no further distances than 6 rows and a curved auditorium) and flexibility, allowing the venue to be transformed into a number of different configurations.

The Soho Place is operated by Nimax Theatres and will open this autumn, with the first production to be announced soon. For more information, please access the following link.

By Guillermo Názara

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