The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 1 August 2017
Factory News - Designs for Manchester's £110m arts centre the Factory are being redrawn after a review found the originals to not be fit for purpose. The project received planning permission in January but the council will now have to spend an extra £1.65m changing the designs.
The Factory was first announced in 2014. It has been given a £78m grant from central government, as well as a £9m annual grant from 2018-19. It is designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas' firm OMA, with theatre consultancy from Charcoal Blue.
According to The Stage, The ‘novelty’ glazed and concrete exterior in the original plans will "compromise the acoustic performance of the venue", a review submitted to Manchester City Council claimed. Elsewhere, the theatre's design was found to be too complex and the orchestra pit too small.
The review, conducted by Manchester City Council, has put forward a revised scheme in which the building's facades will be altered to stay in keeping with the original design concept but without any associated acoustic issues. The theatre will be simplified and made "more intimate and balanced", and its capacity reduced from 1,700 to 1,500 seats.
The report said that after testing the with other venues and promoters, it was agreed that the orchestra pit must be in line with "the expectations of a venue of this size and quality", and should therefore be increased from a 50 to 80-player capacity.
The Factory is due to open in September 2020. It was originally scheduled to open in time for the 2019 Manchester International Festival, which will provide a year-round programme once building is in operation. However, the timings were pushed back earlier this year.
Dressing Up - The Royal Shakespeare Company has submitted plans for an £8.7m refurbishment of its costume-making workshops. Planning documents state that the current facilities in Stratford-upon-Avon are “no longer fit for purpose” and are in need of “urgent repair”. The proposed refurbishment would see the key heritage buildings retained and improved, parts of some of the newer buildings demolished, and one and two-storey extensions built. The workshops would also be linked up to the RSC’s offices on Chapel Lane, allowing the department to be opened up to the public for tours for the first time.
Shows Off - Wonderland the Musical has cancelled the remaining 24 performances of its tour. A statement from the producers said that there was no “feasible or responsible” way to avoid the cancellations. This follows a financial dispute with suppliers Orbital Sound, which withdrew its equipment during the show’s run in Swansea.
The production was due to visit Wolverhampton, Richmond and Bournemouth, where it was scheduled to run until August 19. Audiences will be able to claim full refunds for their tickets from box offices at the venues the show was due to visit and venues will be contacting customers to inform them of the situation.
A statement from production company Wonderland the Musical Ltd, which is run by producer Neil Eckersley, said: “With immediate effect and a heavy heart, the remaining 24 performances of Wonderland in Wolverhampton, Richmond and Bournemouth have been cancelled.
“The decision to cancel the final three weeks of the tour has been a difficult one and one that has not been taken lightly. However, following a dispute with one of the show's ex suppliers, the producers of the show have had to consider the consequential effects for the remaining tour dates.”
(Jim Evans)

Latest Issue. . .

Tweets from our Friends